The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) announced the opening – five months ahead of schedule – of new “speed change” lanes on I-95 northbound in Norwalk, designed to enhance traffic safety and ease congestion on this heavily used section of the Connecticut turnpike.
The lanes allow drivers to more easily enter and exit the northbound roadway; similar lanes on the southbound side of I-95 will be completed in the spring as part of a $42 million improvement project.
“This stretch of highway is particularly difficult during the morning and evening rush hours, and this work will make a real difference,” said CTDOT Commissioner James P. Redeker. “These improvements will benefit commuters, truckers, tourists and the regional economy. Connecticut’s economy depends on movement – and this project will help people and products move more safely and efficiently.”
The project provides 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 have an impact on safety.
Commissioner 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 is approximately 2,100 feet in length. The Exit 14 ramp to Route 1 (Connecticut Avenue) is also being 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.
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