Towns Want Circ Highway Funds

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(Host) Four Chittenden County communities where the Circumferential Highway would have been built are banding together to preserve the road’s funding for other projects.

Officials in Essex, Essex Junction, Williston and Colchester hope to find alternative solutions to traffic problems that the Circ Highway was intended to resolve.

Part of the planned ring road through the Burlington suburbs was built, but construction for the bulk of it has been called off.

Linda Myers is the chair of the Essex Select Board. She was an outspoken proponent of the Circ.

(Myers) "Since we’re not going to have the Circ Highway, I’m hoping that certainly for the Town of Essex that we’ll be able to come up with some plans and actually start working on plans that will help alleviate some of the traffic and obviously the emissions that comes from the traffic that comes through the town."

(Host) Myers says whether funds are made available or not, the first thing the four towns need to do is reach an agreement on a plan.

(Meyers) "We’re talking about the North Williston Road; the exit of the Circ that does exist, and 2A. There are several places where had the Circ happened we would have solved problems."

(Host) In May, Governor Peter Shumlin called off the project because of opposition by the Environmental Protection Agency.

But Shumlin said he wanted to work with the communities to help them solve their traffic problems.

Later this week, Secretary of Transportation Brian Searles will meet with a task force of business and town leaders that’s looking for alternatives to the Circ.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said Gov. Shumlin would meet with the task force.

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