Congratulations on completed realignment project in New Milford

Congratulations on completed project; now let's continue to ease traffic congestion

There are many who are deserving of praise for the recent successful completion of the complicated Route 67/Grove Street intersection realignment at the southeastern entryway to downtown New Milford.

Town officials, led by Mayor Patricia Murphy; the state Department of Transportation; Dayton Contracting, which performed the work; and the New Milford Public Works Department are to be congratulated for bringing in the $28 million project begun in April 2009 on time and -- a remarkable feat -- on budget.

The opening of the intersection culminates the Lanesville/Grove Street/ Route 67 project that was proposed decades ago as an alternate roadway to Route 7 for those seeking to reach the eastern part of New Milford and points north.

The look of the new intersection is greatly altered, with clean sight lines leading to and from downtown, and safety is undoubtedly improved.

We do wish that a roundabout traffic circle had been installed to move traffic steadily instead of the four-way traffic light that inevitably leads to delays. But that quibble is water under the new Great Brook Bridge over Route 67, so to speak.

However, fine-tuning does need to be done to help traffic move along as quickly as possible, especially during rush hour when it can back up for several sequences at the light.

The traffic light ought to be calibrated to allow longer greens for motorists at either Bridge/Route 67 or Grove/East streets, for example, depending upon the time of day.

Another suggestion to help traffic flow is to consider a right-turn-only onto East Street from the west bound direction of Route 67, where it is also known as Bridge Street.

These are tinkerings, though, compared to the much greater work that needs to be done to relieve congestion from Route 7 onto Veterans Memorial Bridge and funneling to the downtown village center.

Town and state officials must keep that need in the forefront and seek resolutions. The downtown will never be able to reach its potential if traffic cannot flow smoothly around and through it.

At this moment in time, we urge residents of the Greater New Milford area to pause in appreciation of the project which just has been completed with the realignment of the major roads.

The new sidewalks and park benches, in fact, provide a literal way for folks to take a moment and gaze at the accomplishment of a venture that has been talked about and planned for decades.