Wednesday, June 11, 2003
State Board Recommends I-95 Exit Closures, No New Merritt Lane
Theyre not saying which exits, but the board that oversees state transportation policy recommended today that Connecticut close or reconfigure some exit ramps along Interstate 95
The Transportation Strategy Board (TSB) also voted against trying to add another lane to the Merritt Parkway Җ where planners 60 years ago had provided room for possible expansion.
But the TSB did recommend the state evaluate adding another lane on I-95 in Southwest Connecticut with funds to come from an E-Z passӔ kind of toll system that would not require actual toll booths.
The AP reported that TSB members said many of the exits are located too close together, creating a dangerous situation along the busy highway. The panel stopped short of identifying which exits should be considered for closure.
Westport has two exits along I-95—exit 17 alongside the west side of the Saugatuck River, and exit 18 at Sherwood Island State Park.
Unlike other exits in Fairfield and Norwalk, these exits have several miles separation and are unlikely to be closed under the plan, according to state officials.
Local government officials in Fairfield County, while aware of the economic impact on the area of a clogged I-95, are reluctant to endorse exit closures because of the likelihood of increased traffic on local roadways as a result.
They have also opposed using the breakdown lanes during rush hours, fearing it would make getting emergency crews to accidents more difficult.