Work has been completed on the I-84 Exit 43 ramp, but the next phase of the project, which begins April 1, will impact the intersection of Park Road and Trout Brook Drive.
By Ronni Newton
The new Interstate-84 Exit 43 ramp to Park Road opened in December and overall project construction was on hiatus for the winter, but West Hartford Project Engineer Greg Sommer said that work will resume April 1 and include several phases over three to four months that will be very disruptive to motorists.
The ramp itself is complete, and the project’s focus will now shift to the Park Road/Trout Brook Drive intersection.
Sommer said that there are seven upcoming phases that will result in traffic detours, and over the first several weeks will involve work on storm drainage. The town will be working closely with the project contractor, Paramount Construction, in order to minimize the impact of detours and to provide clear signage for motorists.
The project’s Live Cam, which currently shows the Exit 43 ramp, will be turned in the other direction so that the Park Road and Trout Brook Drive intersection will be able to be seen, Sommer said.
Phase 1 (see map above) will take place in the southeast corner of the Trout Brook Drive and Park Road intersection, and will result in daytime closure of Park Road’s eastbound lanes at the intersection. Traffic headed eastbound on Park Road will be able to turn left (north) onto Trout Brook Drive, or right (south) onto Trout Brook and proceed to White Avenue and to South Quaker Lane to continue back to Park Road.
During Phase 1, northbound traffic on Trout Brook Drive will be detoured at White Avenue.
Traffic headed southbound on Trout Brook Drive will not be able to turn left (east) on Park Road during this phase.
The detours during Phase 1 will be in place from 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m, and should last about two weeks, perhaps slightly less. “They will set up and take down during each shift,” Sommer said, and outside of those hours traffic will be able to proceed in all directions.
During the second phase (see map below), work will move into the middle of the intersection and require detours in all directions, with Boulevard between South Quaker Lane and South Main Street as the official detour for westbound traffic.
For public safety reasons, that phase will take place overnight, during the hours of 8 p.m. through 6 a.m.
While the overnight phase is underway, Sommer said another crew may be working in the area during the daytime, but it is not expected to disrupt traffic.
Sommer said that because of the nature of the work and the presence of other underground utilities, the timeline may shift slightly. “Once they get started we will refine the dates,” Sommer said. Updates will be posted on the town’s website.
“Try to avoid the area as best you can,” Sommer advised. He said that the project work this spring is perhaps even more disruptive to traffic overall than the work on the ramp was.
“Last year we could still use the old ramp, and could still use the intersection,” said Sommer.
Detours have been designed so that whenever possible traffic will be permitted to exit from I-84 and head eastbound on Park Road, in order to avoid backup of traffic on the ramp.
After about four to six weeks of drainage work, the focus will shift to reconstruction of Park Road. According to Sommer, the north side of Park Road from Trout Brook to the I-84 ramp will be torn up first, and will take about a month. Then work on the southbound lanes will take place, also lasting about a month.
Some additional work will also be done on Park Road between Raymond Road and Thomson Road, Sommer said, before a final repaving of the roadway from Thomson Road to Trout Brook in late summer.
While traffic has not been impacted, the contractor is already back at work, tearing up the old off ramp and removing the stockpiled materials between the old and new ramps in preparation for landscaping, which will be done in the fall, Sommer said.
Work will also be done on the bridge, sidewalks, curbing, and the “Welcome to West Hartford” sign.
Many motorists have noted that the lane markings through the intersection and in the area of the ramp are not clear, and Sommer said that current markings are temporary, and there will be newly-painted pavement markings as well as additional signage as the project is completed.
In particular, traffic headed east on Park Road turning right to enter the I-84 ramp tends to stop to yield to traffic entering from the westbound direction because the markings are not clear, but those lanes will be re-painted in mid-April, Sommer said.
Visit the project website for continued updates. Any questions or concerns can also be address to the project team via email at [email protected].
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My old playground and fishing hole 1968 now a highway exit and drainage dich !