State proposes widening project for I-95 - WFSB 3 Connecticut

State proposes widening project for I-95

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The state is proposing a widening project for I-95 (WFSB) The state is proposing a widening project for I-95 (WFSB)

Anyone who drives on I-95 is well aware of the traffic issues, like congestion.

However, a new study said widening certain parts of I-95 will help, and the state said not only will it reduce bottlenecks, but it will attract business.

“Instead of looking at total widening, by looking at just bottleneck areas, we could do selective and strategic widening in right of ways that we own, that is achievable 25 percent less than full widening and frankly doable,” said Dept. of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker.

With a son in college in Rhode Island, Andy Rosengarden makes plenty of trips up and down I-95 from his New Jersey home.

“I travel in the middle of the night, I travel in the morning, evenings, weekends, maybe 25 percent of the trips I have very little traffic, the rest, I’m waiting in line somewhere for a slowdown,” Rosengarden said.

So a plan to widen parts of 95 would be a welcomed sight.

According to Gov. Dannel Malloy and the state’s transportation commissioner, they’d widen stretches in always congested Fairfield County, along with eastern portions of the state, which sees its greatest backups on the weekends and in the summer.

“Traffic on I-95 costs $1.2 billion in lost productivity and 54 million hours of delay on a yearly basis. That’s a profound economic impact, adverse impact, on in our state,” Malloy said.

The governor says adding a northbound lane from the New York state line to Bridgeport, would shave travel time during the afternoon commute by more than 20 minutes.

Malloy contends because of the congestion on I-95, Connecticut is losing jobs to northern New Jersey and Westchester County.

The widening project could start in 2022. Each phase would be done in four years, finishing up by 2030, but it’s all subject to funding.

Last month, the state canceled $4.3 billion in transportation projects, though the governor later floated a proposal bring back tolls and raise the gas tax in order to pay for those projects.

“Can you build this thing, without addressing the shortfall, the answer is no you can’t, but I am telling you, and I’ve said this many times, if the legislature doesn’t believe I-95 is a problem, they should meet one month a year in Stamford, starting at 8:30 in the morning,” Malloy said.

While it sounds good, the governor is warning that without legislative action to shore up the Special Transportation Fund, this project, along with many others won’t happen.

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