One sentence in a thousand page legal document could divert 3,000 trucks off of Connecticut’s I-95 onto a ferry and local backroads.
The project, dubbed the “Cross Sound Enhancement Project” is a plan by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (aided by advice from the Connecticut Department of Transportation Council) to reduce congestion by sending trucks down the two-lane Route 25 of the North Fork via the Cross Sound Ferry.
Connecticut DOT Lists Numberous Benefits to Plan
The Connecticut DOT says that the plan will save 500,000 highway miles, reducing emissions, saving energy, and providing relief for the heavy traffic in “highly congested urban centers”.
New England Locals Fighting Back
North Fork locals are not thrilled with the proposal that would bring a large number of trucks onto local roads not designed to handle them. Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell went so far as to call it “bone-headed”. While 3,000 trucks per year will amount to only about 8 trucks per day, locals say the road systems are not designed to support heavy truck traffic and they feel that pedestrians and bicyclists could be at increased risk.
Nor are residents impressed with the way authorities have communicated about the project. The Cross Sound Enhancement Project was conceived 5 years ago. Long Island residents protested it at the time, but it was soon forgotten while Connecticut officials quietly proceeded with the plan. ““If not for one person alerting us to it, no one would have known,” said Orient Association president Robert Hanlon.
Locals have aired their grievances about the project in public comment and review sessions. The planning council has heard the comments and will adopt an amended version of the plan on April 22.