New Haven working to rebuild neighborhood removed by Route 34

Route 34 between Temple and College Streets, as it appears today, October 14, 2016. (WTNH)
Route 34 between Temple and College Streets, as it appears today, October 14, 2016. (WTNH)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — When construction crews dug the trench for the old Route 34 through downtown New Haven, they effectively divided the city. Now, the city is trying to correct that mistake.

Phase One resulted in the Alexion building. Remember, that used to be Route 34, now it looks like any other city block. That building began with a federal infrastructure grant called a Tiger grant. New Haven just got another, bigger grant to basically, do it again.

This time, the project will take place one block closer to Interstate 95, in the space between Temple and College Streets. New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, Senators Blumenthal and Murphy, and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro all stood on the roof of the Temple Street Garage looking down at that plot Friday, to imagine what it will look like in a few years.

DeLauro outlined at the news conference just how big of an impact this project will have for the City of New Haven.

It transforms the old Route 34 highway into a walkable street grid that connects the downtown, the medical district, the hill, Union Station and, as the Mayor pointed out, 10 acres of developable land.”

The Alexion building provided 2,000 temporary jobs to build it, and 1,000 permanent jobs now that it is up and running. They figure a new building of similar size could do the same, or better. The idea is for the government to spend some money improving infrastructure, so that a private company will come in a spend a lot more money building a new home in New Haven.

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