Rt. 72 Opens, Long Swamp Under Construction

by LonSeidman

One road project in Bristol is now completed as another one on Long Swamp Rd. begins this week, as residents find ways to improve their access to I-84. The long awaited project to improve drainage and sight lines on Long Swamp Rd. began last week, leaving much of the road between J&M Pizza and Stanley St. as gravel for now. That project is intended to widen the road for traffic to flow more freely. The actual roadway at Stanley St. will be a foot or more below its current level. Traffic coming out of Clark and Stanley Streets have trouble seeing over the present hill and a stop sign will also be erected for eastbound traffic on Long Swamp. When contacted about the project earlier this year, most residents were favorable to the construction. Some neighbors complained about the problem sight lines as well as vehicles using Clark st. as a bypass. But some of the complaints about drainage is why the road is undergoing a complete overhaul. Residents along the north side of Long Swamp have complained about water run-off from the roadway into basements and so the base of the road is being re-worked.

At present, it is unclear whether or not Clark St. will be a dead end when a second state project to re-design the Woodtick Rd. and Wolcott intersection begins possibly next year. That project is tentative due to the state budget, of course. The Long Swamp d. project is also a state project funded by federal stimulus money.

In a reverse trend, residents in the North End will begin to find a quicker way to work if they commute towards Hartford. Rather than navigatin the tiwsty streets of Forrestville along Rt. 72, the new 72 extension was finally opened Monday afternoon. The 1.9 mile semi-freeway runs into the highway portion at the Plainville line. While this is a straight four lane road, motorists should watch their speed as the road has only a 40 mph speed limit and is interspersed with traffic lights. The road may help motorists in Wolcott’s North End shave off a few minutes off their commute time. Bristol merchants are looking forward to completion of the project which is still without headaches. The final half mile of the extension to Rt. 229 is yet to be completed.

More on Rt. 72: http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-bristol-highway-0928-20100926,0,1124435.story

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