CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
2800 BERLIN TURNPIKE P.O. BOX 317546
NEWINGTON CONNECTICUT, 06131-7546
|FOR RELEASE: September 18, 2015||
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
TELEPHONE: (860) 594-3062
FAX: (860) 594-3065
WEB SITE: www.ct.gov/dot
GOV. MALLOY ANNOUNCES ‘Q BRIDGE’ PROJECT, THE BIGGEST IN CTDOT HISTORY, COMPLETED AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
Federal, State and Local Officials to Hold Dedication Ceremony on Saturday
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the southbound side of the new Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge on I-95 in New Haven – informally known as the Q Bridge – is scheduled to open approximately eight months ahead of schedule. Construction of the main span bridge was completed in July 2015 on schedule and on budget. Four lanes of the new southbound bridge are scheduled to open to vehicles the week of September 28, providing much needed relief for tens of thousands of residents who face congestion in the corridor and enhancing the region’s overall economic competitiveness.
A grand opening celebration and dedication ceremony that is open to the public and will be attended by federal, state, and local officials will be held on Saturday, September 19.
“This is big – for residents, for the Greater New Haven region, and for Connecticut. If we want to grow jobs, attract new businesses, and improve quality-of-life in our state, then transforming our transportation system has to be a top priority. This is one of the largest projects in Connecticut DOT history, and it’s been completed ahead of schedule and on budget. That’s a major success, and it means that starting next week, we will be delivering relief for tens of thousands of residents who commute through this busy area each and every day. With these types of investments and transformational projects, we can truly make Connecticut’s infrastructure best-in-class. This is just another step forward,” Governor Malloy said. “I want to specifically thank the employees with the Connecticut Department of Transportation, their federal and local counterparts, and other workers whose service on this corridor over the last several years helped deliver one of the biggest infrastructure projects in our state’s history efficiently and effectively. I also want to thank our federal delegation for working to secure funds for this project, and in particular, Congresswoman DeLauro, who has been a tireless advocate for it.”
The new bridge, which carries traffic over the Quinnipiac River, is the central component of the 18-year, nearly $2 billion I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing Corridor Improvement Program – by far the largest and most comprehensive program ever undertaken by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT). The improvements were designed to increase capacity and reduce congestion on I-95 in the Greater New Haven area. In addition to the new bridge, the program includes the complete reconstruction of the I-95/I-91/Route 34 interchange, and additional lanes along 7.2 miles of I-95 northbound and southbound between Exit 46 in New Haven and Exit 54 in Branford.
With five lanes and two full shoulders in both the northbound and southbound directions, the new bridge has significantly improved capacity. The first phase of work constructed the northbound side of the bridge, which opened to vehicles in June 2012. Construction on the second, southbound phase began immediately thereafter.
“Turning around decades of underinvestment in transportation, Connecticut has just delivered a once-in-a generation project that will benefit commuters and commerce,” Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. “An efficient transportation system is necessary to a strong economy, and building that system requires strong partnerships. I applaud Governor Malloy, our Congressional delegation, and the state DOT for their work.”
“This majestic bridge exemplifies the importance of infrastructure investments nationwide, and will help Connecticut drivers get to and from their homes faster and more safely,” U.S. Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau said. “By easing congestion, the extra lanes in this bridge makes commuting safer for all who depend on it.”
“This new bridge is a testament to federal and state collaboration – and shared commitment to investment in our transportation systems,” U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said. “The new Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge will bring significant improvements to traffic flow in and around the Greater New Haven area, and should serve as a national example of the tremendous economic benefits that investment in transportation infrastructure bring. We need to be investing more – not less – in not just our highways, but all areas of our transportation system.”
“The new Q Bridge is a game changer for the I-95 corridor,” U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said. “It’s evidence of how federal and state money can come together to ease congestion and improve safety for commuters. As a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Transportation Subcommittee, I will keep fighting to increase federal transportation funding for Connecticut so that we don't just patch potholes and instead do more transformative projects like the Q Bridge.”
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro said, “I am pleased to join the Governor and Commissioner Redeker in celebrating the completion of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge expansion. This day has been years in the making. Easing traffic congestion along the I-95 corridor is necessary for commuters and vital to the region’s economic development. I have supported this effort since its inception, and look forward to continuing to work with the Governor and Commissioner to ensure Connecticut has the necessary funding to address our transportation needs. This bridge is now truly worthy of honoring our nation’s and state’s greatest generation. It is a fitting tribute to their contributions and sacrifice.”
“Everyone in New Haven is excited to celebrate the opening of the new Pearl Harbor Bridge and welcome its addition to the cityscape,” Mayor Toni N. Harp said. “The timing of this infrastructure upgrade is important, too, in terms of providing easier access to New Haven when there are now so many more reasons to be in New Haven.”
The new bridge is the first “extradosed” cable-stay bridge in the United States. This design allows the bridge towers to be shower, which is necessary because air traffic in and out of Tweed New Haven Regional Airport travels directly over the bridge. It is a distinctive landmark in the New Haven skyline, designed to recall the smokestacks of a battleship sitting in the harbor. Throughout the seven-year construction period, approximately 1,000 workers played a role in constructing the bridge.
Constructed in the late 1950s, the original bridge has been among the most heavily traveled segments of the northeast corridor between New York and Boston. It currently accommodates traffic volumes in excess of 120,000 vehicles per day – more than three times the 40,000 vehicles per day for which the original bridge was designed. When it is fully open, the new bridge will serve over 140,000 vehicles per day.
“At CTDOT, we continuously look for better methods to deliver major infrastructure projects on budget and ahead of schedule while we minimize impacts to the public, traffic, local businesses and communities, which is exactly what we did with the Q Bridge program,” CTDOT Commissioner James Redeker said. “This kind of consistent innovation allows us to deliver quality work more quickly to our customers – the people of Connecticut.”
The I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing Corridor Improvement Program is now approximately 88 percent complete and is currently under budget. It is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2016. For more information, visit the program’s website at www.i95newhaven.com.
Details on Saturday’s grand opening celebration and dedication ceremony
A grand opening celebration to commemorate the completion of the new replacement Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge will be held on Saturday, September 19, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Members of the public will have the opportunity to walk and bike on a 1.5 mile stretch of the new southbound bridge before it is opened to vehicles. A number of exhibits will be on display, and vendors will offer refreshments to visitors.
A dedication ceremony hosted by Governor Malloy and the Connecticut Department of Transportation and attended by Senator Richard Blumenthal, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, and other officials will begin at 10:45 a.m.
DIRECTIONS TO ACCESS THE BRIDGE: Members of the public can access the bridge on Saturday by entering on foot or on bicycle at the intersection of Hamilton Street and Ives Place in New Haven. No vehicular traffic will be allowed on the bridge during the celebration.