News & Resources
Q: Can I submit a request to light the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge in a certain color on a certain date?
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) does not accept requests for lighting the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge.
The Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge is a vital element of the State’s transportation infrastructure, an engineering and construction marvel and the signature gateway to New Haven. But first and foremost, it is a memorial. As a steward of the bridge, the Department of Transportation is committed to presenting the public with an attractive, year-round experience, while preserving the solemnity and dignity of the bridge’s memorial functions.
Memorial lighting consists of three lamp fixtures on each of the two center towers that project narrow beams of light skyward, with the bridge illuminated in red, white and blue with the lettering located on the interior side of the anchor piers washed in clean white light. Memorial lighting shall only be used from dusk and till dawn with the three lamp fixtures on each of the center tower piers going off at 1:00 AM on the following dates:
Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights of Memorial Day weekend
The night before and night of Independence Day (July 4)
The night before and night of 9/11
The night before and the night of Veterans Day (November 11)
The night before and night of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (December 7)
On all other calendar days, the bridge will be illuminated in hues of blue and/or green in accordance with the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge Aesthetic/Memorial Proposal to mitigate potential negative impacts to certain migratory species, as approved by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on August 19, 2014.
Q: Is up-to-date traffic information available for this segment of I-95? Are lane closures publicized ahead of time?
Lane closures, detours and planned roadway work are posted on this website daily. View the current interactive map or visit the main page to view traffic alerts and construction news information.
Q: Who is funding this program?
The I-95 NHHC Corridor Improvement Program is being financed through a combination of direct contributions from federal funds and state funding. The CTDOT is utilizing multiple federal highway programs to maximize flexibility. 87% of funding for the Program is from federal sources; the remainder is being paid by the State of Connecticut.
The State has a dedicated Special Transportation Fund (STF) that was fully established by the Legislature in 1984. More detailed information about the STF is provided in the CTDOT's Master Transportation Plan. The Bureau of Highways annually receives bonding authorizations that are financed by the STF. These bonds and other special bond authorizations are used to provide the State match for transportation infrastructure projects.
Q: How will this Program affect air quality in the New Haven area?
A goal of the Program's capacity improvements is to improve traffic flow through the New Haven area. The improved traffic flow provides improved air quality by reducing traffic delays and backups. This translates to fewer idling vehicles and reduces the emissions of carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), volatile hydrocarbons (VOC's) and inhalable particulates (PM10) that are harmful to the regions environmental health.
For the I-95 NHHC Corridor Improvement Program, the CTDOT implemended the Connecticut Clean Air Initiative. Emissions of PM10, NOx and CO will be reduced when construction equipment greater than 60 horse power are retrofit with emissions-reducing devices, such as oxidation catalysts, or are powered by clean fuels, such as PuriNox. Additionally, the initiative limits the time for idling construction vehicles, which translates to reduced emissions.
Q: How can I obtain more information about the I-95 NHHC Corridor Improvement Program?
Email your question(s) to the Public Information Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-203-752-1996. In addition, public information presentations are available for groups of 30 or more and can be requested through email or phone.
Q: How do I find out about lane closures and traffic impacts on I-95 NB & SB outside of the I-95 New Haven area?
The I-95 NHHC Corridor Improvement Program is unable to provide any information on construction work beyond the Program corridor limits (Exit 44 to Exit 54), in New Haven. Information regarding I-95 traffic impacts beyond the New Haven area can be found on CTDOT's interactive map at www.dotdata.ct.gov/iti/master_iti.html.
CTDOT also provides E-Traffic Alerts that are sent via email when there is a traffic incident that will affect your area of travel. You can register for E-Alerts at www.dotdata.ct.gov/etraffic/registration.aspx.
Q: What are those large piles of dirt along the interstate?
The large piles of dirt that can be seen along I-95, I-91 and Route 34 are called preloads. Preloads are required to accelerate settlement of the earth below them to compact the soil in preparation for the new bridges and roadways as part of the new interchange. Due to certain soil conditions, it is important to compact the earth before new construction occurs to minimize settlement after construction. One of the preload areas has already settled more than three feet. The preloads were built in advance of the reconstruction of the new I-95/I-91/Route 34 Interchange. They will continue to be removed as construction of the new Interchange progresses.
Q: What causes construction vibrations?
Construction vibration is generated by heavy equipment movement and work operations. The degree to which vibration effects nearby buildings and people varies greatly depending on the geology of soil, distance from the area under construction, as well as the type and duration of construction activities. The installation of pile supported bridge foundations and sheet piling are the two main causes of vibrations within the I-95 NHHC Corridor Improvement Program.
Q: What determines how intense the vibrations are?
There are many factors that affect the intensity, magnitude or level of vibrations. Vibration is mechanical energy in motion. Vibration propagates in all directions similar to the waves created when a rock is dropped into water. The strength or intensity of the vibration rapidly decreases as the distance from the source increases. The geology of the soil, the coupling efficiency and susceptibility of the existing buildings and in particular their foundations, also affect the intensity of the vibrations experienced.
