To the Editor:
Since the informative Op-Ed commentary by Dr Gregory Stroud on January 29th outlining the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) alternative proposals for the North East Corridor, there has been considerable concern among Old Lyme residents and others over the potentially catastrophic impact posed by the so-called “Alternative 1” solution.
“Alternative 1” proposes a new rail bridge crossing the Connecticut river diagonally between the I95 highway bridge and the existing old rail bridge. Apparently, this new route would consist of four tracks and will closely follow the I95 bisecting Lyme Street through the Lyme Art Academy campus and a stone’s throw from other historical properties including the Lyme Art Association, the Old Lyme Inn and the Bee and Thistle Inn. In addition it appears to obliterate the Hall’s Road shopping center.
One might have expected that the proposed potential destruction of the heart of one of Connecticut’s most treasured historical sites would warrant some prior discussion with the local community. Amazingly, of the eleven public hearings conducted between mid-December and mid-January none of them were held within 30 miles of Old Lyme – arguably the town most heavily impacted by this proposal.
Our elected officials seem to have been equally unaware of the implications until about a week ago. Did any of them attend the hearings in Hartford or New Haven or were they as much in the dark as the rest of us? Why has the local community not been informed or consulted?
The deadline for public comment has been extended from January 31st to February 16th – I hope that all citizens who treasure the beauty and historical significance of Old Lyme follow Dr Stroud’s advice and contact the FRA at www.necfuture.com and urge them to adopt an alternative solution.