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Exit 28 on I-91 North Closing for Highway Improvement Project

The plan is to change the traffic pattern on I-91 North in Hartford to alleviate the bottleneck from the exit to the Charter Oak Bridge.

There’s a multi-year, multi-million project underway to fix a bottlenecking nightmare for drivers on I-91 north heading east of Hartford and the construction will about to start really impacting drivers.

Exit 28 is shutting down for two years. The closure was scheduled for Wednesday night, but heavy rain pushed it to Thursday. 

The Connecticut Department of Transportation says they have to close that exit so they can take steps to build a new, two-lane exit ramp to the Charter Oak Bridge at Exit 29, replacing the one lane that is known for traffic.

Gov. Lamont on Friday announced a plan to change the traffic pattern on I-91 North in Hartford to alleviate the bottleneck from the exit to the Charter Oak Bridge.

“So I come from Berlin, so in the morning, I have to leave like 40 minutes, probably 40 minutes, early because it backs up from Rocky Hill, actually into Cromwell sometimes all the way,” said Jennifer Parmelee, who commutes to her family produce business in Hartford.

“I know that it’s so congested. I know for myself personally, if I have to go up 91 or 84, I take the Berlin Turnpike,” said her sister-in-law Lisa Driscoll of Wethersfield. “You can look on the highway. It’s miles and miles of backup.”

“We have to widen I-91 northbound and in order to do that we have to widen a bridge over (Routes) 5 and 15,” said Jim Vincenzo, the CT DOT supervising engineer.

Vincenzo says the headache of the closure will be worth it in the long-run.

“There’s a big payoff at the end.”

But for now, instead of taking Exit 28, the state is asking drivers to detour off what’s already causing the biggest backup, Exit 29. Then, they say you can take Exit 90 to Route 2 westbound and turn right off the first East River Drive exit and right onto southbound Routes 5 and 15.

We have heard from some locals that they know of some better detour routes, but CT DOT says they prefer this detour because they believe it will have the least impact.

“Hopefully they’ll finish it on time or even a little bit before, but that’s a long time. But something needs to be done if you could ever see the congestion there it’s backed up at a dead stop its crazy,” said Driscoll.

To get email notifications about the progress of this project, you can sign up for emails from the state.

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