About the Project


The I-91 Charter Oak Bridge Project, termed the “congestion buster project,” improved the long-term congestion at Interchange 29 which connects I-91 Northbound with Route 5/15 Northbound in Hartford, CT. The project has improved safety and extended the service life of I-91 Northbound and Southbound in Hartford and Wethersfield.  

Through the “One Team - One Project” approach, whereby the commitment was made to work cooperatively, provide quality work at ALL levels, and to be proactive, prompt, and professional in all communications and transactions, the “congestion buster project” was a huge success. The interchange now provides Connecticut residents, businesses and travelers throughout the Northeast a safe and swift commute.

Interchange 29 was on the annual list of 100 worst bottlenecks in the country. The original ramp was a steep, narrow, single lane ramp that created weaving issues with Route 5/15 Northbound at its intersection on the Charter Oak Bridge over the Connecticut River. 
The existing configuration resulted in reduced speeds and 1 ½ mile back-ups on I-91 Northbound that led to numerous crashes and delays.

The reconfiguration of the interchange resulted in a new two-lane diverge ramp with flatter grades to allow for a smoother transition as it aligns with the left side of Route 5/15 Northbound and reduced weaving and queuing on the Charter Oak Bridge. 

The Team overcame many challenges throughout the project but none more than the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This caused labor shortages, material delays and impacts to the in-person work environment.  Thankfully, with the ability to continue working, expanding the limits of operations due to the lower traffic volumes, adjusting our past practices, creating new practices, and implementation of new technologies, the project remained on schedule and the entire Team remained as productive, if not more productive, than before.

Donald Ward, P.E.
District Engineer 
CTDOT District 1
November 30, 2022 

Project Information

Please note that some of the original outreach materials have the original anticipated information. Revised information to date is as follows:
  • Original anticipated project end date: May 26, 2022 - Revised anticipated end date: November 30, 2022
  • Original anticipated project cost: $213 Million - Revised anticipated project cost: $245 Million

Click for Informational Brochure

Above: I-91 Charter Oak Bridge Project Limits

Project  63-703

Relocation of Interstate 91 (I-91) Northbound Exit 29 and Widening of I-91 Northbound and Routes 5/15 Northbound to I-84 Eastbound: 
This portion of the Project (State Project No. 63-703) will address safety concerns associated with congestion and operational failures in Hartford and East Hartford at Exit 29 on I-91 northbound, which connects to Routes 5/15 North, Route 2, and I-84 East.

Existing Conditions – There is congestion on I-91 northbound; queuing in the right lane of I-91 northbound has been observed to extend as far as approximately 1.4 miles due to the following conditions:
  • I-91 northbound Exit 29 off-ramp has a steep vertical grade with a significant volume of heavy vehicles, and traffic volumes are near capacity.
  • I-91 northbound mainline is also at, or near, capacity; the lane-drop from four, to three lanes, at Exit 27 contributes to the congestion.
  • Traffic on the northbound portion of the Charter Oak Bridge experiences heavy weaving of vehicles entering from the I-91 off-ramp to Route 15/I-84 with vehicles from Route 15 traveling to Route 2 and Route 5. 
  • Relocate I-91 northbound Exit 29
    • Provide two lanes
    • Construct new exit ramp, exiting I-91 northbound from the left lane, and entering the Charter Oak Bridge from the left lane (5 spans, 880’ long)
  • Widen I-91 northbound
    • Extend four-lane section from Exit 27 to Exit 29
    • Widen Route 15 northbound 
    • Provide four lanes from Charter Oak Bridge to the Silver Lane underpass
 Suggested Sequence of Construction
  • Stage 1 – Lower roadways under bridges
  • Stage 2 – Widen I-91 northbound
  • Stage 3 – Construct new Exit 29 ramp
  • Stage 4 – Remove existing Exit 29 ramp, widen 5 spans and restripe the Charter Oak Bridge 

Above: I-91 Charter Oak Bridge Project #63-703 Summary

Project 159-191

Resurfacing, Bridge and Safety Improvements on I-91:
This portion of the Project (State Project No. 159-191) includes improvements to extend the service life of the pavement and bridges (milling/paving & subsurface concrete repairs) between the Elm St. overpass in Wethersfield and the new Exit 29 off-ramp in Hartford.

Project Activities Include (click for graphic):
  • Concrete Pavement Repairs
  • Bituminous Concrete Resurfacing
  • Median Reconstruction
  • Bridge Repairs/Improvements 
  • Scour Remediation for Bridge No. 01460 over Wethersfield Cove
  • Roadside Protection and Safety Improvements
  • Drainage Improvements
  • Overhead Signing Upgrades
  • Illumination Upgrades
Suggested Sequence of Operations
  • Stage 1 – Median reconstruction and concrete pavement repairs
  • Stage 2 – Signing/roadside safety & drainage upgrades
  • Proposed improvements in Wethersfield along I-91 to be completed in first two seasons

Above: I-91 Charter Oak Bridge Project #159-191 Summary

Project Plans

Project Plans: Wethersfield, CT

Click to see plans for East Hartford as a PDF.
Project Plans: East Hartford, CT

Click to see plans for Hartford as a PDF.
Project Plans: Hartford, CT