Guest Contributor: Joseph Mixie
Traffic in Connecticut sucks. It’s not a secret, it’s actually pretty well documented that our highways are some of the worst in the country- ranked #7 recently.
Luckily there is some relief beyond the radio traffic guy stammering “an hour from Stamford to Norwalk”. That relief comes in the form of construction projects coming to an end. Let’s not assume morning rush hour will disappear, this is Connecticut. We’re not going anywhere fast… literally, but things will get better. Here are some areas that will soon be cruising:
- Route 8/25 Bridgeport
This project went by so fast you may not have even known it was happening. In a span of just two weeks, two bridges were built and put in near Lindley Street and Capitol Avenue. This replaced the 44-year-old bridges that stood there before. Maybe now getting from Harbor Yard to Shelton won’t make you feel like flipping the bird to the teenager that just got his license that cut you off.
- Route 34 Derby
Oh, route 34. It seems that the Connecticut expressway that stretches from New Haven into downtown Shelton has been being worked on since the beginning of time. The eastern side in New Haven has been getting a complete makeover throughout the last few years which has included new buildings and a new traffic pattern. Meanwhile in Derby that crappy bridge that crosses over the Housatonic River has been plagued with congestion throughout the years. It was announced that an additional right turn lane is in the works to help alleviate this traffic nightmare.
- The Q bridge: I-95 in New Haven
Fear not! The worst seems to be over with this monster construction project on the Q bridge. This area has been plagued with terrible traffic for the last ten years while the on-going construction has been underway. Total reconstruction of this bridge is almost complete at this point, and we’re all (somewhat patiently) waiting for every lane to be open. All six lanes on the south side are good to go and the northern side will open completely in July.
- I-84 in Waterbury
Brass City construction via 84 will eventually straighten and widen the highway to three lanes, but sadly the wait still extends for a couple more years. The completed project won’t be done until 2019/2020, but officials say that they are ready to move on to the next phase. They even boldly claim they may finish early (gasp!). The project’s progress can be tracked at http://www.i-84waterbury.com/. In the meantime, go grab your favorite sub from Nordelli’s.
- Route 9 in Middletown
Don’t get your hopes up just yet but when completed this project on Route 9 is sure to make your drive towards Hard Hittin’ New Britain so much better. Governor Malloy announced to the public last week that plans to take the traffic lights off of the highway in Middletown is in the works. This seems like a no-brainer because I have yet to meet someone that enjoys barreling into a red light at 70 MPH. It was reported by the CT Mirror that this stretch of road gets upwards of 60 accidents a year. There’s only one downfall to this report: it won’t be done until 2023. So sit tight (most likely in traffic), get out your calendars, and mark down the year when you will be able to go see the New Britain Bees or go to the CT Science Center without waiting for the guy in front of you to turn left.