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Author Topic: Connecticut News  (Read 1036960 times)

Alps

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4300 on: April 12, 2021, 07:28:31 PM »

Here's a thought experiment: what highway improvements would be made if Connecticut wasn't drowning in pension liabilities?

8 lanes on i-95 through Fairfield County seems like a given.
Fictional.
The only way for it not to be fictional is if you cite the list of what CT has proposed and shelved due to $.

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4301 on: April 12, 2021, 08:04:34 PM »

Almost all of Connecticut's unfinished freeways are unfinished due to lack of funds. Even Super 7 was given the green light by a federal judge in 1980 and would've long been finished by the time my family moved to Ridgefield in 2000.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4302 on: April 12, 2021, 09:06:39 PM »

NIMBYs. Gold Coast NIMBYs. Sorry. Just not going to happen, ever.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4303 on: April 13, 2021, 07:53:48 AM »

Personally, I think they should've moved the Exit 29 ramp to where the Exit 27 ramp is currently.  And the fact that the CT 15 South to I-91 South ramp isn't being altered one bit as part of this project seems ridiculous to me... it should be a 2-lane ramp as well, and enter I-91 South on the right, not left.  The existing CT 15 South ramp to Brainard Rd, which has an I-91 South "second option" ramp should've been made 2 lanes.  But I digress........

A lot on I-84 could be eliminated fairly easily, and probably will be in time.  Some were meant for roads which never got built, such as the Flatbush Freeway and the Sisson Ave ramps.  Those with CT 8 in Waterbury will probably be eliminated some day when that whole mixmaster is replaced.  And eventually the one big one remaining on I-95 North at I-395 in East Lyme will go.  A couple on I-91 in the New Haven area could probably go... Willow St was another freeway that never happened.  I have no problem with the left exit in Groton at I-95 North Exit 86.
Remember that you can also use Exit 87 to reach I-91 S. That is probably the reason for the one-lane ramp for Exit 86. Personally, I don't see why they can't make the center lane an option lane and have it zipper merge further down. Then you wouldn't have people cutting over at the last minute. Also, more signage directing traffic to use Exit 87 if 86 is backed up would help.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4304 on: April 13, 2021, 08:29:53 AM »

Back around 2000 I attended a public meeting where the Connecticut DOT proposed reconfiguring the two I-84 interchanges with US-7 to eliminate the left-hand exits that was part of a larger proposal to widen I-84 from the New York state line to Waterbury. Like most other big-ticket projects in Connecticut, the plans for this were placed on a shelf at DOT headquarters, never to be seen or heard of again. The concept at the time was to widen I-84 from 6 to 8 lanes through Danbury, and from 4 to 6 lanes for the remainder of the New York-Waterbury corridor. The left-hand ramps to US-7 would have been moved to right-hand exit/entrance with new flyover bridges and braided ramps to Exits 4 and 6 (US-6 west and US-6 east, respectively) to eliminate the weaving that causes the congestion and traffic crashes in those areas. The last DOT estimate for the entire New York-Waterbury corridor before they shelved the plan was around $5 billion. I don't know how they came up with that number, but I think it's grossly overestimated given that from Exit 8 to Exit 18, I-84's median is wide enough to accommodate an additional lane in each direction without the need to acquire new ROW. I would think the interchanges with US-7 would be the most costly components of reworking I-84 through Danbury, but I would see each interchange being a couple hundred million. The Rochambeau Bridge that is already wide enough to accommodate at least an additional lane of traffic in each direction is being completely rebuilt at a cost of around $60 million. So I don't get where they came up with $5 billion from. If they're including the replacement of the Waterbury Mixmaster in that estimate, then $5 billion might be more believable.

CTDOT is proceeding with widening I-84 from the NY line through Danbury, including rebuilding virtually every interchange up to exit 8. It's in design right now, and will include changes to the US 7 interchanges, though specific concepts are still being developed. There has been discussion of moving to right-hand entrances and exits, but that's all I can say now.

Waterbury recently got a major widening and reconstruction project on I-84 east of the Mixmaster, and the Mixmaster itself is currently getting a rehab (though no real changes).

