SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WTNH)–Below the bridge, crews hammered away at the concrete, but on Interstate 84, tempers flared as the sun set and traffic backed up. One of the state’s biggest highways had been shut down in both directions at Exit 30.
“It’s going to be a pain because I don’t know how to get back into Hartford tonight, I don’t know what the deal is what they are doing or how long it’s going to take,” said Hartford resident Bob Hovey.
It’s one of the busiest stretches of I -84. The Department of Transportation estimates that 85,000 cars travel by Exit 30 every day. The bridges are being replaced because of wear and tear.
At 2 million pounds per piece, it won’t be easy, with a crew of about 500 workers on the clock until Monday morning. It will create a mess for those trying to get back to New York.
The DOT said that they are closing the highway because of the massive scale of the project. Normally, it might close off one highway lane while the other one goes through. However, that would take several months, and officials felt that shutting the highway down completely and getting it done in just two days was the better way to go.
“We will be removing the two old bridges and we will be lifting and sliding these two new structures into place literally having the road open for Monday morning by 5 a.m.,” a DOT spokesman said.
As far as alternate routes, I-691 will take drivers around the detour to 91, or you can use Rt 9 to get to 91 and 691. Either of those will get you back up to interstate 84 in Hartford. Either way, you need to bring lots of patience and a good attitude like Cloi.
“It will be alright, it’s one exit. You have to have the right attitude. People will get off and then get back on,” said Coli Weeks of West Hartford.