In Connecticut, the stretch of Interstate 95 extending east from New York City is known for two factors: extensive, time-consuming traffic and above average collision rates. In this corner of Fairfield County, the infrastructure has not been updated since the 1950s.
In October 2021, Governor Ned Lamont announced that the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) awarded the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CT DOT) a $1 million dollar grant to study the segment of I-95 passing through Fairfield County with the goal of making safety improvements. Public information meetings will start in early 2023.
Whether your commute includes this area or you’ve observed how intense traffic can get through this corridor, here’s what you should know.
About the Study
The nearly 130-mile stretch known as the Greenwich-Killingly Expressway was completed and opened for service in 1958 to connect multiple local, toll-based roads across the Eastern Seaboard. Yet over six decades later, few improvements have been made to this area. As a result, one of the most congested corridors in the United States has seen over 736 car accidents between Exits 7 and 9 from 2018 to 2020.
Properly known as the “Interstate 95 Stamford Planning and Environmental Linkage Study”, this effort is funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will attempt to identify ways to reduce traffic, merging and subsequent collisions.
These findings have potential to provide more targeted infrastructure improvements and upgrades that will ultimately benefit drivers, pedestrians and commercial freights, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Long term, these changes would reduce driving time through southern Fairfield County and help improve the region’s quality of life and economic opportunities.
While research has yet to begin, the study will also examine the 1,065-foot-long bridge traveling over Myrtle Avenue, South State Street and Lafayette Street. Also constructed in 1958, the bridge has long needed repairs due to hairline cracks, hollow portions, rusting and exposed rebar. Findings may help develop a strategy to replace this fixture located near Exit 7, which handles a high volume of daily traffic into downtown Stamford.
Other Efforts to Address Collisions on I-95
The recently proposed study is one of multiple efforts and strategies introduced over the past decade to help tackle the traffic and accidents along this portion of I-95. In 2019, the state Department of Transportation released a document titled Strategic Implementation Plan, I-95 West Corridor. It was based on traffic and accident data from a 2012 FHWA-supported study using the Value Pricing Pilot Program (VPPP) and a separate CT DOT study. The document detailed potential cost-effective improvements for reducing traffic along this stretch of road.
The proposed ideas served as an alternative to widening I-95, a project that could run anywhere from $5 billion to over $10 billion. Proposed improvements involved additional lanes, widening select portions of the highway and other interchange upgrades. The data on which these recommendations were based found that certain areas from Greenwich to New Haven see more than the average number of car accidents, most of which are rear-end collisions and side-swipe incidents.
Along with this plan, former Governor Dannel Malloy proposed widening segments of I-95 along the shoreline in 2018 to help reduce congestion. However, the project was estimated to cost $4 billion and take eight years to complete.
Going farther along the highway, a $4 million study to examine the area between Exits 19 and 27A in the northbound direction was approved by the State Bind Commission, with the goal of improving transportation in Connecticut.
Have you been involved in a motor vehicle collision along I-95 in Connecticut? To secure compensation for your injuries, bring your claim to Trantolo & Trantolo today.