Traffic shift at I-95/I-91 interchange in New Haven begins this weekend

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NEW HAVEN -- The $2 billion I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing Corridor Improvement Program will be completed this fall, but not before a potential major headache for travelers this weekend.

"One of the major components of the interchange was to eliminate all of the left-hand exit ramps," said Domenic LaRosa, of the CT Department of Transportation. In order to achieve this, the I-95 northbound off-ramp to I-91 northbound at exit 48 in New Haven will shift from being a left hand exit to a right hand exit.

LaRosa adds that traffic pattern data indicates that left hand exits slow the traffic flow significantly. The DOT says travelers should expect significant delays starting late Friday night while this traffic pattern is switched. Between midnight and 7 a.m. Saturday, there is going to be a series of 20 minute shutdowns to traffic along I-95 northbound, between the off-ramps for exit 44 and exit 46.

"Some overhead signs have to be moved over and so we have to stop traffic," said LaRosa, who has worked on this project even dating back to its inception in 2000.

He adds that if you are unfamiliar with the area, don't pay attention to your GPS just yet. These companies have not yet been alerted about the upcoming changes.

"From New York all the way to New Haven, we will have the messages up notifying people that in New Haven there is a flip of the traffic going on," said LaRosa.

"This interchange accommodates up to 160,000 vehicles per day," said Vlad Kaminsky, a supervising engineer for the DOT. He noted that the interchange will likely be completed by September, when an extra travel lane will be added to the points where I-95 merges with I-91, both north and south, as well as Route 34, which connects downtown New Haven to the highways. That final touch is expected to dissipate the heavy traffic even more.

For up to the minute information on the project, including detour maps, click here.