The state can't afford to rebuild 30+ miles of interstate in one go, so they're doing it piecemeal. The plans were not just "placed on a shelf at DOT headquarters, never to be seen or heard of again."
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4305 on: April 13, 2021, 10:00:35 AM »

Back around 2000 I attended a public meeting where the Connecticut DOT proposed reconfiguring the two I-84 interchanges with US-7 to eliminate the left-hand exits that was part of a larger proposal to widen I-84 from the New York state line to Waterbury. Like most other big-ticket projects in Connecticut, the plans for this were placed on a shelf at DOT headquarters, never to be seen or heard of again. The concept at the time was to widen I-84 from 6 to 8 lanes through Danbury, and from 4 to 6 lanes for the remainder of the New York-Waterbury corridor. The left-hand ramps to US-7 would have been moved to right-hand exit/entrance with new flyover bridges and braided ramps to Exits 4 and 6 (US-6 west and US-6 east, respectively) to eliminate the weaving that causes the congestion and traffic crashes in those areas. The last DOT estimate for the entire New York-Waterbury corridor before they shelved the plan was around $5 billion. I don't know how they came up with that number, but I think it's grossly overestimated given that from Exit 8 to Exit 18, I-84's median is wide enough to accommodate an additional lane in each direction without the need to acquire new ROW. I would think the interchanges with US-7 would be the most costly components of reworking I-84 through Danbury, but I would see each interchange being a couple hundred million. The Rochambeau Bridge that is already wide enough to accommodate at least an additional lane of traffic in each direction is being completely rebuilt at a cost of around $60 million. So I don't get where they came up with $5 billion from. If they're including the replacement of the Waterbury Mixmaster in that estimate, then $5 billion might be more believable.

CTDOT is proceeding with widening I-84 from the NY line through Danbury, including rebuilding virtually every interchange up to exit 8. It's in design right now, and will include changes to the US 7 interchanges, though specific concepts are still being developed. There has been discussion of moving to right-hand entrances and exits, but that's all I can say now.

Waterbury recently got a major widening and reconstruction project on I-84 east of the Mixmaster, and the Mixmaster itself is currently getting a rehab (though no real changes).

The state can't afford to rebuild 30+ miles of interstate in one go, so they're doing it piecemeal. The plans were not just "placed on a shelf at DOT headquarters, never to be seen or heard of again."

Okay, it was 21 years ago when I attended that public meeting concerning I-84 between New York and Waterbury, so it sounds like they've come up with a way forward for getting the reconstruction and widening done. I recall that part of 2000 proposal was to remove the freeway stub at Route 34 in Newtown, replace the Directional-T interchange with a diamond interchange, and build a rest area on some of the land freed up with the stub's removal. Is that still part of the plan?
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4306 on: April 13, 2021, 10:46:59 AM »

ctmirror.org/2018/02/22/ct-could-widen-i-95-without-seizing-private-land-but-can-it-afford-the-work/amp/

A few years ago, the governor said it would be possible to widen 95 from Bridgeport to the New York border to 7 lanes without any eminent domain.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4307 on: April 13, 2021, 11:39:02 AM »

ctmirror.org/2018/02/22/ct-could-widen-i-95-without-seizing-private-land-but-can-it-afford-the-work/amp/

A few years ago, the governor said it would be possible to widen 95 from Bridgeport to the New York border to 7 lanes without any eminent domain.

That wouldn't do a whole lot of good, as it would mean 4 lanes in one direction, while keeping 3 in the other. I don't buy that they can widen I-95 without acquiring additional ROW, as the current ROW through Fairfield County is pretty tight as it is, and some sections of I-95 in Fairfield County don't even have shoulders.  You might be able to add a fourth lane in each direction with restriping in some spots where the median barrier was reconstructed, but then you sacrifice your left and right shoulders, so drivers have nowhere to pull off if their vehicle breaks down. Not a good solution IMHO.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4308 on: April 13, 2021, 11:56:40 AM »

ctmirror.org/2018/02/22/ct-could-widen-i-95-without-seizing-private-land-but-can-it-afford-the-work/amp/

A few years ago, the governor said it would be possible to widen 95 from Bridgeport to the New York border to 7 lanes without any eminent domain.
That wouldn't do a whole lot of good, as it would mean 4 lanes in one direction, while keeping 3 in the other. I don't buy that they can widen I-95 without acquiring additional ROW, as the current ROW through Fairfield County is pretty tight as it is, and some sections of I-95 in Fairfield County don't even have shoulders.  You might be able to add a fourth lane in each direction with restriping in some spots where the median barrier was reconstructed, but then you sacrifice your left and right shoulders, so drivers have nowhere to pull off if their vehicle breaks down. Not a good solution IMHO.

