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Construction Project at Park Road and I-84 in West Hartford Begins New Phase

Park Road/I-84 construction cam image from 1:21 p.m. on May 3.

Motorists will face temporary lane closures and slowdowns are expected as the construction project at the intersection of Park Road and I-84 ramps up.

Drainage pipes will be installed on Park Road from Thomson Road to Raymond Road. Pphoto credit: Ronni Newton

By Ronni Newton

The major construction project to relocate the exit ramp from I-84 to Park Road (Exit 43) and incorporate other changes to the stretch of Park Road from Overbrook Road to Trout Brook Drive began last fall, and has now hit a stage where it will begin to impact traffic flow at what town engineers deem West Hartford’s busiest intersection.

The interchange handles 30,000 vehicles per day, many more than it was designed to manage.

“We encourage residents to avoid the area,” Project Engineer Greg Sommer said.

The contractor, Paramount Construction, has been working in between the existing on and off ramps, and has excavated a large quantity of soil as construction of the new off ramp begins.

The contractor has also been working to construct a modular retaining wall in between the existing on ramp and what will be the new off ramp.

Work thus far has largely been contained to the grassy area between the existing ramps, but that is about to change and temporary lane closures will be necessary, Sommer said.

Drainage work will begin on Park Road from Raymond Road working west toward Thomson Road, Sommer said, beginning this week with cutting of the roadway. Digging will begin next week, and lane shifts will be made.

“Beginning next week there will be much more of a presence on Park Road,” said Sommer. “Everything will stay open; there are no planned detours,” he said, but delays should be expected.

Other than some brief periods, which will likely be overnight, at least one lane of Park Road will be open in all directions, Sommer said.

To check on the status of traffic and lane closures in the area, Sommer advises motorists to check the construction cam on the project website.

The next phase of the highway ramp construction will be paving, and the new off ramp is likely to open this summer or fall, Sommer said. Notice will be give when the time nears for the shifting of traffic to the new exit ramp.

The project, which is largely being funded by a federal grant, is intended to improve the capacity, efficiency, and safety of the roadway. When the project is complete, the off-ramp will be moved about 200 feet west to be next to the existing on-ramp, and all signals will be operated by the town and be coordinated. The off-ramp will be flatter and the curve will be smoothed out, and there will be left turn lanes added at several key places.

As part of the project, the entire intersection of Trout Brook Drive and Park Road will be reconstructed, Sommer said.

While extending Trout Brook Trail is not part of this project, the new traffic signal at the intersection of Park and Trout Brook will make it easier for pedestrians or motorists to safely cross. “There will be an exclusive pedestrian phase,” Sommer said. The sidewalk on the north side of Park Road between Trout Brook and Raymond Road will be widenened, and will connect to the bike trail.

Sommer said that the overall project will likely be completed by the spring or summer of 2019.

Information is updated regularly on the project website at www.WestHartfordCT.gov/ParkRd. The project can be viewed on a webcam, and the website also includes construction updates and photos, traffic advisories, and frequently asked questions.

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Park Road entrance ramp viewed from Raymond Road. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

I-84 entrance ramp on Park Road (exit 43). Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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