Crews to remove gypsy moth damaged trees along I-95

Crews are expected to remove gypsy moth damaged trees along I-95 in New London County. (WFSB)

A travel advisory was issued for drivers who frequent Interstate 95 in New London County.

Starting this Monday, a southbound lane will be closed between Exit 74 in East Lyme to Exit 70 in Old Lyme.

Channel 3 learned that the lane closure is because crews from the Connecticut Department of Transportation will be chopping down trees.

A state DOT worker said dozens of trees were damaged this year because of a severe gypsy moth infestation. State officials said if the trees aren't removed, they could pose a safety threat to drivers.

Between September 25 to October 9, 170 trees along I-95 southbound lanes will be taken down by DOT crews.

Jonathan Bristol is a painting contractor who travels up and down I-95 for work and said time is money.

“I'm pretty surprised that they're going to try to shut 95 down during the week to one lane,” Bristol said. “Any time they do it during working hours it's going to be very difficult for people to meet their obligations on time.”

Drivers can expect a right lane closure between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

“I think it's going to make the morning commute angry for a lot of people,” Bristol said.

Arborist Jon Parker, who owns Yankee Tree LLC., said drivers should try to understand.

“If it's an inconvenience to wait a little while, while dangerous trees are removed, I think we can all tolerate that and understand it's for a good reason,” Parker said.

Parker said gypsy moths exploded in population this year, damaging many trees especially oaks. He added it was likely too big of a job for the state to try and save the trees.

“Trees kill people too,” Parker said. “Dead trees after one or two years and the decay advances, large limbs, large liters can break out of trees and unpredictably land on people and cars.”

Connecticut State Police are also asking drivers to be extra careful when the work begins on Monday. They're asking drivers to go slower than the posted speed limit.

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