FOR RELEASE: March 2, 2018
TELEPHONE: (860) 594-3062
FAX: (860) 594-3065

Public Information Meeting for Proposed Modifications to Route 9 in Middletown, Including the Removal of the Traffic Signals on Route 9 and Intersection Improvements along Main Street
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (Department) will conduct a public informational meeting and Connecticut Environmental Policy Act Scoping Meeting concerning the proposed modifications to Route 9 in Middletown, including the removal of the traffic signals on Route 9 and intersection improvements along Main Street.  The meeting will occur on Thursday, March 22, 2018 (Snow Date: March 23, 2018) at the Middletown High School Auditorium, 200 La Rosa Lane, Middletown, Connecticut.  A formal presentation will begin at 7:00 p.m.

The projects are identified as State Project Numbers 0082-0318, 0082-0319, and 0082-0320.  This meeting is a follow-up to the public information meeting held on July 26, 2016.
Project No. 0082-0318 is proposed to reduce congestion, improve safety, and improve access to downtown Middletown by removing two existing traffic signals on Route 9.  Connecticut Route 9 is a north/south running freeway except for a short section of non-freeway in the downtown Middletown area where it overlaps with Route 17. This section of Route 9 stretches for approximately 0.36 miles (from exit 15 to exit 16) and includes two
at-grade signalized intersections.  These signalized intersections contribute to significant delays and crashes. The most recent three-year crash history (January 2015 to December 2017) shows that there were 313 crashes resulting in 91 injuries, including 1 fatality within the project limits. 
The existing three-way signalized intersection of Route 9 and Hartford Avenue (Exit 16) provides access to and from Hartford Avenue in the northbound and southbound directions.  The proposed design will eliminate the left-turning movements from Route 9 northbound onto Hartford Avenue in order to reduce conflict points and remove signalization.  An at-grade deceleration lane will be provided for southbound Route 9 traffic in order to maintain access to Hartford Avenue.  Access to Route 9 northbound will be maintained by constructing a bridge to convey Route 9 southbound over Hartford Avenue.  Route 9 southbound will be accessible from Hartford Avenue with a free-flow acceleration lane.
In order to provide access to downtown Middletown from Route 9 northbound, a bridge will be constructed to convey northbound vehicles over Route 9 southbound as well as the railroad tracks and yard.  The off-ramp will intersect Rapallo Avenue at a new signalized intersection.  To the west of this intersection Rapallo Avenue will be one way towards Main Street while two-way travel will be maintained to the east.
The existing traffic signal on Route 9 at the intersection of Washington Street extended allows for access to Washington Street from the northbound and southbound directions and from Washington Street to southbound Route 9.  The proximity of deKoven Drive to this intersection creates a large footprint with abnormal traffic operations.  The proposed design will eliminate the Route 9 northbound and southbound access to Washington Street to reduce conflict points.  Access to Route 9 southbound from Washington Street will be maintained with an at-grade acceleration lane.  The lane configuration on Washington Street will be modified to provide a dedicated left-turn lane onto deKoven Drive as well.
Project No. 0082-0319 is proposed to enhance pedestrian safety and reduce vehicular congestion by constructing sidewalk bump-outs to shorten pedestrian crossing distances along Main Street.  Main Street is a north-south running four-lane arterial with on-street parking on both sides of the road.  It is the main arterial for downtown Middletown, providing access for pedestrians and vehicles to many restaurants and shops.  Due to the on-street parking, current crosswalk distances are between 80 and 96 feet, creating long pedestrian phases, which in turn lead to poor vehicular levels of service.  This project will construct sidewalk bump-outs to effectively shorten the required crossing distance for pedestrians.  A total of 18 bump-outs are proposed that will reduce the pedestrian crossing distances to approximately 55 feet, shortening the pedestrian phase.  This will reduce the overall delay experienced at each intersection and improve the level of service.  The presence of on street parking reduces the sightlines between a waiting pedestrian and vehicles on Main Street.  The bump-outs will relocate the sidewalk ramps even with the end of the parking stalls, improving the visibility for the pedestrian and motorist and increasing safety.
Project No. 0082-0320 is proposed to reduce congestion and improve safety at the intersection of St. John’s Square and Main Street with the addition of two turn lanes as well as geometric realignment.  Hartford Avenue, which becomes Saint John’s Square at its intersection with Main Street, operates as an on and off ramp for Route 9.  It currently intersects Route 9 at a three-way signalized intersection, providing both northbound and southbound access to and from Main Street.  The four lane cross section of St. John’s Square intersects Main Street in a curve, creating a large roadway footprint.
The proposed work includes the addition of two turn lanes on St. John’s Square westbound.  Widening will occur on the southbound side in order to incorporate the two new lanes, as well as a proposed median island.  In addition, geometric improvements will be made to the intersection by way of median islands on Main Street that will serve to normalize the alignment.  Rapallo Avenue, which currently consists of one lane in each direction and
on-street parking on both sides of the street, will be converted into a one-way street in the westbound direction with limited on-street parking.  Grand Street will be widened for the addition of an eastbound turn lane.  Widening will also occur at the northwest corner of the intersection of Main Street and Washington Street to accommodate a dedicated right-turn lane.
There are right-of-way impacts associated with the proposed improvements. The proposed Route 9 northbound off-ramp will require the acquisition and relocation of three commercial properties.  The widening at Main Street and Washington Street as well as the widening on Grand Street will require sliver acquisitions of four properties. Temporary rights may be pursued for the reconstruction of driveways on private property.
Construction of the Main Street bump-outs (0082-0319) is anticipated to begin in spring 2019, followed by the construction of St. John’s Square at Main Street (0082-0320) in summer 2019, and lastly the removal of the traffic signals (0082-0318) in summer 2020.  The estimated construction cost for all three projects is $70 million and will be undertaken with eighty percent (80%) Federal funding and twenty (20%) State funding.
The public informational meeting is being held to afford a full opportunity for public participation and to allow open discussion of any views and comments the community may have concerning the proposed projects. This meeting will also serve as a CEPA scoping meeting to gather and analyze information from the public and various state agencies to help determine the proper level of environmental review and documentation necessary for the project.
The meeting facility is ADA accessible. Language assistance may be requested by contacting the Department’s Office of Communications at (860) 594-3062 at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting. Persons having a hearing and/or speech disability may dial 711 for Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS). Language assistance is provided at no cost to the public, and efforts will be made to respond to timely requests for assistance.
Plans of the proposed projects will be on display for public review.  Department personnel will be available during the meeting to discuss the project.  Detailed information is available at the Department’s Office of Engineering, 2800 Berlin Turnpike, Newington, Connecticut, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., excluding holidays.  Anyone wishing to discuss the project may contact Mr. Erik A. Jarboe at (860) 594-3299 or by e-mail at  Plans are also available for review at the Middletown City Hall.