STAMFORD, Conn. -- Stamford Mayor David Martin had some blunt words about the state of the city's roads and bridges in a meeting with U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy Monday afternoon.
"I will tell you point blank: our infrastructure is in shambles,” he said. Martin said the city needs to improve the infrastructure to attract jobs and businesses to the city. He said Home Depot wants to move into the city but the state said it can't because the area it wants to go to - West Main Street and West Avenue - can't handle increased traffic.
"Home Depot wants to locate on an old industrial site a bit north here," Martin said pointing to the West Main - West Avenue intersection. "But we can't do it without improving the traffic."
Murphy visited Stamford to talk about infrastructure, particularly an aging bridge on Pulaski Street near Greenwich Avenue.
Murphy, a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriation Subcommittee on Transportation, visited Stamford as part of a tour of Fairfield County communities to discuss infrastructure. He said President-elect Donald Trump's promises of investing in infrastructure is promising although he said a lot of the details on how it will be paid for remain up in the air.
"He has spent most of the campaign talking about a major infrastructure package and we take him at his word and I want to be best equipped to go into those discussions," he said.
Murphy met with Martin and some of the city's top bureaucrats to discuss the infrastructure issues and Martin brought along a bunch of posters with design plans and photographs of the areas the city is looking to improve.
A design for the intersection of Greenwich Avenue and Pulaski Street calls for a traffic circle to alleviate traffic congestion. Currently there is a flashing red light at the intersection and traffic easily backs up, Martin said.
The city is an economic powerhouse, Martin said as its daytime population rises to 205,000 from its 128,000 residents as it attracts workers and others to come into the city.
“I view Manhattan as a suburb. (New York City Mayor Bill) De Blasio got a kick out of that,” Martin joked.
The city's success in attracting new businesses also depends on improving traffic infrastructure on Interstate 95 and Metro North Railroad.
"If we could get Metro North humming, if we could get I-95 humming then we wouldn't have to try and attract businesses here they would come flooding in.”
Martin said the city is challenged on the capital side of its budget due in large part due to the $60 million for a new police station.
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