On Friday July 13th family members with loved ones buried at Fairview Cemetery in New Britain joined Senator Joe Markley and Representatives Whit Betts and Rob Sampson to express their anger and concern over this portion of the New Britain to Hartford Busway project.
“I visited the cemetery and the bus will be passing extremely close to my uncle Edwin. I am disgusted!” said Candice Hewins of New Britain.
Fairview Cemetery is one of the city’s oldest and most revered cemeteries in the city of New Britain. The Mayor’s office recently described it as, “an historical property that has gone unprotected for years.”
"It's shameful that this historic and peaceful place--where 3,500 souls, including many veterans, rest--is now a huge construction site for this unnecessary project,” said Sen. Markley.
“What we are seeing as construction begins is the down side of what Governor Malloy and his administration is doing; destroying businesses, disrupting neighborhoods and disturbing graves,” remarked Rep. Sampson.
Candice Hewins of New Britain had written to lawmakers expressing her disappointment. A portion of her letter reads: This is supposed to be a place of eternal rest for my relatives and how can this be when a busy busway will be going directly through this place of rest. There has been no notification from the state or cemetery to the families that have relatives buried here.
“It is unbelievable to me that the state can get away with construction so close to headstones and it appears none of the families were told of the action,” added Rep. Betts.
The busway is expected to cost nearly $600 million with eleven stops from New Britain to Hartford. Construction started in May and is expected to be finished in 2014. A Department of Transportation spokesperson said no graves will be moved and the entire two-lane roadway and shoulders, multi-use trail, drainage, decorative fencing and parapets (low walls) will be in the historic rail right of way approximately 66 feet wide.
"While the administration pushes Busway construction at breakneck speed, transportation projects that would address existing problems languish. The governor's priorities ignore the needs and the desires of the people. The real cost of this Busway--not simply in dollars, but in disruption of business and travel, damage to neighborhoods and to sites like this cemetery--will become apparent as construction proceeds,” said Sen. Markley.
“Visiting the cemetery today and seeing graves within just a few feet of the path cleared for the busway, I found shocking. Has anyone considered the loved ones visiting their departed with buses whizzing past as frequently as every few minutes and only feet away?”
Rep. Sampson remarked. “Worth while construction can be disruptive but the vast majority of people believe this is not worthy and a lot of people will be put through a lot of grief for this boondoggle.”
(Attached is Candice Hewins full letter)
Dear Senator Markley,
I am writing to you today about the proposed bus way project. I am strongly opposed to the bus way.
I was born in New Britain and moved to Kensington, CT when I was 10. I moved back to New Britain 7 years ago however my family lived in New Britain for many years. Fairview Cemetery is where my maternal grandfather and grandmother, Uncle Edward and various other family members are buried. I had no knowledge that this proposed bus way was going through this cemetery and was shocked beyond belief when I drove by on Saturday June 30th.
I know that the railroad tracks were there for many years however a very large bus way is a whole different scenario. This is supposed to be a place of eternal rest for my relatives and how can this be when a busy bus way is going directly through this place of rest. There has been no notification from the state or cemetery to the families that have relatives buried here. I did visit the cemetery and the bus will be passing extremely close to my uncle Edwin. I am disgusted!
I have heard mixed messages about the location of this bus way in relation to Fairview Cemetery. It almost seems that supporters attempt to say it is “close to Fairview” without mentioning the bus way would pass through the cemetery.
I don’t understand how a fence or Jersey barrier will help the cause of disturbing an eternal resting place. In my opinion this bus way is a huge waste of taxpayers hard-earned money. I don’t know anyone that will use this bus way. How can we spend this money when the State in the red as it is?
Please stop this bus!
Candice L. Hewins A concerned citizen!