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Gov. Malloy and Dept. of Transportation Mark Opening of the West River Bridge on I-95 Between New Haven and West Haven

Project is Running Ahead of Schedule

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker today held a ceremony near the West River Bridge on I-95 to mark the opening of the newly replaced bridge, which carries I-95 over West River between New Haven and West Haven. The northbound lanes opened to traffic earlier this week, while the southbound side opened to traffic on May 23.

At 1,022 feet, the West River Bridge is one of the longest and most heavily traveled in Connecticut.

Completed ahead of schedule, the project, which began in 2014, included the full replacement of the original bridge. Initially opened in 1958, the bridge had to be reconstructed due to years of unforgiving New England weather and the wear and tear of the 136,400 vehicles that cross the bridge every day.

The new bridge includes three lanes of traffic in each direction and full shoulders, designed to reduce lane closures if there is a crash or police activity on the bridge. The work was completed while maintaining six lanes of traffic northbound and southbound.

“Prioritizing the modernization of Connecticut’s infrastructure must be a priority for our state if we want to meet the needs of a 21st century economy that attracts businesses, competes for jobs, and improves overall quality of life,” Governor Malloy said. “If we want to make our state an even better place to live, work, and raise a family, we need to advance these kinds of transportation projects that have been delayed for far too long and no doubt has hindered our ability to grow. We must move aggressively to provide Connecticut’s residents and businesses with a best-in-class transportation system because the future of our state depends on it.”

A unique method of incremental “launching” of the steel girders was employed. Rather than erecting the steel one piece at a time during nighttime lane closures, the girders were assembled in the median and incrementally “pushed” from east to west the entire length of the new bridge. This operation was originally scheduled to take 60 days of nighttime lane closures and interference with traffic. With the revised method, all construction was completed in the current work zone during the daytime, requiring only three days of interference to existing traffic flow.

“The innovative work methods in this project were chosen with the goal of limiting the traveling public’s exposure to construction activities,” Commissioner Redeker said. “This project will improve mobility and benefit the region for decades to come.”

Major elements of the project included:

  • Temporary trestles in the West River for access to pile supported pier locations, erection of structural steel and demolition of the existing bridge
  • Temporary highway construction to accommodate traffic shifts
  • Reconstructing highway approaches and exit ramps to access Ella T. Grasso Boulevard and Kimberly Avenue
  • Constructing the new West River bridge piers and superstructure
  • Demolishing the existing West River Bridge
  • Replacing I-95 Bridge over Ella T. Grasso Boulevard
  • Constructing drainage improvements

Additional information on the project, as well as photos and videos, can be found online at

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