Route 7 expected to close again for transformer transport
New Milford residents should expect another Route 7 closure next week as a second transformer is brought through town from the railroad to Cricket Valley Energy Center in Dover Plains, N.Y.
The move is scheduled for Jan. 15, according to the state Department of Transportation.
Parts of Route 7 will close between Pickett District Road and Route 55 as the 700,000-pound transformer is brought through the town and reopen once it goes through the section.
Sections of Route 55 in New Milford and Sherman may also be shut down.
The moves generally happen overnight so jumper bridges can be installed at several smaller bridge crossings. DOT advises the closures will happen between 8:30 p.m. and 5 a.m.
“As an approximation, last week’s move left New Milford at 9 p.m. and was in Gaylordsville by 12:30 p.m.,” Mayor Pete Bass wrote on Facebook recently regarding the previous road shut down. “This is all dependent on the weather.”
The last move happened from Dec. 27 to 28, which residents documented on Facebook with videos and photos.
The mayor’s original post had the move happening Jan. 3 to 4, but was later updated with the new date of Jan. 15.
The move is being escorted and coordinated by the Connecticut State Police.
Motorists should be aware that modifications or extensions to this schedule may become necessary due to weather delays or other unforeseen conditions.
“Please plan accordingly,” Bass wrote.
This transformer is even bigger than the first, which weighed about 476,700 pounds and was also carried on a specialized 12-axle trailer.
Both transformers are making the trip through New Milford for Cricket Valley Energy Center, a new natural gas-fired power plant, in Dover Plains, NY.
Residents in New York and northwest Connecticut have spoken out against the plant because they worry it will worsen the air quality.
Connecticut residents were especially upset because they didn’t know about the plant until it had already been approved — yet towns like Sherman, New Milford and Kent are close to the plant site and fear they will bear the brunt of pollution due to the area’s topography.
Advocates of the plant argue it is a cleaner type of power plant than those it will be replacing. They say studies show the plant’s pollution won’t affect the northwest corner of Connecticut that much.
Construction on the plant began this year and the plant is expected to go online in 2020.