Traffic is moving smoothly across the new southbound lanes of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge in New Haven and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says the bridge replacement project is ahead of schedule.
On Saturday, a major traffic shift moved southbound lanes to the new span over the Quinnipiac River. 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.
On Monday, Malloy, Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman and Connecticut Department of TransportationCommissioner James P. Redeker, toured the project.
“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 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 competitveness as a state and improving road conditions and safety along this busy stretch of highway.”
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 center piece of the project 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.
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.