NORWALK, Conn. The project to expand I-95 at Exit 14 in Norwalk is nearing completion, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Wednesday as he stood near the construction site.
An additional southbound lane will open within the next month, Malloy said during a press conference on Fairfield Avenue overpass in Norwalk. The new northbound lane already opened at the end of last year. Malloy said the entire $45 million project will be completed by the end of the year.
Its going to make a significant change up and down 95, south of where we are as well as north of where we are, because thats what a chokehold this area has represented for the last 15 years since Exit 8 got completed in Stamford, Malloy said. He added that the expansion at Exit 14 should have been completed 15 years ago, but wasnt.
About 140,000 cars pass through that section of I-95 every day, Malloy said. Drivers spend an average of 42 hours per year stuck in traffic, which he said costs the state about $4.2 billion annually.
In addition to new lanes on I-95, the project includes the reconstruction of bridges on Taylor Avenue, Cedar Street and Fairfield Avenue in Norwalk to accommodate a wider highway. It also includes the addition of left-turn lanes, new curbing and sidewalks on Route 1.
We know how important transportation is to our economy. If we cant travel through an area safely and with ease, things start to bog down, people start looking at other areas where they might want to make their investments, said Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling. This is a project thats going to open up I-95 and make it easier for people to come to into town, to invest, to make less of a log jam, so were really, really pleased that were now seeing the end of the project.
Malloy thanked the labor men and women who worked on the project, saying that similar projects throughout Connecticut will add jobs to the construction trades. He also credited state Sen. Bob Duff with being a driving force behind getting the project completed.
Duff thanked Malloy for recognizing the importance of the project, and said that the transportation plan in the states newly passed budget will give Connecticut a state-of-the-art transportation system.
Were going to see more projects like this, and were going to be able to see people who are getting back and forth the way they need to get back and forth, with reliability and consistency, and that is going to put Connecticut on the map, Duff said.
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