In political terms replacing–or lack of–the Congress Street Bridge is an election ritual.
In the 14 years since Jim Himes’ election to Congress every Republican opponent has taken him to task as a measure of inaction. Jayme Stevenson, who also occupies the Independent Party line on Nov. 8, is the latest. See video above.
Elected in the Barack Obama election tsunami of 2008, Himes had done the same to his Republican predecessor Chris Shays citing his failure to deliver bucks for a replacement drawbridge over the Pequonnock River to reconnect the East Side with Downtown forcing headquarters for the city’s Fire Department to navigate a longer route for responses after the bridge got stuck open in 1997.
It’s now been 25 years.
Himes negotiated the money to remove the stuck-open bridge, but the logistics of a replacement span has stalled despite Himes and the city announcing years ago the $20 million or so required is in place.
Issues with adjoining property owners and required state permitting are the latest issues cited by city development officials that had projected replacement work commencing this year.
It’s also an undertaking Mayor Joe Ganim wants started as he goes before voters next year seeking another four-year term. If work doesn’t commence, opponents will certainly pounce.