Q: If I can feel my house shaking then isn't it likely that the vibrations are damaging my house?
No, very unlikely. Ground vibrations from construction activities very rarely reach the levels that can damage structures, but can achieve the audible and perceptible ranges in buildings that are very close to the active work area. It is impossible to accurately gauge how intense vibration levels are based on a person’s sensations alone. Most people can detect vibrations at very low levels long before they reach a level capable of damaging a structure. Remember, buildings are exposed to natural environmental vibrations all the time, such as those stemming from wind load, seismic motion and nearby transportation systems. But these “feelable” vibration levels do nothing to damage buildings.
Q: I thought my neighborhood was identified as a sensitive or restricted zone? What are you doing to mitigate vibrations and noise in my neighborhood?
If your neighborhood has been identified as a sensitive area, CTDOT is taking measures to help mitigate neighborhood disruptions and reduce disturbances created by vibrations and noise. This includes performing work operations that create vibrations and noise during the day as much as possible, rather than at night. In addition, the use of low impact equipment is required for removal of bridges, micropiles are used for substructure construction and the use of sheet piling has been limited.
Noise barriers or shields may also be installed around work sites to help control noise created by construction activities. While noise barriers do help mitigate noise, they do not reduce ground-borne vibration. Although these, and additional measures can be put in place to help minimize vibration and noise, it is not possible to completely eliminate them. People will still hear and feel the construction work, but the levels of noise and vibration will be carefully monitored to ensure they do not exceed specific limits.
Q: Why is the new bridge being called a "signature" bridge?
The new Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge will be an extradosed cable-stayed bridge, the first of its kind in the United States. An extradosed bridge will provide a distinctly aesthetic structure for the City of New Haven and the South Central region of Connecticut and will advance the nation's bridge technology in this new and innovative type of design. Extradosed bridges have structural characteristics similar to concrete box girder and cable-stayed bridges and have been successful for several years in both Europe and Japan.
Q: Will I still be able to access I-95 from Sargent Drive and Long Wharf Drive, and vice versa?
Yes. Access to and from I-95 from Sargent Drive and Long Wharf Drive will be maintained.
Q: Why does the Program stop in Branford - what about taking three lanes all the way to Rhode Island?
A study to expand I-95 to three lanes between Branford and Rhode Island was completed by CTDOT Bureau of Policy and Planning. For more information, contact the Bureau of Policy and Planning or view the I-95 Branford to Rhode Island Feasibility Study here.
Q: Will interstate connections at the I-95/I-91/Rte. 34 Interchange be improved, especially I-91 SB to I-95 SB?
Yes. The I-95 / I-91 / Route 34 Interchange was improved in April 2010, when the I-91 Southbound to the I-95 Southbound Ramp opened to two lanes of traffic. Furthermore, the Interchange will be redesigned to eliminate existing left lane entrance and exit ramps to the extent possible, provide two-lane interstate-to-interstate roadway movements, and accommodate increased traffic flow by providing six lanes on I-95 through the interchange. The reconstructed and expanded interchange will accept the ten lanes proposed for the new Pearl Harbor Memorial (Q) Bridge. The Brewery Street on-ramp onto I-95 Southbound and the Brewery Street off-ramp from Route 34 Eastbound will be eliminated. The existing entrance ramp from Wooster Street to I-95 Northbound will remain.
Remaining improvements to the corridor are ongoing, and will greatly improve traffic flow once the I-95 NHHC Corridor Improvement Program is completed in late 2016.
Q: How many lanes will be on the completed Pearl Harbor Memorial (Q) Bridge?
There will be five lanes on both I-95 Northbound and I-95 Southbound.
Q: What other types of transit improvements have been completed by the Program?
As part of the Construction Traffic Management Plan, the new train stations in Branford, Clinton, and Guilford were opened to the public in the fall of 2005. Improvements to the Madison station were completed in 2008 and the Westbrook Station opened in March, 2014.
The Branford, Clinton and Madison stations include south side platforms and the Guilford station features a pedestrian bridge connecting the south side platform to the north side parking lot. The Westbrook Station consists of 2 platforms and a free commuter park-and-ride lot.
Improvements to the stations, including parking are ADA compliant and part of the Shoreline East Line.
Q: How do I use the Commuter Connection bus in New Haven?
The Commuter Connection Downtown route meets trains at State Street Station on weekday mornings and makes a return trip along the same route in the evening for trains departing Union Station. The bus is specifically timed to arriving trains and will wait if the train is not on time. A combined bus/rail ticket is available where Shore Line East tickets are sold. Visit www.shorelineeast.com or call 1-800-ALL-RIDE for more information. The CTTransit local J Route and the free Union Station/New Haven Green shuttle operate from Union Station. Visit www.cttransit.com or call 203-624-0151 for more information.