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Stamford Braces For Big Projects Involving I-95, Metro-North Bridge

CT DOT Chief Engineer Thomas Harley speaks at a forum in Stamford Monday night. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky
State Senator Carlo Leone hosts a forum with Department of Transportation officials Monday night. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky

STAMFORD, Conn. — A busy I-95 highway ramp in downtown Stamford is slated to undergo a major change, state officials said at a forum Monday night.

To accommodate the design of a replacement Metro-North bridge over Atlantic Street, the Exit 8 northbound ramp will be extended one block from Atlantic Street to Canal Street, officials said.

Drivers should notice work in the area in the near future, according to ConnDOT Chief Engineer Thomas Harley.

“The construction work is actually going to start very, very soon,” Harley said. "In the next month, you'll see activity out there."

The longer ramp is necessary as the new railroad bridge design calls for lowering Atlantic Street by a few feet. If crews were to modify the existing ramp to meet the lower street, the ramp would simply be too steep, officials said.

Disruption to the area will be minimized by an accelerated bridge construction technique in which elements of the railroad bridge will be built off-site. When those elements are complete, crews will roll it into place.

Atlantic Street will also be widened under the bridge to three lanes on each side. And while the new lanes will allow for more vehicular traffic, pedestrians will have a harder time crossing the wider street, one woman said at the forum.

Crews will also soon replace the metal superstructure of the Route 1 bridge over I-95 at Exit 9.

Harley said the highway will have to be shut down over weekend for the work to be completed. Crews will need to use the highway to install the new structure from under the bridge, he said.

The state plans to construct a temporary diamond interchange that will allow drivers on I-95 to exit the highway and get right back on during the closure, Harley said.

Harley said he did not know whether local traffic would be able to use the temporary ramps at this point in the planning stage.

"Those details haven't been worked out yet, but it's possible that we may have to just restrict everybody to keep going straight because I'm afraid we'd have a lot of traffic," Harley told the Daily Voice, adding the department has used similar traffic patterns in the past.

Harley spoke during a forum hosted by State Sen. Carlo Leone on upcoming infrastructure projects in Stamford.

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