Accepting Federal Grant, New Haven Embraces New Future for Route 34

From left: State Rep. Juan Candelaria, New Haven Alderman Jorge Perez, Development Administrator Kelly Murphy, Mayor John DeStefano, Yale Medical Dean Robert Alpern, developer Carter Winstanley.

On Wednesday, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. announced the city was moving forward with the Downtown Crossing project, which will convert Route 34 from a “highway to nowhere” to an urban boulevard that will reconnect the central business district with Yale-New Haven Hospital, the Medical District and the Hill Neighborhood. In doing so, the city will take the first step towards undoing a 1950s highway project that separated neighborhoods from downtown.

The project was recently awarded $16 million from the highly competitive federal TIGER II grant program and earlier this week the Board of Aldermen voted to accept the federal funding, allowing the city to move forward with Phase I of the project, which will create 2,000 immediate construction jobs and 960 permanent jobs.

In red, the area targeted for redevelopment as Phase I of the Downtown Crossing project.

New Haven’s Planning Director Karyn Gilvarg explained next steps in the infrastructure and design process for Downtown Crossing which will include:

  • Finalizing grant agreements with federal and state authorities,
  • Accelerating design for Phase I infrastructure, which includes the conversion of North and South Frontage Roads to boulevards with road, streetscape, bike and pedestrian enhancements, as well as the reconstruction of College Street to grade level,
  • A development agreement for 100 College Street (a new 400,000-square-foot health sciences building adjacent to a growing cluster of Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Yale School of Medicine facilities).

Over the coming months, the City’s planning team will continue to work on the overall Downtown Route 34 design and ask New Haven residents and businesses alike for feedback and input.  The public can expect to participate in a series of briefings and neighborhood meetings starting in early 2011.  Construction is expected in late 2011, with development projects starting work in 2012.

Images: Top – New Haven Independent. Bottom – Via City of New Haven.

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1 comment to Accepting Federal Grant, New Haven Embraces New Future for Route 34

  • What shall be the configuration of the ramps?

    I have seen this area, and it looks like its actually a very very bad idea; instead the freeway should continue beneath the Air Rights Garage (hence its name) and beneath the building to the west which should now be torn down for this encoroachment on a public right of way), before surfacing.

    Ramps of the design shown here

    http://wwwtripwithinthebeltway.blogspot.com/2010/12/capping-i-395-center-leg-to-reconfigure.html

    would make a more friendly pedestrian area- note they leave a local zone along the curb- if the NH CT 34 project lacks this, the new development is simply an island in a sea of freewya traffic now placed on the local service roads.

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