Frequently Asked Questions

Questions from the Public with CTDOT Responses


Exit 28 Northbound (NB) Closure and Detour
Why would the recommended detour during the two-year closure of Exit 28 northbound side send travelers further up the road to Exit 29, make them go all the way over the Charter Oak Bridge to East Hartford, only to make their way onto Route 15 south, when they could simply leave the highway at Exit 27, and after making left turns onto Brainard and then Airport Roads, easily access route 15 south with one last left turn?

The Department’s best practices on detours is to send motorists to the next exit ramp beyond the closure.  The I-91 NB Exit 28 off-ramp has relatively low traffic volumes.  It is recognized that there are other detour options available including I-91 NB Exit 27, however based on the overall stage construction of the project and other on-going construction projects in the Hartford area this is the suggested detour in place.  

Roadway Markings

Roadway Markings; Exit 90, 5/15 SB, Ramp: 
Will this ramp be lined/marked on the interior portion of the "triangle" paint markings on the roadway to include the painted "lines" that extend from one side of the interior of the "triangle" to the other side? 
  • A) What benefit do these additional markings/painted lines provide?
  • B) Is there a reason why the triangular markings/area on approach to this ramp are much larger than the average exit ramp's similar markings?

The Department has revised our standard practice to include 24” wide “Chevron” markings at all gore areas of exit ramps (example shown below).  These markings help provide visibility to identify the exit ramp, and thus help motorists stay in the proper lane.  These markings will be included under this project, and most other projects that have had their design completed in the last year.

Above: Typical Chevron markings at Gore Areas

Traffic Pattern Modifications

Access to I-91 SB: 
Currently, access to I-91 SB is available to motorists either:
  • A) By exiting on the right side of 5/15 SB, immediately at the end of the Charter Oak Bridge; or, 
  • B) By continuing on 5/15 SB and merging onto I-91 SB farther down towards the right; which, then allows motorists to merge onto I-91 SB by entering onto the highway from the right side of I-91 SB (instead of the left side/the current design by exiting immediately from 5/15 SB after the Charter Oak Bridge has ended).
Will these dual options for entering I-91 SB from 4/15 SB be maintained or somehow limited to one access point?

The two access points to I-91 SB will remain unchanged when the project is complete.  These ramps will be detoured (not concurrently) during construction.  Detours would occur mostly during off-peak hours, however, the second access point (Exit 87 for the Route 5/15 to I-91 SB connection only) will be temporarily closed to allow for lowering of this ramp when the bridge (Bridge No. 01466) that carries I-91 above is widened for the additional NB lane.    

Design Changes: I-91 NB On-Ramp to Charter Oak Bridge: 
What design modifications to the existing exit ramp area will be implemented to address the issue of congestion on I-91 NB prior to the exit, and on the ramp itself?

The I-91 NB Exit 29 is being redesigned to be a major diverge, with 2 dedicated lanes for the left exit ramp to Route 5/15 NB.  The new ramp will have added capacity and improved grades so that trucks can maneuver easier.  These changes will improve traffic flow and reduce recurring congestion.

Wethersfield: 5/15 SB On-Ramp, Immediately Prior to Passing Over Route 99 NB/SB [Silas Deane Highway): 
Is this on-ramp/general location going to be modified/expanded/changed in any manner or will it remain unchanged?

This location will remain unchanged since it is outside of the project limits.  
Wethersfield: 5/15 SB Exit Ramp Onto Route 99 SB [Silas Deane Highway]: 
Is this off-ramp going to be modified/changed?

This location will remain unchanged since it is outside of the project limits.  
Wethersfield: 5/15 NB Exit Ramp Onto Route 99 SB [Silas Deane Highway]: 
Are there any design changes being planned to be implemented to modify the manner in which traffic entering onto route 99 SB in this area would be able to "access" any lane other than the right turn lane (onto Jordan Lane/Route 314 WB)? 

This ramp is outside of the project limits and will remain unchanged.  Please note that the proposed changes in access to vehicles exiting from Route 5/15 NB would also mean that vehicles traveling on Route 99 SB would no longer be able to turn right onto Jordon Lane, so these changes were not considered in this project.

Construction Materials

Charter Oak Bridge Expansion Joints: 
Is concrete, the material actually used or is it currently some other composite material? Will the expansion joints' continue to use the same material? 

