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How Does 'Rocky Hill Volunteer Fire Department Memorial Highway' Sound To You?

Two Rocky Hill lawmakers, state Sen. Paul Doyle and Rep. Antonio Guerrerea, hope to designate Route 99 this new title.

Could the portion of Route 99 that goes through Rocky Hill be designated in honor of the local fire department?

That's at least one porposal on the table, according to a piece of legislation introduced this year by state Sen. Paul Doyle and Rep. Antonio Guerrera, two members of Rocky Hill's delegation in Hartford, as well as state Sen. John Fonfara and Rep. Russ Morin of Wethersfield.

Under the proposal, titled Bill No. 244, the portion of Route 99, a state highway  that runs through Rocky Hill would be designated "Rocky Hill Volunteer Fire Department Memorial Highway," while the portion of the highway running through Wethersfield would be designated the "Wethersfield Volunteer Fire Department Memorial Highway."

The bill is now being discussed by the General Assembly's Committee on Transportation.

Multiple state highways in Connecticut retain both a numerical designation but also a name, usually recognizing a local official, noted figure or a municipal police or fire department.

Here's the statement of purpose on the proposal, which explains a bit more about it:


"To rename Route 99 in Wethersfield and Rocky Hill to recognize the volunteer fire departments in each municipality.

Route 99 begins as the northbound Exit 18 ramp of Route 9 in Cromwell. At the end of the off ramp, the road continues north as Main Street. (Access from Main Street to the southbound on-ramp for Route 9 is designated as State Road 901).

Main Street is a two-lane road that goes north through Cromwell up to Rocky Hill for about 5.6 miles (9.0 km). At the junction with Elm Street (Route 160), the road becomes a four-lane road known as the Silas Deane Highway. The Silas Deane Highway continues through Rocky Hill up to the town of Wethersfield. It serves as the main thoroughfare of these two towns, also providing access to several shopping centers. Route 99 has interchanges with Interstate 91 in Rocky Hill and the Wilbur Cross Highway (Route 15) in Wethersfield.

At the Hartford city line, Route 99 ends but the road continues into downtown Hartford as Wethersfield Avenue."

