Yes, Everyone Route 6 is Almost Done
From Terryville to Farmington, Route 6 in Bristol has evolved over time into a major commercial corridor and main route, known to the locals as “the Avenue.” It is heavily traveled, and largely built out with mostly commercial uses abutting residential neighborhoods. As a major arterial roadway that carries both local and through traffic, it is a critical link to downtown, while providing important access into Bristol's neighborhoods as well as to Farmington and Plymouth.
The City recently completed a study of the Route 6 Corridor that is available online at the City’s website. Many of the commercial complexes are aging and may be on the threshold of redevelopment. The question becomes how to encourage reinvestment in the corridor and at the same time encourage that redevelopment to be of a shape and form the community desires. All of this creates some challenges for today but also strong future opportunities.
Connected to the future of this roadway, the State of CT project to reconstruct the Route 6 Corridor from the intersection of Mix to the Farmington town line is entering its final 6 months. In fact, Eversource is on schedule to complete their work this week.
Meanwhile, Empire Construction indicated that they anticipate completing concrete work in the next 2 months followed by full depth reconstruction of the roadway. Full depth reconstruction means digging up the existing pavement, installing gravel, process & pavement. During full depth reconstruction two way traffic will be maintained, and then reduced to one way traffic provided at night. The State DOT will issue and provide a construction notice two weeks prior to the start of night operations.
At the end of this two year process, the City will have improved turning lanes, upgraded traffic signals, additional travel lanes, and the installation of ADA compliant ramps at all intersections as well as new curbing and sidewalks.
We understand that this has been a difficult process for those who travel on Route 6 on a regular basis, as well as to those neighbors who live on the now popular “cut through streets.” With that being said, I want to take a moment to talk about the businesses who have seen the traffic stack up, their access points blocked, and people comment that they are going to “stay away from the area.” Despite the closing of Sonic and Staples, neither of which were connected to the construction, we have seen dozens of small businesses soldier on and become creative to retain customers.
The City Council and I would like to encourage Bristol residents to be positive and instead of avoiding the area, take the opportunity to adventure out to a new store or restaurant that you haven’t tried yet. For example, the West End Association’s Taste of Bristol 20% discount card is good for the entire month of April and features Bonsai Japanese Restaurant, Chunky Tomato, Corner Pizza, Menchie’s Yogurt, Fuji Japanese Steak House, Fresh Craft Grille with a Carvel inside it; Thai Avenue, and ZZaam on it – all located on Route 6. (Taste cards available for $5 purchase in the Mayor’s Office).
On Sunday April 7, you can also participate in the Cash Mob by stopping in at the family-owned Golden Pagoda in the Bristol Farms Plaza (with the Edge and Big Lots) from Noon-9pm. These Cash Mobs are designed to give a local business a big boost on one specific day, with the thought that it may attract potential new customers.
In addition to these named businesses there are dozens more – lawyers, medical, massage therapists, hair salons, pet supplies, home improvement, cars, real estate and insurance, laundry facilities, baskets and gifts, auto parts, computer services, and printers. The next time you are traveling down the Avenue, please take a moment to look around when you are at a traffic light or paused in traffic, and make a decision to visit a business you have not visited before. If everyone did that once a month over the next 6 months, imagine the support that would bolster these businesses, all of which contribute to our tax rolls and help pay for the municipal services that we all enjoy.
Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu, April 1, 2019