GOV. MALLOY, FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL LEADERS OPEN
NORTHBOUND I-95 'Q BRIDGE'
Project Has Created and Sustained Thousands of Jobs; Will Boost Local Economy
(HARTFORD, CT) - The northbound side of the new five-lane Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge on I-95 in New Haven - informally known as the Q Bridge - will open this weekend following a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Governor Dannel P. Malloy, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and a host of federal, state and local officials.
"This is a smart, strategic transportation investment that will bring relief to the thousands of people traveling through the I-95 corridor every day by providing a safer and more efficient interstate system," said Governor Malloy. "It also gives a major boost to our economy by creating or sustaining thousands of jobs, reducing congestion and auto emissions, and improving the flow of commerce. And besides all that, it's a beautiful new bridge."
The new bridge is part of the 16-year, $2 billion I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing Corridor Improvement Program - by far the largest highway project ever undertaken by the state and the Department of Transportation. The bridge carries I-95 traffic over the Quinnipiac River. The program has included numerous segments, including a new "flyover" from I-95 northbound to Route 34 into downtown New Haven. The southbound side of the new bridge, also five lanes, is scheduled for completion in 2015.
The economic value to the state and the region has been significant, creating or sustaining thousands of jobs. In fact, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has estimated that on average, $1 billion of federal highway expenditures support approximately 30,000 jobs. An average of 2,000 construction jobs have been and will be maintained for each year of the program.
The new northbound bridge will open to I-95 northbound and Route 34 eastbound traffic on Saturday morning, June 23, 2012. I-91 southbound and the Wooster Street on-ramp to I-95 northbound will be open to the new northbound bridge on Sunday morning, June 24, 2012. Information about traffic re-routing over the weekend may be found on the Connecticut Department of Transportation's website .
The bridge is named in honor of those who served at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in World War II. Retired Navy Master Chief Richard Iannucci named the 17 individuals from Connecticut who died at Pearl Harbor and rang a bell as each name was name spoken. Six Connecticut Pearl Harbor survivors were also expected at the event to place a wreath near the bridge pier that has "Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge" etched into it.
"Revitalizing this vital bridge opens new vistas for jobs, economic expansion and easier travel for our entire state," Senator Blumenthal said. "Today's milestone is a model of fighting gridlock - in political governance as on our roads. This inspiring investment will enable countless people to come together and reach jobs and families more safely, swiftly and surely. Having traveled this bridge countless times over many years, I especially appreciate how profoundly and practically significant it is to quality of life on both sides."
"This bridge will be a game-changer for our community," Congresswoman DeLauro remarked. "By investing more in our state and nation, we can create more good American jobs, revitalize our economy, restore the conditions for long-term prosperity and improve our way of life. These decisions are about whether we are going to continue to produce middle class jobs and middle class incomes here in America. I was proud to fight for the federal dollars that fund 87 percent - that is over $439 million - of this project and will continue to press for resources to rebuild Connecticut, create more good jobs and foster the long-term economic growth we need to remain competitive."
New Haven Mayor John DeStefano said, "I want to acknowledge the hard work the Governor, our Congressional delegation and the state DOT have provided to integrate state and federal resources aimed at getting a very difficult project open. This was great effort all the way around by team Connecticut."
DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker applauded the coordination of the Program team in reaching today's milestone, adding, "The opening of the first half of this signature bridge is due to the coordination efforts of the Department Staff, the bridge contractors, Cianbro/Middlesex JV and Walsh/PCL JV, and the interchange contractor, O&G/Tutor Perini.
"Without the interchange connections having been made to the new Q Bridge, we would not be celebrating the opening of the new bridge three months ahead of schedule," the Commissioner said.
The I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing Corridor Improvement Program includes operational, safety and capacity improvements to 7.2 miles of I-95 between Exit 46 (Sargent Drive) in New Haven and Exit 54 (Cedar Street) in Branford, and transit enhancements including the new Shore Line East commuter rail station at State Street in New Haven.
As the center piece of the Department of Transportation's I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing Corridor Improvement Program, the new bridge is the first "extradosed" cable-stayed bridge constructed in the United States, serving as a gateway into New England and into the City of New Haven. The northbound project began in 2009 under a $417 million contract between the DOT and a joint venture of Walsh Construction and PLC Constructors, Inc. It is being completed about three months ahead of schedule. The first phase, including the piers supporting the new structure, was completed by a joint venture of Cianbro/Middlesex Construction.
An "extradosed" bridge is a hybrid between a cable-stayed bridge and a girder bridge and is lower in height than a typical cable-stayed bridge. This design was necessary because air traffic in and out of Tweed New Haven Regional Airport goes directly over the bridge. The tower height of 75 feet above the bridge deck is much less than that of a typical cable-stayed bridge.
The new bridge will have a longer main span (515 feet) than the existing bridge, which allowed the new bridge foundations to be built without interfering with the existing bridge foundations (which have remained in service to carry traffic during construction).
For more information, please visit the program's website, www.i95newhaven.com , or call the Public Information Office at 203-752-1996.
For Immediate Release: June 22, 2012
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