Updated: Significant Traffic Disruption to Occur as Park Road Project Enters Phase 4

Intersection of Park Road and Trout Brook Drive. Livecam photo June 23, 2019.

Updates from the Town of West Hartford, July 1, 2019.

Road reconstruction on Park Road will move to the intersection with Trout Brook Drive, resulting in complete, 24-hour-a-day, closure of portions of the busy intersection.

By Ronni Newton

Updates from the Town of West Hartford

A section of Park Road between Raymond Road and Thomson Road was re-paved on June 26, 2019. The area was intentionally paved a couple of inches low. A final course of pavement will be installed in the late summer/fall to provide a smooth and uniform surface on Park Road over the full limits of the project.

Following the paving work, the contractor planned to begin removing pavement and reconstructing the north side of Park Road between the off-ramp and Trout Brook Drive (Phase 4). Unfortunately their schedule was impacted by the weather and with the upcoming holiday. The contractor has decided to wait until Monday, July 8 to establish the new work zone and detour pattern. This decision will help minimize traffic disruptions over the long holiday weekend.

As a reminder, in order to perform the next phase, the work zone will be closed to all traffic 24 hours per day. Signed detours will be in place and traffic movements through the intersection of Trout Brook Drive and Park Road will be restricted, as shown.

Motorists are urged to use caution when traveling through the project area and expect delays. When feasible, please avoid the project area and seek alternate routes. Interchange 41 (South Main Street), 42 (Trout Brook Drive), and 44 (Prospect Avenue/Kane Street) are suggested alternatives.

Original Story

Town officials have been alerting motorists that upcoming phases of construction along Park Road will be extremely disruptive, and that warning will prove true as Phase 4 begins, closing the northbound side of the Park Road from Trout Brook Drive to the I-84 ramp – a closure that will be in place 24/7 for three to four weeks.

West Hartford Project Engineer Greg Sommer said that road reconstruction work on Park Road between Thomson and Raymond Road is nearly complete, and that section is scheduled, weather dependent, to be paved on Tuesday. 

The paving this week will not include a final layer and the roadway will still be lower, with some elevated structures such as manholes marked with cones. The final layer of asphalt will be applied all at once, following reconstruction work on the remaining sections, Sommer said.

Phase 4, which will get underway this week, involves reconstruction of Park Road from east of the I-84 exit ramp to Trout Brook Drive. The existing road surface will be ripped out, new stone will be installed, and the roadway will be prepared for paving, beginning with the north side of Park Road and the northwest corner of the intersection of Park Road and Trout Brook Drive.

Although at least one lane of the roadway was able to remain open to traffic during reconstruction on the portion of Park Road between Raymond Road and Thomson, “we thought it wasn’t safe for traffic to be moving through the intersection [of Park and Trout Brook] because of all the turning movements,” Sommer said.

Vehicles turning will create ruts in the gravel, and the lack of pavement markings in that area would be very dangerous, Sommer said.

The portion of the roadway detailed in the map below (see PDF at end of article for larger version) will be completely closed, 24/7, for an estimated three to four weeks. Sommer said it’s possible that the work will be done slightly sooner if the weather cooperates.

Park Road and Trout Brook Drive Phase 4 detour. Courtesy of Town of West Hartford

Detours will be marked, and traffic headed westbound on Park Road will need to turn either north or south on Trout Brook Drive. The I-84 entrance ramp will be accessible only from the eastbound direction. Traffic headed north on Trout Brook Drive will not be able to turn left onto Park Road, and southbound Trout Brook Drive traffic will not be able to turn right onto Park Road and will instead be detoured onto Boulevard.

Although westbound traffic on Park Road will be able to turn right and head north on Trout Brook Drive during this phase, Phase 5 will shift the work zone to the northeast corner of the intersection, and will require even more significant detours since a right turn will not be permitted, Sommer said. Westbound traffic on Park Road will then be detoured at South Quaker Lane.

“The project is still on schedule,” Sommer said, and should be substantially completed by this fall.

Rendering of new West Hartford sign that will be built on Park Road opposite the I-84 off-ramp. Courtesy of Town of West Hartford

Separate from the road construction, work is underway on a new sign welcoming people to West Hartford, located directly opposite the new off ramp from I-84, which opened in December 2018. That work should be complete in the next few weeks, Sommer said.

“We really appreciate the public’s patience and we want this project to progress as quickly as possible,” Sommer said.

“Our message: Avoid the area as much as possible,” said Sommer.

The approximately $6.8 million project is being administered by the Town of West Hartford, with construction inspection services provided by Weston and Sampson Engineers, Inc. and oversight by the Office of Construction, District 1, Rocky Hill. The project started on Sept. 19, 2017, and Paramount Construction is the primary contractor. Federal funds are providing 80 percent of the costs, and the state and town are each providing 10 percent.

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