The joints on the Charter Oak Bridge (Bridge Nos. 06000A&B) consist of a molded rubber and steel expansion joint unit (which accommodates structural movements) and concrete headers.  High strength aluminum wear plates are molded into the top surface and are grooved to provide skid resistance.
  • A) The concrete header will be normal deck concrete, while the joint itself is rubber, steel, and aluminum.
  • B) While not exactly the same, the new joints are very similar to the existing joints.
Pavement Types; Enhanced Traction Pavement Utilization: 
On certain areas/ramps (i.e. route 3 NB exit ramp onto route 2 WB) there is a "grittier, coarser, increased traction" type of pavement used on higher risk areas as a safety enhancement. 
  • A) Will this type of pavement/roadway surfacing be utilized anywhere in this project; and, if so, what locations? 
  • B) what is the nature of this compound/of what is it comprised?

  • A) This material will not be used for this project.  The pavement surface on the Route 3 ramp is known as a High Friction Surface Treatment (HFST).  The subject ramp was a pilot project for the material.
  • B) HFSTs are composed of calcined bauxite aggregate that is bonded to the existing pavement surface with epoxy. HFSTs are seeing increased use nationwide due to superior friction characteristics.  The Department is looking for opportunities to use the material in additional areas that have a high friction demand. 
Additional info on the HFST: Here is a link to the FHWA website that can be used to help explain it: 


Existing Lighting/Lampposts Included/Within Project Area: 
Will any of the lamp posts be upgraded to have LED lighting heads on the lampposts/while still utilizing the existing overall vertical structure? Additionally, are such equivalent upgrades feasible/technologically possible on the metal lampposts or would the entire lampposts need to be replaced and, as such, are unable to be retrofitted in the manner in which municipalities have performed LED upgrades?

In the areas of roadway widening and ramp removal/replacement (I-91 NB, Route 15) the existing poles, foundations, and underground foundations will be removed and replaced and new LED luminaires will be installed.  In the areas where no roadway changes are proposed (I-91 SB, Charter Oak Bridge, I-91 and Route 3 Interchange) the existing lighting infrastructure will remain but the HPS lights will be converted to LED.
Illumines; Under Bridges: 
Are there plans to augment, add or upgrade current illumines under bridges; and, a) what locations would be impacted; and, b) would they be the existing type that is currently utilized on older structures or would they be LED illumines?

Existing HPS underbridge luminaires will be converted to LED within the project limits at the following locations:
  • Route 3 over Great Meadow Road
  • I-91 over Marsh Street
  • I-91 over Route 15
  • I-91 over I-91 SB on-ramp
  • I-91 over Airport Road
  • Route 15 over I-91 NB
Lampposts on 5/15 NB/SB, Prior to Exit 90: 
For a short period of time, after the removal and replacement with newer sound barriers on the bridge in this area/sides of roadway, the lampposts worked for a period of time; however, for quite some time, a section of the newly installed lampposts became inoperative. Is this issue going to be addressed/repaired as part of the project?

If the existing lights are not operational, they will be examined as part of the project.  If they are outside of the project limits then the Department’s Maintenance office will review and replace/repair as necessary.
Existing Illumines; Exit Ramp 58 from I-84 WB Going Onto 5/15 SB: 
There is at least 1 (one) illumine under one of the bridges that cross over above this ramp. 
  • A) Will this illumine be repaired as part of this project
  • B) Will other defective illumines on bridges crossing above this ramp be repaired as part of this project
  • C) Are any additional illumines planned to be placed on any of the other bridges over this ramp?

Exit 58 on I-84 WB is outside of the project limits.  In general under bridge lighting over the highway is difficult to replace, and it would require shutdown of the highway in most cases.  The Department’s Maintenance office has been made aware of the situation. 
Existing Illumines; I-84 EB/WB, Underneath Robert's Street Bridge: 
In both directions of travel on I-84, under the Robert's Street bridge, the illumines have been inoperative - will they be repaired?

The Roberts Street Bridge is outside of the project limits.  As mentioned in the previous response, replacement of those lights is extremely difficult, and it would require shutdown of the highway.  The Department’s Maintenance office has been made aware of the situation. 
Illumines; Under 5/15 NB/SB: Wethersfield, Intersection of Wolcott Hill Road/Jordan Lane: 
Are any modifications to these illumines at this location planned (i.e. LED upgrades etc.)?

These HPS underbridge luminaires will be replaced with LED under Project 171-432 which is currently in construction.    
Illumines; Wethersfield: 5/15 NB/SB Bridge that Crosses Over Route 99 NB/SB: 
Will there be additional installation of illumines at this location?

These HPS underbridge luminaires will be replaced with LED under Project 171-432 which is currently in construction.