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How Do You Feel About Route 80's New Look?

The cherry trees in front of the church are gone and more are being cut–what do you think?

Over the past week-and-a-half, there has been a  in North Branford. First the trees at Wall Field were cleared, then those along Great Hill Road prompting to

Today, the cherry trees in front of were cut down and as I type, the trees at the are coming down limb by limb. 

The project, which is being run by the Connecticut DOT, . As part of the project, with the help of several state-funded STEAP grants, including the .

Jenn McCulloch June 07, 2012 at 05:17 PM
From Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/NorthBranfordPatch): Barbara Gemini Haglund says, "I cant belive how naked it looks now its amazing how many trees they are cutting down."
Bob Maroney June 07, 2012 at 05:28 PM
I miss the tree lined road,but I suppose it had to be done
Jenn McCulloch June 07, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Folks are not happy with the new look, according to Facebook posts, including "its looks disgusting," from Charles Monte and "Hate" from Felice Fish Raucci.
Abbie Walston June 07, 2012 at 06:10 PM
I'm disappointed because last week Rep. Candelora said they were just going to trim the cherry trees, not cut them down completely (in a comment on my post). I have heard that the state is supposed to "replace" the trees, but you can't obviously replace them with equivalent trees. This whole project says a lot about what our decision-makers think about progress, development and the feel of our town, at least back when it was originally voted on in the 90's. I have no bad feelings toward the people doing the cutting, they're just doing their jobs and the decisions were made long ago. I'm hopeful that this will bring our town together and that we'll really think about how the nature of our town will change when deciding on future projects. I remain hopeful that this project will make our town more walkable and safe by adding sidewalks, cross-walks, etc., because you couldn't pay me a million dollars to walk down Rt. 80 right now with my son. I would love to be able to walk to Central Plaza, the church or the library. But I'm not holding my breath.
Kathleen Ramunni (Editor) June 07, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Don't like it at all! I drive through North Branford to get hay in Guilford and immediately noticed how bare everything is now. I hope they plan on replanting after the work is done.
Carrie June 07, 2012 at 10:12 PM
It looks terrible, and judging by the way they "replaced plantings " in the other sections that were previously done, it isn't going to ever look much better. So much for the small town center....it is going to look like Rt. 80 does through East Haven when they are through.
Blue Sky June 08, 2012 at 12:13 AM
They better replace the trees. For every one tree cut, they have to plant two! North Branford should stay a small town. Thats why people move there. For the quite and the beauty of a small town. North Branford does not want to become a city like NEW HAVEN. The crime, the noise and the cement walls. Keep the green alive.
Blue Sky June 08, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Abbie - don't you know this by now....politicians lie! When have they ever told the truth.
Marcia Blossom Duenkel June 08, 2012 at 11:43 AM
When the church members had a meeting with the DOT several years ago we were assured that the cherry trees would be replaced. I expect them to hold up their end of the bargain. They also said that the telephone poles would be moved to the opposite side of Rt. 80, which would be a big improvement and with the proper landscaping and sidewalks that area could be made much nicer. The bigger issue is slowing the traffic down in that area. You are having multiple lanes all merge together right in front of the church. Last week a pickup truck hit another truck, flipped three times and landed on top of a third truck. I don't think we intended to offer "drive through" service at church!
Ron June 08, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Of course things look bad right now IT'S UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!! Hopefully this project will make this town a little more attractive for some new businesses to move in and remove some of the tax burden from the home owners.
Rep. Vin Candelora June 08, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Abbie, I apologize, but when I served on the council, we got assurances from DOT that the trees would stay. I've inquired yesterday and found out that DOT met with the Church and they negotiated a proposal to remove the trees in exchange for a larger church green and landscaping improvements. Ultimately, the Church owns the land and has the sole discretion in making those decisions. Blue Sky, your comments are offensive. Not all poltiicans lie. There are many that still believe in public service and work toward representing their constituents. On that note, I will be meeting with DOT next week on site to get more details of the final outcome of the construction. If anyone has questions, please shoot them my way, and I'll ask them.
Denise George June 08, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Please do not blame the Church for the Cherry Trees! That is no longer Church property as the state informed us that they will be taking it and although the Church will be compensated for the loss of the property they most certainly DID NOT agree to have the trees removed in exchange for more land or any such thing! The state has offered to replace them and of course we would hope that they would repair whatever landscaping they have destroyed. Please do get all the details from DOT before commenting and get the Church's point of view as well.
Denise George June 08, 2012 at 02:00 PM
It saddens me to drive home now. When I was young, we used to drive up Route 80 and considered it "driving through the country". I'm starting to feel like "The Little House" by Virginia Lee Burton. The city is moving in to our lovely country town. I don't understand why they have to do this in the first place. What was wrong with it before? Who complained? It's sad.
Denise George June 08, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Amen!
Blue Sky June 08, 2012 at 02:35 PM
How is that inappropiate - last time I checked the constituion we have freedom of speech and I did not swear. Its the truth, politicians lie. It's the only way they know to get a vote. Tell the people what they want to hear even if they can't do it. It's been known for years. Wake up and smell the coffee.
Claire Glossa June 08, 2012 at 05:03 PM
I dont like the new look because all of North Branford looks as though it is being demolished. I feel that the animals are not going to have anywhere to live because the wilderness is coming down. Also the animals are going to be killed like they were in the winter because their home is being completely destroyed. I like the route 80 will be wider but i feel as though there is going to be still alot of traffic trouble.
Marcia Blossom Duenkel June 08, 2012 at 05:17 PM
You only have to drive a little further west on Rt. 80 under the new bridge and take a look to the right at the hillside with all the crushed stone and overgrown weeds and sumac "trees" to wonder how attractive the new landscaping is going to look!
Abbie Walston June 08, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Thank you Mr. Candelora for reading the comments and responding. I appreciate your offer to find out more information as well. I personally fail to see how widening the road will improve the local economy or lower our tax burden, since in that area alone 2 banks and IGA have closed in recent years. As for the trees, what's done is done. Let's all move forward as a community and think about what is really important to our town.
Abbie Walston June 08, 2012 at 07:43 PM
And Marcia I agree! Don't forget about the concrete retaining wall!
Denise George June 09, 2012 at 12:32 AM
They'd better not put all those awful rocks in!
Krista Surprenant June 09, 2012 at 01:00 AM
It seems to me that as stated in other posts- this vote for the improvements were done in the early 90's. There is a whole new set of taxpayers and voters that are now here in town. I just hope that the small town, countryscapes and tradition make it through. That is what attracts families to stay here for generations upon generations.
Patricia Solakian June 10, 2012 at 12:42 PM
The improvements were agreed upon because many towns people complained about the traffic. it has improved some with the first widening . I feel that the rural country feel is being taken away. in 2005 I took my son and his date to the church to take prom pics so that I would have a picture of those beautiful cherry trees. left for a trip 2 weeks ago and said good-bye to them knowing they would be gone when I returned. There must be progress but why at our expense? You wouldn't see this on main street in Guilford!

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