Expect delays this weekend for New Haven I-95 lane shifts

(WTNH/ Kent Pierce)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– The great “95 divide,” a traffic split that has been giving drivers a splitting headache for the past year, is coming to an end tonight. Traffic gets switched to a new bridge this weekend, which means you probably want to stay, especially tonight.

The southbound lanes of I-95 have been split at the Howard Avenue overpass. Two lanes go left, one land goes right.

“You get a lot of out of state people that don’t know that it’s coming,” said Rick Snedeker, who drives through that area often. “People that live in the area know that it’s coming and they adjust to it. People out of state, they don’t, and that’s why you have quite a few accidents recently.”

The reason for the split is the state is building a new bridge over the West River for the southbound lanes, and those lanes had to be shifted over towards the northbound lanes. to accommodate the construction.

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The support pier for the Howard Avenue overpass is in the way, making traffic to go to either side of it. That causes panic in some drivers who think they’re suddenly in an exit only lane. Again and again, we see them moving over at the last second, causing those behind them to slam on the brakes, which causes long backups, especially in the afternoon.

RELATED: Big change for commuters: I-95 divide to be removed in New Haven

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Those problems should end this weekend. Construction crews are done building the new bridge. Early Saturday morning drivers will be able to drive over it.

For that shift to happen, however, barriers will be moved, with some paving and re-painting lines on the road.

Connecticut DOT Supervising Engineer John Antonucci said there are closures to be excepted starting Friday night.

“We can expect lane closures starting Friday night, with some ramp closures involved with that. You can expect traffic to be heavy at times, during peak times. Try to avoid the area if you can.”

The on-ramps to 95 south from Route 34 and from Sargent Drive on Long wharf will be closed all night. The ramp off to Kimberly Avenue will also be closed tonight. By Saturday morning, the great divide should be gone.

News8 asked Lakiya Cobb of West Haven if that news made her happy. “Yeah, it does,” she said, “but at the same time, it’s still going to confuse people if they don’t do it properly.”

The DOT tells us, they are ready, and all the work will be done by rush hour Monday morning.

“Every traffic shift has their little nuances, but we have everything planned out and staged correctly, everything should go smoothly,” said Anontucci.

There will be a lane closed on 95 all day tomorrow. Everything could be done by Sunday, but definitely by the Monday morning rush hour.

 

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