Did failure to build Circ Highway impact IBM plans? - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Did failure to build Circ Highway impact IBM plans?

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IBM is weighing a sale of its chipmaking operations to GlobalFoundries. Experts say it's unclear if that would be good news or bad news for the plant in Essex Junction. But some question if construction of the Circ Highway would have cemented IBM in Vermont, and whether the failure to build Circ has anything to do with the possible sale of the plant.

IBM was an advocate of the Circ, saying at one point it was vital to its future in Vermont.

After lengthy legal delays, Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont, pulled the plug on the controversial ring road around Chittenden County in 2011, saying there was too much disagreement on the need for the highway, ongoing environmental concerns and a lack of funding for the project.

Reporter Darren Perron: Is the failure to build the Circ part of the reason we have seen layoffs, part of the reason perhaps this plant could be sold?

Gov. Peter Shumlin: Absolutely not. It has no relationship to the past plans for the Circ.

Nearly $100 million was spent on the Circ over more than four decades, but only 4 miles were ever built.

Shumlin says there is still a phased-in plan to address traffic concerns in Chittenden County, particularly for the IBM campus, and that construction on newly designed, smaller projects could begin in two years.

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