Would this have been a permanent 4th lane in only one direction, or a reversible center lane with zipper barrier?  It would probably take the entire mid-day period between rush hours to reverse the lane from southbound to northbound :-D
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4309 on: April 13, 2021, 12:06:11 PM »

ctmirror.org/2018/02/22/ct-could-widen-i-95-without-seizing-private-land-but-can-it-afford-the-work/amp/

A few years ago, the governor said it would be possible to widen 95 from Bridgeport to the New York border to 7 lanes without any eminent domain.
That wouldn't do a whole lot of good, as it would mean 4 lanes in one direction, while keeping 3 in the other. I don't buy that they can widen I-95 without acquiring additional ROW, as the current ROW through Fairfield County is pretty tight as it is, and some sections of I-95 in Fairfield County don't even have shoulders.  You might be able to add a fourth lane in each direction with restriping in some spots where the median barrier was reconstructed, but then you sacrifice your left and right shoulders, so drivers have nowhere to pull off if their vehicle breaks down. Not a good solution IMHO.

Would this have been a permanent 4th lane in only one direction, or a reversible center lane with zipper barrier?  It would probably take the entire mid-day period between rush hours to reverse the lane from southbound to northbound :-D

The extra lane would be westbound in some places and eastbound in others.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4310 on: April 13, 2021, 12:17:03 PM »

I'm also sure that if the funds are available, ConnDOT would relish a battle to duplicate the Merritt. If New Jersey can put 16 lanes on the GSP, then we can put 8 on the Merritt. If twice as many people could enjoy the beauty of that iconic Parkway, that would be a good thing.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4311 on: April 13, 2021, 12:31:04 PM »

The extra lane would be westbound in some places and eastbound in others.

Interesting...I would think this would just create more bottlenecks each time the extra lane ends and "switches sides".

I'm also sure that if the funds are available, ConnDOT would relish a battle to duplicate the Merritt. If New Jersey can put 16 lanes on the GSP, then we can put 8 on the Merritt. If twice as many people could enjoy the beauty of that iconic Parkway, that would be a good thing.

I don't disagree the Merritt needs widening/modernizing, but I imagine the Merritt Parkway Conservancy would fight that tooth & nail?
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4312 on: April 13, 2021, 01:57:22 PM »

As we've discussed before the Garden State Parkway is a different beast, especially the Driscoll Bridge, compared to the Merritt. The Merritt would be right in the middle of Fairfield County and its richest sections. There are so many bridges that would have to be torn down, trees knocked down, I can't see anyone going for it.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4313 on: April 13, 2021, 02:17:23 PM »

You wouldn't need to do anything to the bridges. Currently, the Merritt takes up 150 feet of a 300 foot right of way. That extra space to the South was reserved for future expansion. You'd leave the current Merritt alone while building a 2nd one to the South. Then once you're finished, the existing eastbound lanes would become westbound express lanes in a 2-2-2-2 configuration.

Yes there would be howls of protest from NIMBYs, but I think the public would side with the state.

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4314 on: April 13, 2021, 03:35:07 PM »

You wouldn't need to do anything to the bridges. Currently, the Merritt takes up 150 feet of a 300 foot right of way. That extra space to the South was reserved for future expansion. You'd leave the current Merritt alone while building a 2nd one to the South. Then once you're finished, the existing eastbound lanes would become westbound express lanes in a 2-2-2-2 configuration.

Yes there would be howls of protest from NIMBYs, but I think the public would side with the state.


I think you greatly underestimate the strength of Fairfield County's wealth on this one. They would win out with ease through lawsuits upon lawsuits and the court of public opinion.
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Adam Seth Moss
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4315 on: April 13, 2021, 04:12:39 PM »

RE:  The Merritt, just look at what they're going through trying to complete the partial US 7 expressway interchange in Norwalk.  The Merritt Parkway Conservancy is fighting it tooth and nail.  And that's just completing a partial interchange. 

