For three years, drivers have been dealing with I-84 widening construction work in Waterbury, but come May it will be all about the Mixmaster.
“That configuration where Route 8 and 84 come in will be a series of bridges, 10 bridges overall, that we will be rehabilitating and keeping in a state of good repair,” said District Engineer John Dunham with the Connecticut Department of Transportation.
According to Dunham, while the bridges do not pose an immediate danger to the public, they are considered “substandard.” The rehabilitation work, Dunham said, will provide 25 more years of service life for the Mixmaster as a new interchange is planned.
While drivers told NBC Connecticut they are starting to see progress on the widening project, getting there hasn’t been easy.
“The beginning was difficult,” said Amanda Leo, the general manager of the nearby Nardelli’s Grinder Shoppe. She worries what two big transportation projects happening just a mile apart will mean for business.
“The good news there is the widening project is way ahead of schedule,” Dunham said. “We anticipate getting three lanes open in each direction not too much longer after getting the Mixmaster project started.”
Shanti Brown lives and works in Waterbury. She has fewer concerns about project overlap and more about overall congestion.
“They do too much construction at the wrong time of the day,” she told NBC Connecticut.
Dunham said the work on the Mixmaster will be done in the overnight hours, starting at 9 p.m. and wrapping up around 6 a.m. The early part of the project includes a temporary bypass road with three associated bridges that cross the Naugatuck River twice and Freight Street.
“While the contractor is working on that, we will be working on the upper and lower decks of 84 itself,” Dunham said.
The rehabilitation work is scheduled to be complete by August 2021.