Interstate 84 to be Widened in Waterbury - NBC Connecticut

Interstate 84 to be Widened in Waterbury



    The $400 million construction project to widen I-84 in Waterbury begins in June. (Published Tuesday, April 15, 2014)

    Interstate 84 was built through Waterbury 50 years ago, with two lanes each way. The last time it was widenened, drains were installed upside down or not connected at all and the project had to be done over.

    In June, lanes will be added to the last narrow stretch Gov. Dannel Malloy called a "chokepoint" during a presentation Tuesday morning in a parking lot along the highway.

    Watrebury Mayor Neil O'Leary thanked Malloy, saying, "We have waited and waited for years for leadership to get this project moving."

    The $400 million construction phase of the project is set to begin in June and will last five or six years. It's part of a $3 billion transportation improvement plan.

    Drivers will want to avoid the area. That's nothing new.

    The top-ranking elected officials in the state were on hand, including Sen. Chris Murphy, who said, "I live about two miles down the road off of Interstate 84, and I have probably lost about a year of my life sitting in traffic along this stretch of road along Interstate 84."

    His neighbor, Rep. Elizabeth Esty, who lives in Cheshire, said gridlock in Washington is even worse than the gridlock Waterbury often sees.

    "The Highway Trust Fund might run out of money in August, and if that happens, we are going to have to start shutting down these projects. For us here in the north, it's asphalt opening day today. But asphalt closing is the end of October. We can't afford a couple months this summer," Esty said.