Connecticut DOT Explains Why So Many Trees Are Missing From I-84 in Danbury
If you drive on I-84 in Danbury often, then you've probably noticed the landscape has changed quite a bit.
There's been a lot of speculation over the last few days as to why so many trees on I-84 in Danbury have been cut down. We've heard rumors all over the place. Seriously, everything from some sort of parasite infestation to the widening of the roadway -- we even heard Donald Trump could be building a new golf course there (that one's definitely not true).
So we did our due diligence, and got to the bottom of things for you. We talked with Kevin Nursick, one of the Communication Directors at the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT). He gave us the official word from the state:
"It's basically what they call routine tree work," said Kevin. "It's the state maintenance forces using a contractor to remove a multitude of trees. It's broken down into three categories: your dead, dying and decaying trees, trees that are infected with invasive pests like the Emerald Ash Borer and Gypsy Moths, and of course trees that, believe it or not, were compromised back in 2018 by the tornadoes and macrobursts that hit the area.
Nursick went on to say that the project is also "dealing with what we call clear zones and sight lines to some extent. The state has decades of tree encroachment on the highway, because we were never funded to address these issues. Trees have grown too close to the highway and we typically look for a 30-foot clear zone on either side of the highway."
So just how long will this project continue? Kevin also filled us in on the timeline, saying that "The current project started around exit 8 and has been moving westward towards the I-84 / Super 7 interchange, clearing out sight lines. We have also moved eastbound doing the same type of maintenance," he added. "We expect to finish the current project by Tuesday in the vicinity of exit 6. There's no shortage of tree work to be done in the state, and we'll continue to do the work as long as the funding lasts. So far the feedback has been good, especially from state police who have already commented on the improved sight line."
So, when you're on I-84, expect a new look as you travel on the highway. Also, keep in mind the work is being done to make your commute a safer one.
Click through the gallery for some photos of I-84 new look as you travel through Danbury: