NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — If you are heading north on I-95, you will soon see changes to the traffic configuration in New Haven. The I-95 northbound off-ramp to I-91 northbound will be moved. As the roads are now, you take exit 48 on the left to get onto I-91 and bear right to stay on I-95. This weekend those will be flip flopping.
Drivers should expect delays from Thursday, July 14 through Saturday, July 16. This will be the last major traffic shift of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge project.
The roads have been set up like this for the past 60 years, but in the next few days, exit 48 will be a two lane exit on the right side of the road instead of the left.
“When you’re on the right hand side you’re slowing down easier and you’re accelerating at a slower pace on the right hand side which makes it just safer,” said Domenic LaRosa, Assistant District Engineer for the Connecticut Department of Transportation.
Staying to the left will instead take you over the new bridge over Water Street, which is opening this weekend for the first time. It will take you north on I-95. It will be two lanes, but a third will open later this year. There will be signs letting drivers know.
“There’s such advance notice given that drivers will have ample notice to get in the designated lanes they have to get into,” said LaRosa.
“It’s kind of confusing now and people don’t always wanna let you over so I’m kinda just nervous as to how its going to be cause I can’t see it right now,” said Marlene Graham who drives the area daily.
The DOT says the project is needed. These roads were designed for about 40,000 cars per day, but now they now handle about 150,000 cars daily.
Many drivers, like Jose Corona of New Haven, say they are not concerned about the new traffic configuration.
“Exit 47 they did the same thing. Before it was on the left side, now it’s [on the] right,” said Corona.
But not everyone agrees. William Shields has sold merchandise out of his truck, “Flagman on Longwharf” for more than 20 years. He believes the new traffic pattern will hurt his business.
“It’ll impact me the most,” he said. “So if anybody out there has a spot that they know of that they want the Flagman to come to, come to see me because I’m looking for a new spot.”
The DOT is expecting the work this weekend – as well as the rest of the project – to go smoothly.
“It’s scheduled to be complete at the end of November of this year,” said LaRosa. “We’re still on schedule to finish this interchange within budget.”
Drivers should expect ramp closures and detours in the overnight hours. For more information please visit i95newhaven.com.