Senator Chapin Introduces Legislation to Rename Portion of Route 8 for Two Local Figures [Torrington Register Citizen]

January 29, 2013

Article as it appeared in the Torrington Register Citizen on January 29, 2013

Winsted youth, legislator will be remembered by Route 8 legislation

By Jason Siedzik

TORRINGTON — Legislation to honor two figures tied into Route 8 is on its way through the Connecticut General Assembly, at the behest of local legislators.

Connecticut Senator Clark Chapin introduced a pair of bills to rename a portion of the Route 8 freeway, as well as an overpass, for two recently deceased persons. The first bill, SB 631, would rename the bridge which takes Greenwoods Road over the highway in honor of Jerry “Dale” Cox III, who died when his truck struck the overpass.

The second bill, SB 632, would name the stretch of the highway between Exits 43 and 45 after longtime state legislator John “Tony” Misciokoski.

Both bills were referred to the Joint Committee on Transportation on Jan. 24. So far, the Joint Committee on Transportation has only held one meeting, on Jan. 14, which consisted mostly of introductions between the various legislators and staffers from the Department of Transportation and the Department of Motor Vehicles. The next committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, following an informational meeting on Monday.

Misciokoski fought for a four-lane freeway stretching into Massachusetts during his 22-year legislative career, eventually becoming known as “Mr. Route 8” for his efforts. The longtime area representative did not see his proposed freeway come to fruition, but his legacy lives on in not only the hearts of political figures, but also the Connecticut Lottery.

Misciokoski filed the bill to establish the lottery in 1967, four years before then-Gov. Thomas Meskill created the lottery.

“My husband and I often tell each other that Tony was right in advocating for the full development of Route 8,” said Audrey Blondin, a local attorney who has been active in Litchfield County politics, in an interview shortly after Miscikoski’s March 2012 death. “He was a visionary, thinking way ahead of his time. Just think how different Torrington, Winsted and much of the Northwest Corner of Connecticut would be today had Tony’s vision been shared by others.”

Cox died shortly before Christmas 2010 when his truck lost control and struck the Greenwoods Road overpass.

The Oliver Wolcott Technical High School junior was the only person involved in the accident, which occurred at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 22, 2010, and was transported to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, where he was declared deceased.

The Winsted native’s death inspired numerous memorials, such as a scholarship fund and a separate fundraiser to help Cox’s friends finish his dream to restore a 1967 Ford Mustang. Cox was an auto repair student at Oliver Wolcott Technical High School. Additionally, friends and family members established a makeshift memorial at the scene of the accident.