TOP STORIES 2016: ROUTE 11'S DEMISE
After decades of lobbying by local officials and studies costing millions, the proposal to extend Route 11 beyond its abrupt end in Salem finally ended in October when the Federal Highway Administration published an announcement in the Federal Register.
In the announcement, the FHA said it was canceling plans for an environmental impact study on the project. The study was required before the approximately 8 miles of highway connecting the existing Route 11 to the Interstate 95-395 intersection at the East Lyme-Waterford town line could be built.
The project would have cost an estimated $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion, paid for with a combination of state and federal funds. About $12.7 million has been spent by the state Department of Transportation over the last two decades on studies, plans and preliminary design work for the extension.
Construction on the existing 8.5-mile highway from Colchester to Salem stopped in 1979.
Doug Hecox, spokesman for the FHA, said the agency decided to publish the notice signaling that the project is no longer under consideration after months of inaction by the state DOT.