You would definitely have to modify some bridges if you were going to add another carriageway and convert the existing roadway to WB/SB only.  Some have openings in the bridges for only one direction.  Just tell me how would you modify this one without the MPC flipping out:
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.2407885,-73.117612,3a,49y,50.44h,87.73t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sCrQ3at6_1Njq9kzHIXgy7A!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

If the MPC was as proactive back in the early 80s as they are today, we probably would not have the present CT 15/25 and CT 15/8 interchanges as they sit today, what with flyovers and such:
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.2371552,-73.1538577,3a,75y,99.32h,84.97t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sghMvuDKuGzZ6EUFxmISomQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
Though I have to think, the flyovers at the CT 15/8 interchange could probably become loop ramps, if they needed to make some concessions.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4316 on: April 13, 2021, 04:15:42 PM »

You wouldn't need to do anything to the bridges. Currently, the Merritt takes up 150 feet of a 300 foot right of way. That extra space to the South was reserved for future expansion. You'd leave the current Merritt alone while building a 2nd one to the South. Then once you're finished, the existing eastbound lanes would become westbound express lanes in a 2-2-2-2 configuration.

Yes there would be howls of protest from NIMBYs, but I think the public would side with the state.
Um...I'll take that bet.

You're way out of touch with how people feel about the CT parkways.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4317 on: April 13, 2021, 04:19:39 PM »

You wouldn't need to do anything to the bridges. Currently, the Merritt takes up 150 feet of a 300 foot right of way. That extra space to the South was reserved for future expansion. You'd leave the current Merritt alone while building a 2nd one to the South. Then once you're finished, the existing eastbound lanes would become westbound express lanes in a 2-2-2-2 configuration.

Yes there would be howls of protest from NIMBYs, but I think the public would side with the state.


I think you greatly underestimate the strength of Fairfield County's wealth on this one. They would win out with ease through lawsuits upon lawsuits and the court of public opinion.

The Merritt's congestion is notorious, and is a massive source of annoyance for Fairfield County commuters. I definitely think ConnDOT would win in the court of public opinion.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4318 on: April 13, 2021, 04:21:40 PM »

You wouldn't need to do anything to the bridges. Currently, the Merritt takes up 150 feet of a 300 foot right of way. That extra space to the South was reserved for future expansion. You'd leave the current Merritt alone while building a 2nd one to the South. Then once you're finished, the existing eastbound lanes would become westbound express lanes in a 2-2-2-2 configuration.

Yes there would be howls of protest from NIMBYs, but I think the public would side with the state.


I think you greatly underestimate the strength of Fairfield County's wealth on this one. They would win out with ease through lawsuits upon lawsuits and the court of public opinion.

The Merritt's congestion is notorious, and is a massive source of annoyance for Fairfield County commuters. I definitely think ConnDOT would win in the court of public opinion.
No way.  People accept the congestion and want to preserve the character of the parkways.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4319 on: April 13, 2021, 04:24:58 PM »

You wouldn't need to do anything to the bridges. Currently, the Merritt takes up 150 feet of a 300 foot right of way. That extra space to the South was reserved for future expansion. You'd leave the current Merritt alone while building a 2nd one to the South. Then once you're finished, the existing eastbound lanes would become westbound express lanes in a 2-2-2-2 configuration.

Yes there would be howls of protest from NIMBYs, but I think the public would side with the state.


I think you greatly underestimate the strength of Fairfield County's wealth on this one. They would win out with ease through lawsuits upon lawsuits and the court of public opinion.

The Merritt's congestion is notorious, and is a massive source of annoyance for Fairfield County commuters. I definitely think ConnDOT would win in the court of public opinion.
No way.  People accept the congestion and want to preserve the character of the parkways.

This would conserve the character of the parkway. In fact, it would provide twice as parkway to love.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4320 on: April 13, 2021, 04:29:06 PM »

Fairfield County commuters would happily sit in traffic rather than see the Merritt destroyed from its looks. Some might argue it already looks too modern with the signage and the aforementioned ramps at exit 51.

