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Thursday, April 24, 2003

Providence Journal: I-95 in Fairfield

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Providence Journal: I-95 in Fairfield County is Highway from HellӔ
Todays Providence Journal minces no words about the 50-mile stretch of I-95 between Greenwich and New Haven. It calls it ғa highway from hell that is ԓan abyss of congestion and structural decay.

And, in an editorial headlined ԓRibbon of Hell, it says former Gov. John Davis Lodge of Westport, who pushed for the highway over the objections of Westporters and others, shares some of the blame.

The newspaper noted that when the highway was conceived in the 1950s as the “Ribbon of Hope,” Route 95 west of New Haven was designed to accommodate 90,000 vehicles a day but today bears more than three times that.

ԓToday, the highway is a pitted wreck of lanes narrowed for construction, the Journal said. ԓThe devil himself could not have better designed the faded lane lines near Bridgeport that direct unwitting drivers right into Jersey barriers.

The newspaper said, ԓThe road’s entire history is touched with a kind of gothic horror. Its official name is the Governor John Davis Lodge Turnpike. Governor Lodge had pushed the project in the ‘50s, over the objections of his rich neighbors in Westport and nearby.

The suburbanites were so incensed at a giant new highway cutting within a mile of their coast that they helped defeat Mr. Lodge in his 1954 bid for re-election. (The loss reportedly contributed to a nervous breakdown.)Ӕ

The newspaper, after citing additional woes about the highway, including the fact that it has 54 exits serving 50 miles of road, said Connecticut officials have no choice but to confront the congestion with energy and new thinking.Ӕ

It added: Paralysis on the interstate now threatens the economy of southwestern Connecticut.Ӕ


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