Governor Dannel P. Malloy, joined by U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman and Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) Commissioner James P. Redeker, today toured the I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing (NHHC) Corridor Improvement Program following a major traffic shift, completed over the weekend, of all southbound travel onto the temporary lanes of the new Pearl Harbor Memorial (Q) Bridge. The I-95 southbound traffic shift marks the completion of Stage 2B construction of NHHC and the start of Stage 3 construction - two months ahead of the original schedule.
"The Q-Bridge section of I-95 is one of the most heavily traveled areas of the Northeast corridor between New York and Boston with 120,000 vehicles crossing daily -- that is more than three times the amount of vehicles the bridge was designed for," said Governor Malloy. "Anyone who travels this route during rush hour knows to expect a frustrating bottleneck that delays weekday commutes and slows commerce. Ahead of schedule and on budget, this project will go a long way toward modernizing our transportation infrastructure, encouraging new business investment, enhancing our economic competiveness as a state and improving road conditions and safety along this busy stretch of highway."
NHHC is a multi-modal transportation improvement plan and the largest, most comprehensive construction project ever undertaken by ConnDOT. The $2 billion project features public transit and roadway improvements to increase capacity and reduce congestion on I-95 in the Greater New Haven area, including the reconstruction of the I-95/I-91/Route 34 Interchange, and additional lanes along 7.2 miles of I-95 northbound and southbound between Exit 46 in New Haven and Exit 54 in Branford. Also included in NHHC are transit enhancements and transportation system management (TSM) measures such as expanded transit service, a new Shore Line East commuter rail station at State Street in New Haven, and Shore Line East station improvements in Branford, Clinton, Guilford, Madison, and Westbrook. The project is on budget and on schedule to be completed in 2016 with approximately 68% of program construction finished to date.
"The complexities and challenges of a project of this magnitude are enormous," said Commissioner Redeker. "It is a tribute to our people and our partners that this work is progressing so well. We are staying on our budget and even a little ahead of schedule. This is a major success story."
The center piece of NHHC is the construction of a new, signature 10-lane Q-Bridge to replace the existing bridge crossing over New Haven Harbor. The new bridge is the first "extradosed" cable-stayed bridge built in the United States and lessons learned from this innovative design are being shared with engineers from other states who visited Connecticut last month for a peer-to-peer exchange.
Constructed in the late 1950s, the original bridge is among the most heavily traveled segments of the northeast corridor between New York and Boston. The bridge currently accommodates traffic volumes in excess of 120,000 vehicles per day and ConnDOT expects the new bridge to serve 140,000 vehicles per day by 2015 - more than three times the 40,000 vehicles per day for which the original bridge was designed.
Earlier this summer, Governor Malloy launched a major public transportation touring initiative called Transform CT. Transform CT is a strategic planning approach to transportation policies, programs, and projects and will improve economic growth and competitiveness, build sustainability, and provide a blueprint for a world-class transportation system. Through a series of public meetings, focus groups, and surveys, DOT will engage businesses, elected officials, transportation advocacy groups, and other organizations and agencies as part of the Transform CT planning effort.