Monday, April 6, 2009

Re-homing the Road

I don't like what's going on at the airport.

Less than a mile from my house lies Tweed New Haven, a smallish airport that caters to a few 727s, several private jets and many small planes used for aviation lessons. The airport doesn't bring much to our local economy, and it is a bit of a drain on our tax dollars. But if we didn't have it, we'd miss it. And if it grows any bigger, we'll complain about it.

It's growing.

Sort of.

The airport straddles the East Haven and New Haven border along the Dodge Avenue corridor, flanked by a large empty field and brook on one side, and the runway and main airport site on the other. After much debate (and derision), the plan to expand was approved. So Dodge Avenue is being re-routed to make way for more runway space, which will be laid in the field by the brook. No one asked the frogs or turtles their opinion of this.

Tweed has remained largely unchanged for as long as I can remember. I grew up just on the other side of the airport, in East Haven (aka 'Staven), and spent countless days riding my bike to the fence on Dodge Ave, watching as planes took off and landed. The large planes didn't come to Tweed until I was a bit older, but as a gradeschooler, I loved the rush of the smaller planes as they flew just feet overhead while I stood with my bike chewing Hubba Bubba, my small fingers woven into the links of the fence, my hair whipped by the plane's tailwind.

Now, the brook has been "protected" by a fence of black plastic sheeting, while graders and diggers and dumptrucks shift, haul, and push the earth around. The field is gone, replaced by an enormous dirt worksite. On the upside, this is total entertainment for my children when we pass the trucks on our way to the grocery store or Sean's tae kwon do classes. "Power Miners!" they yell, since the trucks look just like the latest Lego series with which the boys are fascinated.

Today I skipped out of work at lunch to run a few errands. Along the way, I passed the field and the legion of trucks working to change the landscape of the city line. There were no cops directing traffic today. Instead, the trucks were on their own, heavy with the weight of mud, not sand, as the rain poured, and the brook rose up to find itself fenced in.


1 comment:

mary said...

The Queen of England landed there once when we were kids. I remember being taken to the airport to watch her depart the plane-couldn't see much. Then she went to her ship which was in the harbor. Very cool for little old New Haven.