WESTBROOK, Conn. (WTNH) — Signs displaying the message ‘Coming Soon” on I-95 in Westbrook may truly be a welcome site for weary travelers.
Department of Transportation crews are trimming trees along the popular highway route for beach-goers. But these trees line the entrance to the Connecticut Welcome Center which is slated to reopen in the next two weeks after being shut down for three years.
“I think it will be a welcome addition to any of the travelers here in Connecticut as well as the locals that need a quick stop so I think it’s long overdue,” said Dave Sylvester who splits his time between homes in Old Saybrook and Kensington.
There will be a deep clean at the welcome center which looks a little frozen in time. One of the maps which advertise local businesses is from 2016.
It’s been since April 2016 that any visitor has been in the building.
Some minor plumbing upgrades and some updated pamphlets may be needed. But posted driving distances are still on target.
The welcome center is expected to be a driving force for tourism.
“Our people can tell them about everything else that’s going on and they extend their stay for another day or so and that happens a lot of times,” said Randy Fiveash, the Director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism.
Westbrook will be manned from 9 to 6 each day but the building and facilities are expected to be available 24/7.
“I think it will be money well spent for the taxpayers in Connecticut to make that investment,” said Sylvester.
“You never know who’s going to come into one of those centers that may want to end up living in Connecticut, starting a business in Connecticut, and that may be their first point of contact,” said Fiveash.
Soon they’ll no longer be forced to drive by the barriers which blocked the entrance for years.