Exit 11 Update: Berkshire Road Temporary Lane Shift Planned
Crews on the Exit 11 realignment project expect to make another temporary lane shift this week as the Exit 11 realignment project continues in the area of Wasserman Way, Berkshire Road and Toddy Hill Road.
The work is creating intersection improvements along Wasserman Way (State Route 490) at the interstate ramps, Berkshire Road (State Route 34) at Wasserman, and Berkshire at Toddy Hill Road. The off-ramp from I-84 also is being reconfigured to accommodate an additional turn lane and realigned to normalize the intersection with Wasserman Way, according to Connecticut Department of Transportation (CT DOT) documents.
The project’s mission is to alleviate chronic congestion in the area.
According to an update from CT DOT, Berkshire Road westbound traffic will shift by March 24 to use a temporary lane. The new lane has been constructed on Berkshire between that road’s intersection with Toddy Hill Road and the overpass for the Exit 11 on-ramp.
The new on-ramp extending from Berkshire Road will join the on-ramp from Wasserman Road south of the exit ramp split, where drivers determine whether they will get onto I-84 West or East. The new Berkshire Road on-ramp will eliminate the need for drivers to travel through two signalized intersections to enter I-84.
Work this week was scheduled to include continued earthwork between the Exit 11 ramps (large berms are being built between the on- and off-ramps, south of the Berkshire Road overpass); drainage work along Berkshire, west of Wasserman; continued construction of the permanent retaining walls along Berkshire; overpass work, and construction of the new westbound on-ramp.
The length of the work area is approximately 2,600 feet along Berkshire Road, about 3,700 feet along the Exit 11 ramps, approximately 1,500 feet along Wasserman Way, and about 100 feet along Toddy Hill Road.
The planned improvements to address traffic congestion and improve traffic operations include providing auxiliary turning lanes and improving the geometry at the affected intersections.
The Exit 11 off-ramp is being reconfigured to accommodate an additional turning lane and realigned to normalize its intersection with Wasserman Way.
The eastbound on-ramp has been moved slightly to the north to accommodate a minimum weave length for the planned new on-ramp at Berkshire Road.
Illumination on the ramps will be upgraded.
Westbound Berkshire Road will be widened to provide a left-turn lane for the Newtown High School driveway.
The existing commuter lot on Wasserman Way will be partially reconstructed.
Improvements to bicycle, pedestrian, and commuter accommodations are being incorporated where possible, according to DOT. Five-foot-wide shoulders will be included along Berkshire Road in the project area.
Sidewalks have been added along the south side of Berkshire Road from Newtown High School to Wasserman Way. They will eventually extend to the intersection with Toddy Hill Road. They will also be installed along the north side of Berkshire Road from Toddy Hill Road to Pole Bridge Road.
Sidewalks will also be included along Wasserman Way from the Wasserman Way/Berkshire Road intersection to Oakview Road, and along Wasserman Way from the Wasserman Way/Berkshire Road intersection to the commuter parking lot.
The $25.1 million project was awarded in September 2021 to A.M. Rizzo. Work began in mid-October 2021 and is expected to take roughly 2½ years, until May 2024, to complete.
The project is administered by the Bureau of Engineering and Construction, Office of Construction, District 4 in Thomaston.
Managing Editor Shannon Hicks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.