Groups meet Tuesday to protest I-95 Exit 33 changes

Several groups plan to meet Tuesday to talk about their concerns about the redesign of I-95 Exit 33, and to formally ask Milford Mayor Ben Blake to request a state hearing on the matter.

According to a press release from former Speaker of the House James Amann and his associate Kevin Moore, the meeting will take place Tuesday, Aug. 18, at 6 p.m. at the Village Marina at 40 Bridgeport Avenue in Milford.

“Amid continued rising anger and concern from local small businesses bordering the I-95 Exit 33 area in Milford and Stratford and from environmentalists opposed to Connecticut’s Department of Transportation’s (DOT) plan to redesign Exit 33,” the press release states, “the Devon Merchants Association and Revitalization Committee and the Stratford Action for the Environment (SAFE) have scheduled a meeting to discuss their concerns and to formally ask Mayor Benjamin Blake to request a local public hearing with the DOT.”

The public is invited to attend Tuesday’s meeting.

The plan calls for adding a southbound Exit 33 in Stratford and adding a northbound entrance 33 in Stratford.

While there is opposition to the interchange plan, there also has been support in Stratford and Milford.

One of the project’s main supporters is Stratford Mayor John Harkins, who touts the changes as a key to revitalizing business in his community. The Stratford mayor has said the expanded I-95 interchange 33 project would lead to increased commerce and business expansion along Stratford’s Route 1 corridor.

He also suggests that further development of Ferry Boulevard/Stratford Avenue could be achieved if the project is implemented, noting that the project would also relieve traffic congestion in Stratford Center and at I-95 Exit 32 in Stratford.

Others in favor of the project have said they think the changes may alleviate traffic congestion in the Devon section of Milford.

Kim Rose, state Rep. of the 118th district in Milford which includes that area, said she has been talking with officials about the plan.

"I have been in touch with the mayor and state offices, and we will be happy to coordinate a public hearing on the proposed Exit 33 in Stratford," Rose said. "I am anxious to read the results of the economic study that the mayor requested for the Devon area businesses."