The Connecticut Department of Transportation presented its initial project plan for the Heroes Tunnel that bisects West Rock on Route 15 at a public meeting in Woodbridge on September 22. The twin horseshoe-shaped Heroes Tunnel is a scenic connector between New York and Hartford and carries approximately 71,000 vehicles daily.
Structural and draining deficiencies along with general deterioration and other substandard characteristics necessitate either tunnel rehabilitation or replacement. Several alternatives were presented to the Woodbridge, New Haven and Hamden communities including: tunnel rehabilitation, tunnel widening and construction of a third tunnel. CDM Smith, Inc., a New Haven design consulting firm, has been retained by the DOT to lead the project through preliminary design. The DOT plans to keep the communities involved in all phases of the project.
The DOT welcomes project comments through October 7. Comments should be directed to Mr. Mark W. Alexander, Transportation Assistant Planning Director at firstname.lastname@example.org by the October 7 deadline.
“Town staff and I have been working closely with our counterparts in New Haven and DOT staff to understand the implications of the tunnel rehabilitation and to mitigate the impact to our residents,” said First Selectman Ellen Scalettar.
There are three state DOT plans underway that will affect Woodbridge: a short-term plan for the Exit 59 area, a long-term plan for the Exit 59 area as well as the Heroes Tunnel. “It is extremely important for all three DOT Project Teams to work together to minimize the impact on the Woodbridge community,” noted First Selectman Ellen Scalettar. The short-term plan is scheduled to begin in 2018, according to the DOT.
The state DOT plans to present its long-term conceptual plans for the Exit 59 project at the October 18, 2016 Board of Selectmen meeting.
(Pictured left to right: Paul Schmidt, P.E., CDM Smith Inc. Principal in Charge; David Cutler, P.E., CT Dept. of Transportation Supervising Engineer; Lawrence Murphy, P.E., CDM Smith Inc. Vice President )