Derby road work will force businesses to move, ease traffic

DERBY, Conn. (WTNH) — Planned construction in Derby from the Derby-Shelton Bridge on Main Street to the Route 8 overpass could thin out traffic in the area, but it means some businesses will have to move due to widening of the road.

Kathy Conroy-Cass has owned St. Anthony’s Book & Gift Shop on Main Street for about two years. The busy street makes it a great location to do business, but now because of the construction project, she has to move out by the end of October.

“I have been looking, not finding anything, finding that rents are very, very expensive,” she said. “If I don’t find anything, the state will essentially be putting me out of business.”

The store is one of several businesses that will have to move. Six properties, including apartments, will be relocated.

“They’re offered fair market value based upon appraisals and current sales for the value of the property,” said Rick Dunne, Executive Director of the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments. “Then the tenants are entitled to relocation.”

Some business owners say that isn’t enough. Dunne, however, says something needs to be done about traffic in the area.

“The interchange here at Route 34 and Route 8 along with Route 110 on the other side of the bridge, there are almost 180,000 cars a day that come through that interchange. That’s as many as some of the busiest intersections on I-95,” he said.

Included in the plans are left turn lanes and a new signal system that will be connected with the rest of the system on Route 34. Cyclists and pedestrians will see changes too. A track for walking and biking will run alongside Route 34, connecting the Housatonic River and Naugatuck River Greenways.

Construction is expected to start in 2017 and take about two years.

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