City of New Haven celebrates new Orange Street intersection

New Haven celebrates new Orange Street intersection
Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 5:09 PM EDT
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NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – The city of New Haven officially celebrated its new Orange Street intersection Monday.

Drivers and pedestrians quickly got used to the new look of the intersection.

A few months after it officially opened, city, state and federal leaders along with those who call the Elm City home, took part in a ceremonial first crossing.

For Tommi Shaw, who lives in New Haven’s Hill neighborhood, it’s a long time coming.

“Downtown Crossing is one of many important components needed in our quest to transition the hill into becoming a viable, vibrant community again,” said Shaw.

As part of the Downtown Crossing project, it’s the second of three intersections to be built across the old Route 34 Express, turning the Oak Street connector into an urban boulevard.

It slows down cars and connects downtown to the Hill neighborhood and Union Station, which had been cut off for roughly 60 years.

“This is about access, we have handicap access, bicycle access, pedestrian access, yes it used to be just car access, but New Haven is really demonstrating that connecting communities is an amazing part of federal funding we can bring to the city,” said Amy Jackson-Grove with the Federal Highway Administration.

In addition to all the traffic signals and crosswalks along Orange Street, there is also the first protected bike intersection in Connecticut.

The green paint offers one-way travel for bicyclists, along with separate pedestrian and bike signals to get people across the busy road.

“The Hill neighborhood in many ways has been isolated from downtown because of this highway,” said New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker. “Today is reconnecting for not just cars, but pedestrians and cyclists this downtown area from the hill neighborhood that’s been quite isolated to the train station as well, so it’s an exciting moment.”