NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A project aimed to redevelop land of the former Route 34 expressway in New Haven will be temporarily closing down South Frontage Road (SFR) for the rest of 2021.

The Downtown Crossing New Haven Project is in Phase 3, which will mean South Frontage Road will be closed from College Street to Church Street for at least 20 weeks. This will start the evening of June 1 and remain closed from June 2 until November.

In the late 1950s, they built Route 34 as a trench through the middle of New Haven, destroying the Oak Street neighborhood and tearing the city apart. Now, the Downtown Crossing New Haven will literally bridge that gap by building a bridge over the old expressway.

South Frontage Road is a major outbound route from Downtown New Haven & the Medical District to Interstate-91 and Interstate-95. The South Frontage Road closure will not impact inbound traffic from the east. 

However, the South Frontage Road closure may impact those traveling from Downtown and the Medical District to I-91/I-95. 

  • The Service Drives to and from the Air Rights Garage will not be impacted by the South Frontage Road closure.
  • If exiting the Air Rights Garage from another road (other than the Service Drives) that leads to the closed portion of South Frontage Road, drivers will come upon the official detour route.
  • The detour route will be heavily marked with on-street signage which will guide drivers through the detour and onto highway access. 

Phase 3 work will prepare the Temple Street and Congress Avenue area for the construction of a bridge connecting the two streets in Phase 4. Phase 3 work will include:

  • Raising the grade of South Frontage Road (between College and Church Streets) to accommodate the future Temple Street Bridge
  • Raising the grade of the portion of Congress Avenue that abuts South Frontage Road to accommodate the future Temple Street Bridge
  • Construction of the south abutment for the Temple Street bridge
  • Construction of pedestrian and bicyclist upgrades
  • Relocation of underground utilities to accommodate bridge construction in Phase 4

Here is a map of the closure and the recommended detours:

Lafayette Street will temporarily converted to one-way to assist traffic flow around the SFR closure.

York Street will be converted to a two-way between SFR & Howard Ave. to assist traffic flow around the SFR closure.

This also means a portion of Columbus Avenue (between Church and Orange) is back open. It has been closed to traffic for 58 years. Here’s how the lanes will be structured:

For more information on the Downtown Crossing New Haven Project, click here.