State leaders begin prep for ‘mixmaster’ rehabilitation in Waterbury

WATERBURY -- The mixmaster, an affectionate term for the confluence of I-84 and Route 8 in Waterbury, is due for a major upgrade soon, according to transportation officials.

"The first piece of this is going to be replacement based on condition. It’s an aging structure that has to be replaced," said James Redeker, Connecticut Transportation Commissioner. "When it’s done it’ll be rebuilt on modern standards for traffic flow."

The elevated bridge structure was built in the 1960s and is now over capacity and at the end of its useful lifespan. Officials say the project could cost around $8 billion. That stretch of road is notorious for accidents, traffic snarls, and unsafe lane changing due to its out of date design.

"84 is part of that highway system that transformed America culturally, economically, tied us together as a nation and we’re people who like to move so being stuck on the mixmaster is big problem," remarked Democratic Congresswoman Rep. Elizabeth Esty.

Local leaders cited smooth traffic flow as key to economic stability in the Waterbury area. No timeline on the project has been set. CT DOT said it will finalize a consulting firm soon with the public participation phase set to begin later this year.