Twice as much parkway to love won't matter to them.
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Adam Seth Moss
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4321 on: April 13, 2021, 04:33:29 PM »

You wouldn't need to do anything to the bridges. Currently, the Merritt takes up 150 feet of a 300 foot right of way. That extra space to the South was reserved for future expansion. You'd leave the current Merritt alone while building a 2nd one to the South. Then once you're finished, the existing eastbound lanes would become westbound express lanes in a 2-2-2-2 configuration.

Yes there would be howls of protest from NIMBYs, but I think the public would side with the state.


I think you greatly underestimate the strength of Fairfield County's wealth on this one. They would win out with ease through lawsuits upon lawsuits and the court of public opinion.

The Merritt's congestion is notorious, and is a massive source of annoyance for Fairfield County commuters. I definitely think ConnDOT would win in the court of public opinion.
No way.  People accept the congestion and want to preserve the character of the parkways.

This would conserve the character of the parkway. In fact, it would provide twice as parkway to love.
Keep tilting against that windmill.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4322 on: April 13, 2021, 06:37:53 PM »

You wouldn't need to do anything to the bridges. Currently, the Merritt takes up 150 feet of a 300 foot right of way. That extra space to the South was reserved for future expansion. You'd leave the current Merritt alone while building a 2nd one to the South. Then once you're finished, the existing eastbound lanes would become westbound express lanes in a 2-2-2-2 configuration.

Yes there would be howls of protest from NIMBYs, but I think the public would side with the state.


I think you greatly underestimate the strength of Fairfield County's wealth on this one. They would win out with ease through lawsuits upon lawsuits and the court of public opinion.

The Merritt's congestion is notorious, and is a massive source of annoyance for Fairfield County commuters. I definitely think ConnDOT would win in the court of public opinion.
No way.  People accept the congestion and want to preserve the character of the parkways.

This would conserve the character of the parkway. In fact, it would provide twice as parkway to love.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha yeah, no. The Merritt is sacred. You can't cut an effing tree along the road without a laundry list of complaints. There is no way in hell that it will ever be widened.

The backlash to the CT 8 and CT 25 interchanges was massive and those were just two spot projects. Do you really think people will agree to widening the entire road?
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4323 on: April 13, 2021, 06:38:33 PM »

You wouldn't need to do anything to the bridges. Currently, the Merritt takes up 150 feet of a 300 foot right of way. That extra space to the South was reserved for future expansion. You'd leave the current Merritt alone while building a 2nd one to the South. Then once you're finished, the existing eastbound lanes would become westbound express lanes in a 2-2-2-2 configuration.

Yes there would be howls of protest from NIMBYs, but I think the public would side with the state.


I think you greatly underestimate the strength of Fairfield County's wealth on this one. They would win out with ease through lawsuits upon lawsuits and the court of public opinion.

The Merritt's congestion is notorious, and is a massive source of annoyance for Fairfield County commuters. I definitely think ConnDOT would win in the court of public opinion.
No way.  People accept the congestion and want to preserve the character of the parkways.

This would conserve the character of the parkway. In fact, it would provide twice as parkway to love.

Nope.

Thank you, next.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #4324 on: April 13, 2021, 07:17:11 PM »

You wouldn't need to do anything to the bridges. Currently, the Merritt takes up 150 feet of a 300 foot right of way. That extra space to the South was reserved for future expansion. You'd leave the current Merritt alone while building a 2nd one to the South. Then once you're finished, the existing eastbound lanes would become westbound express lanes in a 2-2-2-2 configuration.

Yes there would be howls of protest from NIMBYs, but I think the public would side with the state.


I think you greatly underestimate the strength of Fairfield County's wealth on this one. They would win out with ease through lawsuits upon lawsuits and the court of public opinion.
Might I remind you that the Merritt Parkway goes through one of the wealthiest areas in the country, with a lot of people who have an endless amount of cash to pay for the best lawyers just to keep ConnDOT from making any substantive changes to the Parkway. Note that more than 30 years after the US-7 freeway was extended past the Parkway, they're still fighting over whether or not to complete the 7/15 interchange.
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