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Study of proposed road link sought


Hoping to breathe new life into a long-discussed proposal, some politicians have asked the county executive to put a multimillion-dollar connection between Route 100 and Fort Smallwood Road on the county's priority list of transportation projects.

Pasadena's District 31 legislative delegation - state Sen. Philip C. Jimeno and Dels. Joan Cadden, Mary Rosso and John R. Leopold, the lone Republican - said such an action by County Executive Janet S. Owens would allow the State Highway Administration to conduct a feasibility study on the project.

The study, which would identify potential locations and firm up costs of the connector, would be necessary to implement the road proposal. Shirley Murphy, county councilwoman from Pasadena, said the cost has been estimated at $20 million.

Owens supports a connector road, said her spokesman, Andrew C. Carpenter.

"County Executive Owens is talking with Councilwoman Murphy and the delegation about the connector road's future and is trying to work out the details of how to get it into the priority list," he said.

The road, which was first discussed during the administration of Owens' predecessor, John G. Gary, would help reduce traffic on Hog Neck Road and Edwin Raynor Boulevard, now the only direct routes between Route 100 and Fort Smallwood Road.

The legislators and county officials said they hope the money for the project will come from the state because the proposal includes state roads.

"There's certainly more state funding than county funding," Murphy said.

Need for a connector will increase because of traffic to and from the 36-hole Compass Pointe Golf Course on Fort Smallwood Road, which will have its groundbreaking next month, Murphy said.

Although a location for the road has not been pinpointed, consensus is that it would start at the intersection of Route 100 and Mountain Road and run north to intersect Fort Smallwood Road near the bus lot owned by the county school board, said Paul Armstrong, a district engineer for the State Highway Administration.

The project could take 5 to 10 years to complete, he said.

Cadden said a connector road would be better than the alternative of widening the intersection of Mountain Road and Hog Neck Road.

She said a connector road would likely remove at least 50 percent of the traffic on Hog Neck Road, which would make it unnecessary for the intersection to be reconfigured.

"It might be the answer to everything," Cadden said.

Carolyn Roeding, president of the Greater Pasadena Council, said the community would support the road because it would relieve traffic congestion but that she doesn't want to get her hopes up when the project isn't on a budget.

"I'm just a little skeptical now, skeptical as to, is this real or is it still just being talked about," she said.

James Bilenki Jr., co-chairman of the Mountain Road Peninsula Preservation Committee, is not enthusiastic about a connector road. He is concerned that it would foster development.

"We've seen this area down here go from a quiet, aesthetic area to one of hustle and bustle," he said.

Bilenki acknowledged a need for the road and said he would support having it.

"If you wouldn't put so much in an area, you wouldn't need a connector road to expedite the traffic off," he said.

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