NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — People who drive southbound on I-95 over the Pearl Harbor Memorial bridge are about to see some changes.
Right now, a temporary bridge takes drivers to exits 47 and 48. If you bear left onto 47, it takes you to the Route 34 connector; exit 48 bears off onto I-91 north.
The change is that the exit for Route 34 will be moved down so demolition of a 2,500-square-foot section of the old Q bridge can get started. A DOT animation shows about as clearly as possible the change drivers will encounter as they head down I-95 south over the bridge.
Right now, exit 47, which goes to Route 34 westbound and exit 48, which splits off to I-91 north, are in the same spot. After the change, drivers will stay on the bridge longer before they hit exit 47, taking them to 34 and into New Haven.
“That’s about 2,500 feet of old structure that’s going to be taken out,” said Brian Mercure of the Connecticut DOT. “There’s a bridge that crosses over Water Street next to a building that needs to come out and that’s going to be an area where we now build.”
The change was originally slated for the overnight Tuesday but due to the rain in the forecast, it’s been pushed back to Friday night into Saturday morning.
The state is working hand and hand with the city of New Haven, where construction of the downtown crossing project leading into the Elm City is well underway. Transportation officials say local workers have been patient despite the delays.
“We work with them on alternate routes to work to take the edge off the traffic,” said Michael Piscitelli, New Haven development director. “It wasn’t that great before you’ll remember all the traffic jams at exit 1, with one lane carrying people off the road. It’s a work in progress, we’re very appreciative when people are patient about when they get to work.”
The state is also warning that GPS systems won’t be updated to warn drivers about the change but there will be signs to steer people in the right direction.
And I-95 isn’t the only road in New Haven where changes are being made. The downtown area is also getting some new routes.
George Street is being converted into a two-way street between State and Church and the intersection of Orange and Dr. Martin Luther King Junior boulevard will be modified to eliminate that sharp hairpin turn on to Water Street. Local traffic will be rerouted to George Street.
Again, keep in mind that none of these changes will show up on your GPS right away. Here are some tips on what to do when GPS doesn’t work.