NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Since 2007, the City of New Haven has been working to make getting from downtown to the Hill Neighborhood easier for bikers, drivers, and pedestrians. It’s called the Downtown Crossing project and thanks to a $20-million federal grant from Tiger 8, phase two will be beginning soon.
“Tiger is a very competitive program. Cities and regions from across the country coming together to apply for the US DOT and the city of New Haven is fortunate to have such a strong mayor and a strong partnership with our congressional delegation in order to achieve this magnificent goal,” said Doug Hausladen, Director of Transportation, Traffic and Parking for the city.
Phase one saw the construction of 100 College Street. The building is home to the national headquarters for Alexion Pharmaceuticals and opened for business earlier this year. Phase two will see the addition of another building, plus a bridge that connects Temple Street with the other side of Route 34.
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“Slowly and surely we’ve been rolling back our highway and restitching our neighborhood streets and we’re seeing more and more buildings and more and more investments going into the corridor,” said Hausladen.
For the most part the Downtown Crossing has received strong support from the community.
“I think it’s actually great for the development of the community and this will create jobs and help many citizens of New Haven,” said New Haven resident Kelly Stanton.
But some supporters have some concerns. It’s an area that has been under construction for years and there isn’t an end date in site.
“I think it will be a good improvement but in the meantime when there’s construction it makes it worse than better,” said Emily Dutrow, a New Haven resident for the past two years.
Other projects for the area include a one million square foot multi-use, multi-income development where the old Coliseum once stood. In the end, what once was a highway will be a livable, workable space that brings downtown even closer to the waterfront.