WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — The Mixmaster is a series of ten bridges that intertwine in Waterbury to connect Route 8 in the Naugatuck Valley to I-84. It is a major transportation project. 200,000 cars and trucks are on the series of roadways every day. And they’re not alone; construction crews and their equipment and detour signs have also all been out there since 2017.
This, as crews try to fix the structure that’s aged since it was built in the ’60s. The newest work will impact drivers coming north to Waterbury from places like Naugatuck and Ansonia from Route 8 who would normally take Exit 33 to I-84 to head to places like Southbury, Woodbury, and Danbury.
The Exit 33 ramp will be closed for a year starting Friday. Detour signs will be put in place.
All of the construction and numerous detours over the last three years have caused drivers to try to avoid The Mixmaster if they can.
“There’s always construction,” said motorist, Anthony Brown. “And it’s a real inconvenience.”
But, Kenny Stanco, the Project Liaison for Mayor Neil O’Leary, says the rehab project is important to keeping The Mixmaster safe for the next 25 years.
“It’s going to be a much smoother, safer ride for drivers,” Stanco said. “When this project is done you’re going to see new pavement, new parapets — those are the walls on the side of the highway on the bridges. You’re going to see new railings, new signs, and markings on the streets.”
He also tells News 8 the overall rehab project originally cost $153 million.
“80 percent is federal money and 20 percent is coming from the state,” he said.
Stanco says the entire overall I-84 Mixmaster Rehab Project should be finished in the spring of 2022. As for the Exit 33 ramp that’s shutting down Friday, Sept. 25, he hopes drivers will be patient in the name of progress and a safer Mixmaster.