Route 161/Exit 74 Project Information

I-95 Exit 74 Project 44-156 Logo

Current Information

Winter Lecture Series: DOT 161 Interchange Project – March 8

Current Project Work Activities

Final Condition Video
What will the project look like when it is complete?
Watch the narrated video showing the final condition.

Rock Blasting
Beginning on August 1, 2023, rock blasting along I-95 will take place Monday through Thursday for a period of 6-8 weeks. As a result, I-95 NB/SB will be closed twice a day between the hours of 9:00AM and 1:30PM for 15 minutes for each blast. Blasting will not take place on Fridays.

Unfortunately, the exact times of the blasts cannot be predicted as there are many different factors that control the timing. However, if you would like to receive daily text messages 30 minutes prior to each blast, please submit your contact information/cell phone number.

This short term 15-minute highway closures are necessary for the safety of the traveling public. Please know that every effort will be made to keep these temporary highway closures to the shortest duration possible.

* Blasting is not allowed to be performed during nighttime hours. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to your commute.  If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at info@i-95eastlyme.com.
Map of Scheduled Blasting Area

Construction Begins
Governor Lamont announces start of construction (Press Release)
I-95 to be reconfigured in East Lyme (Video by WFSB)
News Conference (Video by WFSB)
Construction Begins on I-95 Exit 74 (Video by NBC Connecticut)

DOT Project 44-156 – The Route 161/Exit 74 project is set to begin within the week!

At a meeting today, it was described by the Project Managers as a major project similar to the reconstruction/rebuilding of the Pearl Harbor bridge in New Haven. It will be a 4.5-year project beginning the week of March 13th. It will involve lane closures, detours, and impact traffic in the Town.

The first year of the project will be utility work on Route 161 between Industrial Park Rd and Rt 1. The utility work will include the relocation of utility poles, gas lines, and water and sewer lines on Rt 161. Within the next couple of weeks, the Town will begin to see lane closures. The contract allows for one lane closure in each direction between 9 AM and 3 PM during the day. IT WILL HAVE AN IMPACT ON TRAFFIC DURING THOSE HOURS. Also, the magnitude of the work will result in a gravel road surface at times when underground utilities are being relocated. VEHICLE SPEED WILL HAVE TO BE REDUCED EVEN OUTSIDE OF CONSTRUCTION HOURS BECAUSE THE ROAD SURFACE WILL BE DUG UP DURING THE DAY WITH A TEMPORARY SURFACE OUTSIDE OF CONTRUCTION HOURS.

  •  Beginning the week of March 13th there will be surveyors in the area placing survey stakes and ribbons. It is not anticipated that there will be lane closures while the survey work is being done next week, but it is possible.
  •  Following the survey work is when the actual work on relocating the utilities will begin. That is when the lane closures are anticipated to begin. The Project Managers have stated their intention is to notify the Town approximately two weeks in advance of the need to close lanes so ample notification can be provided to the public.

Updates will be provided on the Town’s website, local access TV stations, and Town social media pages (Facebook).

I-95 Exit 74 Completed Project Rendering

When Completed View. Click to enlarge.

The Project Manager is going to provide a shorter version of the presentation given to the Police, Fire, Public Works, and Schools that will provide more complete details on the entire project (See CT DOT Slide Presentation Mar 2023). Once received it will be shared with the community on the sites mentioned above. Also, a request was made for a presentation to the community at a date in the near future.

A website specifically for the project is being developed by the Project Managers and the link to it will be on the Town website once it is available (See CT DOT Project website). Also, large computer-generated pictures of what the finished project will look like are being prepared by the Project Managers. Once they are available, they will be on display on the website and at most Town facilities (Town Hall, Community Center, Police Department).

Once the Project website (See CT DOT Project website) is available it will allow for individuals to ask questions, submit a claim if their vehicles get damaged as a result of construction debris and view the construction schedule.

Upon completion the finished project is going to be a major improvement for vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles along Route 161 and for vehicles on I-95. But it is going to take a while to get there. Lots more information to follow.

Project Scope

INTERSTATE 95

  • Improve the vertical geometry and increase design speeds throughout the project.
  • Add 12-foot shoulders (left/right) in both directions.
  • Add 6-foot raised median.
  • Add auxiliary lanes between interchanges 74 & 75.
  • Extend and rebuild on-off ramps to increase acceleration and deceleration lanes.

BRIDGE 00250

  • Replace and widen the bridge.
  • Improved vertical/horizontal distances and clearances which will allow for turning lane improvements on I-95 and additional capacity of Route 161.

ROUTE 161 IMPROVEMENTS

  • Reconstruct and widen Route 161.
  • To accommodate a roadway cross-section of four 11-foot travel lanes & 11-foot auxiliary turn lanes.
  • 5-foot shoulders.
  • 4-foot utility buffer.
  • 5-foot concrete sidewalk.
  • Commuter lot relocation & improvements.

Further Information