Put on the back burner just a few weeks ago, a plan to overhaul two major highways in the Brass City, could now be back in play.
On Wednesday, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced his proposal to stabilize the Special Transportation Fund, and restore a number of road projects, including replacing Waterbury’s Mixmaster.
The Route 8 and I-84 interchange sees thousands of cars a day and is already past its expected life span.
The governor says it needs to be replaced, and he's calling on the legislature to sign off on funding, not just for this project, but others like this all across the state.
"Find that money because, someday is going to be coming down and people are going to be getting hurt,” said Anthony Monteiro, of Anthony’s Barber and Style Shop, who looks at the Mixmaster every day.
Three weeks ago, Malloy pulled the plug on $4.3 billion worth of transportation projects, saying the Special Transportation Fund would soon be in the red.
Wednesday, he proposed increasing the gas tax, adding tolls by 2023 and instituting a $3 fee per tire on tire purchases, all in an effort to restore the fund and help pay for dozens of projects.
"With each day that passes, Connecticut falls further and further behind on critical projects that have been put on hold, moving our transportation beyond a state of good repair. The time is now, we must take decisive action quickly,” Malloy said.
The Department of Transportation says the Mixmaster is overdue for an overhaul, seeing about 150,000 vehicles per day, three times the amount it carried when it was built in the 1960s.
"When Route 8 merges on to I-84, a lot of people trying to get off the exit, it makes it hard for to get off, you have to get the next exit, and at the next exit, there is construction going on, so you're pretty much driving all over Waterbury to get to one point,” said Roman Tiru, of Waterbury.
The state has warned not only is it beyond capacity and its expected lifespan, the wear and tear is also starting to take a toll.
Because of that, Anthony says he likes to steer clear of it, as much as possible.
"I avoid it, I live in Prospect, I go home Route 8 because believe it or not, I’m afraid of that. We took it the other night and my wife said I can't believe you’re taking the Mixmaster and I said listen, let’s just say some prayers to get over it,” he said.
While the replacement project was still years away and expected to cost billions, the plan to make repairs to certain on and off ramps was supposed to start this year.
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