WINEGUY51 March 11, 2013 at 10:57 AM
would rather call it the "stepney highway"...its a lot shorter name!
Kathleen Hoesel March 11, 2013 at 12:33 PM
They couldn't come up with something shorter? Can you imagine having to say all that when giving directions?
Ron Kehoe March 11, 2013 at 01:06 PM
Who was Silas Deane? With the renaming of this historic roadway, future residents will lose a part of the history that formed the communities that we now live in. Can't wait for when some lame brain decides to rename the Washington Monument. Long after achievements are memorialized, underachievers attempt to undermine those results. I can't believe that the ACLU hasn't got a finger in this. Name is way to long but who would use commonsense to think this out before it reached this stage. Our politicians should also be thinking about what these changes mean to this change. Our volunteers do such great work, but really, is this what they want as recognition? Ron Kehoe
Edward Chiucarello March 11, 2013 at 01:58 PM
i vote no on this one...give silas Deane his credit...name something else for the fire dept...
Peter Alessi March 11, 2013 at 03:30 PM
I agree with Edward.. Leave Silas Deane alone.. If you want to honor the Fireman then do something for them and leave Historical names alone
MaryJane Borcynski March 11, 2013 at 03:47 PM
Leave it as it is....its history and history has its place. Besides, Rocky Hill Volunteer Firemen Memorial Department Highway is really pushing it. Soon Mains Street will be Rocky Hill Police Department Street...then Catherine Drive will be named Rep. Antonio Guerrerea Drive and then some other street will be Senator Paul Doyle Road....I would really like to see my street named Mary-Jane Borcynski Lane! Why does everyone want to remove history from the towns, cities and state we live in? We could name Capitol Avenue after every serving governor and change the name every four years. And while we are at it....lets change the state of Connecticut to...oh, lets see....The Way Out of Times state...! I laugh when I see highway signs on I 91 etc, saying this is Neil Esposito Memorial Highway( a section on I91) Why? Just because he was having sex while driving he gets a highway named in his honor? Oh wait, no, its because he had money...! Name new street whatever you want....Leave other street names as they were named for. Leave History as history.
MaryJane Borcynski March 11, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Besides....doesnt Senators Doyle and Guerrerea have more important issues to work on...?
Major A. March 11, 2013 at 05:16 PM
OMG! Someone(s) must be looking for votes again. How absurd is this proposal! You're all correct, these officials have better things to do with their time, and the name is way too long and complicated. Hey, Ive got a flash of brilliance ... why not name the firehouses after them?
John Brush March 11, 2013 at 05:31 PM
I agree with most of the above; this is totally absurd and a waste of time and money for new signage!
Todd Brown March 11, 2013 at 07:48 PM
No, we have enough dedicated roads in the state already. Most of the roads that are memorials never get explain why a road is dedicated to someone or who they were. We have enough signs on our roads already, plus who is going to pay for this sign? The state is already spending too much.
Michele March 12, 2013 at 02:08 AM
Should stay Silas Deane!
Linda DeLillo March 12, 2013 at 06:33 AM
RIDICULOUS! Doesn't Rocky Hill have enough to worry about? Can you imagine trying to giving directions to someone and having to say "just go south on the Rocky Hill Volunteer Fire Department Memorial Highway" to get to Rocky Hill. Four politicians thought this up???
Eric Hopkins March 12, 2013 at 11:42 AM
Another great idea by our well educated politicians! Way to go guys! China laughs at us. While we are busy renaming highways, making personal license plates, and investing in illegal immigrants, China is investing in their future (children) and taking care of the elderly, and buying everything they can in this country. Future is looking bright for our children! Our Gov't continues to fail! Sure, rename it, then you can pat yourself on the back for getting something done.
Edward Chiucarello March 12, 2013 at 01:56 PM
I received a message from Town Manager Barbara Gilbert which said that Silas Deane Highway would not be renamed. The name would stay the same and It would be dedicated as the RH Vol F Mem Hwy. They should revise the bill (now 6559) to say that. I could live with that. Thanks to TM Gilbert for clarifying. Ed, The Silas Deane Highway would not change names and would remain the Silas Deane Highway just as West Street remained as West Street after it was dedicated as the Nicholas LaRosa Memorial Highway. The State Legislature has over the years dedicated many roads on behalf of different groups, but this is more of a dedication rather than a changing of names. For Example, Glastonbury Avenue is dedicated to Donna Askintowitcz, West Street to Nicholas LaRosa and Rte 91 through Rocky Hill to another group. Signs will not be changed, maps will not be changed, all that will change is a sign that dedicates the road to the Fire Fighters. Barbara Gilbert Town Manager
Jim Whalen March 12, 2013 at 02:22 PM
Now I see why our elected officials were to busy to notice that a prison was opening in town. Maybe we should name it after them.
Harry March 12, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Can we rename West Street to Malloys Residentail Prison Way
Jim Choquette March 12, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Why not just put a plaque or something on the town green? Something would be nice but to rename 99/Silas Deane Hwy seems frivolous and most unnecessary. Like the XL Center that folks still call The Hartford Civic Center renaming Silas Deane is not going to have an impact other than annoyance. Our town needs to focus on what's already on the table. PS: For those of you claiming there are enough text books in the high school especially for honors classes and AP classes I have news for you....there are not. My son has been sharing or using a teacher's book during his senior year....but we are told how this textbook issue isn't real.....
Eric Hopkins March 12, 2013 at 07:12 PM
How about letting the glory of "good works" be with the Lord!
cjd11 March 12, 2013 at 07:59 PM
No disrespect intended, but that's kind of a strange comment. If all roads were named after God, it would be pretty hard to give directions. And we're talking about the Silas Deane Highway here- it's not exactly a wonder of the natural world like the Grand Canyon or the Great Barrier Reef. Ed, thanks for posting that explanation, it seems a lot more reasonable. I'd like to know the back story (was this bill made on behalf of a particular honorable fire fighter, suggested by a Rocky Hill/Wethersfield resident, or was it an original idea of the sponsors?), but it seems pretty harmless.
Eric Hopkins March 12, 2013 at 09:30 PM
No, you mis-read what I said. Let the glory of any good works be with the Lord. I didn't say to rename it after the Lord.

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