Governor Dannel P. Malloy today joined State Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), State Representative Larry Cafero (R-Norwalk) and other state and local officials in breaking ground for a $42 million highway improvement project designed to enhance traffic safety and ease congestion on I-95 in Norwalk.
"In the Autumn of 2010 Senator Duff and I stood here, in a traffic jam, to talk about this bottleneck--pervasive gridlock that slows commerce, depresses travel, and is a constant annoyance and safety risk to commuters. Just over 18 months later, I am pleased to break ground on a project that will go a long way to alleviating congestion and improving the road conditions here in Norwalk," said Governor Malloy. "Our economy depends on how efficiently and effectively we can move people and goods in our state--the investments we are making in roads, bridges, and public transportation are critical steps to strengthening the state's economy overall."
The I-95 project will provide an additional lane in each direction between Exits 14 and 15, giving drivers space and time to adjust their speeds outside of the main traffic flow as they transition to or from the interchange ramps. The short distance between the ramps, combined with volume of 140,000 vehicles per day, results in frequent delays and can impact safety.
"For years I have fought for funding for additional lanes on this congested section of I-95 and it is gratifying to see this important project get under way," said State Senator Duff, who serves as vice chairman of the General Assembly's Transportation Committee. "I thank Governor Malloy for making good on his promise to fix the worst highway chokepoint in the I-95 corridor and I look forward to smoother, safer driving conditions for local residents and commuters alike."
"Lower Fairfield County deals with the worst traffic problems in Connecticut on a daily basis. This project will go a long way to toward easing congestion and will add great construction jobs that we surely need," said State Representative Cafero, the state House Republican Leader.
The work is being done by O&G Industries of Torrington under contract to the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) and is expected to create or sustain about 80 jobs. It will be completed during the first quarter of 2015.
DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker said that the 2,300-foot southbound auxiliary lane will begin at the Route 7 (Exit 15) southbound on ramp to I-95 and extend to the Route 1 exit (Exit 14). The northbound auxiliary lane will be approximately 2,100 feet in length. The Exit 14 ramp to Route 1 (Connecticut Avenue) will be reconfigured and improved, as well as its intersection with Route 1.
Additional background on the project:
Three bridges at Taylor Avenue, Cedar Street and Fairfield Avenue, each carrying the local street over I-95, will be reconstructed to span the new auxiliary lanes and increase vertical clearances over the highway.
The project includes the addition of left-turn lanes at four upgraded, signalized intersections on Route 1 to improve traffic efficiency. New curbing and seven-foot-wide sidewalks will be installed along both sides. As a result of community input, we will extend the sidewalk along the north side of Route 1 to Scribner Avenue. A major concern of the community has been the flooding that often takes place on Route 1 near Fairfield Avenue and a new drainage system will alleviate flooding, reduce the peak discharges at the Norwalk River outfall and improve overall storm water quality.
The DOT has worked to ensure that the design is compatible with City of Norwalk projects, such as the Cedar Street Streetscape Project, the new Fire Station and the West Avenue Roadway Improvements.