I-395 northbound in Waterford to close for 10 days

New London

Prep work is being done to get ready for a major bridge construction project on I-395 in Waterford. The commuter parking lot underneath the highway on Route 85 has been taken over by the contractor.

“These are some of the precast deck panels that are going to be swung into place to take the place of the demolitioned bridge deck that’s on right now,” explained Andrew Millovitsch who is a project engineer with the state Department of Transportation.

He says the I-395 bridge work over Route 85 is an ABC project. In other words it uses accelerated bridge construction techniques.

“What it does is it allows us to compress what would potentially be a year plus duration of lane shifts, staged construction,” said Millovitsch. “We compress it to a tighter time frame.”

That tighter time frame is 10 days when the northbound side of I-395 in Waterford will be closed completely right at Exit 2.

The detour for the project is pretty straight forward. Basically, drivers will get off the Exit 2. They will then cross Rt. 85 and get back onto the highway using the entrance ramp.

Temporary lights, which are still under wraps, have been installed to try to keep traffic moving during the highway closure. 

“Because of the lights there will be backups guaranteed,” said Cameron Champlin of Waterford.

35-thousand vehicles travel on I-395 and 24-thousand travel on Rt. 85 each day.

“There will be a lot of back ups here,” said Don Berge of Montville. “I just go the back way.”

That’s what the state wants locals to do. The DOT is asking travelers to avoid the area if they can.

That way, it will lesson the congestion for those who have to take the I-395 detour or come across it while on Rt. 85.

“Luckily, for me, I can go around. I can keep going up and get on 85 up above,” said Champlin.

Message boards let travelers know of the bridge construction starting next Friday, May 31st.

The 10-day closure will be repeated on the southbound side of I-395 starting July 19th.

“Hopefully, everyone’s well rehearsed and the second time around will be even more successful than the first,” said Millovitsch.

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