Second weekend of I-95 bridge construction begins tonight

I-95
Workers assemble the rebar mat of Span 1 before the concrete deck is poured. — Jill Barrett photo

The second of two weekends when I-95 will be closed at Exit 9 in Stamford begins tonight, June 7. Motorists are advised to avoid the area, which may experience heavy traffic delays.

Last weekened, officials had expected a traffic nightmare through Stamford over the weekend as drivers took local roads to bypass the highway, but officials said congestion was not as bad as feared. In fact, the highway was re-opened nearly a day earlier than expected as work progressed more quickly than planned. Re-opening had been planned for 5 a.m. Monday, June 3.

As last weekend, this weekend’s closure is planned to allow installation of  a new bridge carrying Route 1 over I-95 utilizing Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) techniques.

Friday, June 7:  The Exit 9 on-ramps will close at 6 p.m. At 9 p.m., the off-ramps will close as will Route 1 at the bridge between  Courtland and Seaside avenues. A 11 p.m., I-95 will be closed at Exit 9, with traffic diverted to temporary roadways using the highway on- and off-ramps.

Monday, June 10: I-95 and Route 1 will reopen to traffic by 5 a.m.

Project details

The project involves the complete superstructure replacement of the bridge carrying Route 1 over I-95. The bridge was built in 1958 and is at Exit 9 just north of the intersection of Route 106 (Courtland Avenue) and just south of the intersection with Seaside Avenue.

Utilizing ABC techniques, both the east and west spans of the new bridge superstructures were constructed off-line (with virtually no traffic impacts) in the infield area of the I-95 northbound Exit 9 on-ramp. During the two scheduled weekend closures, the existing spans will be demolished and the new spans will be lifted and set onto piers and abutments using SPMT’s (Self Propelled Modular Transporters). One span will be removed and replaced per weekend closure.

According to the DOT, the ABC methods allow the majority of traffic impacts associated with the project to be condensed into the two scheduled weekend closures. If conventional construction methods were used, multiple years of lane closures on I-95 as well as Route 1 would have been required, the DOT said, resulting in daily and significant traffic congestion in the vicinity, particularly during weekday morning and afternoon rush-hours.

The two spans were constructed with 628 cubic yards of concrete weighing over 1.5 million pounds. About 32 miles of rebar were installed within the newly constructed bridge spans, and all new structural steel was used to create the new bridge superstructures. Each individual span to be lifted and set into place weighs approximately 1.6 million pounds, and 1.8 million pounds respectively.

A project website, www.i95exit9.com, will provide live streaming video feeds of construction throughout the weekends when the bridge spans are installed.

In the two weeks leading up the closures, the contractor will be busy preparing the site as well as equipment that will be used to move the bridge spans into place.

The project is being constructed by O&G Industries Inc. of Torrington for $14,871,223.76. The official start date was June 1, 2018, and is anticipated to be completed in November 2019.

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