The final phase of widening Interstate 84 in Waterbury will begin in the middle of next year and the project is expected to take five years.
The road will widen from two to three lanes between exits 23 at Hamilton Avenue and Exit 25A at Austin Road to alleviate the congestion and make the roadway safer.
"There are several S curves on 84. They will be straightened out. There will be new extra ramps and off ramps, so we will make it safer," Joe Geary, chief of staff to the mayor, said.
Construction work was supposed to start years ago, but officials from the state Department of Transportation said the final phase of the project was put on hold because of a lack of funding.
The Federal Highway Administration has agreed to pay about 80 percent of the $400 million-to $500 million project. The state will pay the rest of the project, which should take about five years to complete.
Drivers aren’t looking forward to the road blocks that will come with the construction, but said they think the outcome will be worth it.
“Five years. I mean, if they can process their work faster than that. a lot of people can benefit from that,” Elaine Kilgore, a resident of Waterbury, said.
The Department of Transportation is getting permits ready for the project and officials plan to hold a public information meeting at Crosby High School this summer to keep residents and drivers up to speed on the construction.