Local and state officials met with residents of Sandy Hook's Riverside section Friday morning to hear their opinions on a long-sought idea — protective barriers and noise abatement to counteract the ongoing bridge work on the stretch of Interstate 84 that passes by the area.
Connecticut Dept. of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker, First Selectman Pat Llodra and State Rep. Mitch Bolinsky spoke with about 30 residents on Center Street to hear their concerns about safety and sound barriers, which Bolinsky said had "been rejected for more than a decade."
"In the meantime, traffic volume continues to increase, along with greater negative impacts to their quality of life," said Bolinsky. "With the construction, noise adversely affects residents' quality of life, flying debris endangers the safety of children at the local bus stop and there has even been criminal incursion and incidents of illegal trespass into residences originating from Interstate 84 eastbound."
Interstate 84 overpasses Center Street, and runs parallel to Riverside Road and Underhill Road.
Trees had provided a natural sound barrier for the area, Bolinsky said in a press release issued by his office. But tree damage due to storms Irene and Sandy, as well as an ongoing tree-cutting project spearheaded by the DOT, have left residents exposed.
Bolinsky said he would ask Redeker to look into noise abatement measures for the district.
"Neighbors should not be subjected to falling debris and untenable noise at all hours of the day and night," he said. "It is my hope the visit from the Commissioner Redeker will jumpstart an equitable solution." .