Detail of plans for I-95 Exit 74 (Credit: CTDOT/Lochner)

$142 Million East Lyme Exit 74 Project Delayed Two Years

EAST LYME — Changes to the I-95 interchange with Route 161 at Exit 74 on I-95, including the replacement of the bridge, will begin in Spring 2023, rather than this summer, as previously reported in 2019. 

The project, which is expected to last three years, is in semi-final design review, with final designs scheduled for completion in April 2022, said Kevin Nursick, a spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Transportation. 

According to Nursick, a number of factors have delayed the project, including the need for an updated survey to account for recent changes to roadways by Costco developer Gateway Commons Commercial Development. In addition, more than 20 property maps required “additional coordination,” including the total acquisition of both the Starlight Inn at 256 Flanders Road and the Mobil Station, at 262 Flanders Road, listed under the name East Lyme RE, LLC. 

Approximately 13 other properties require a combination of partial acquisitions, slope easement and traffic easements, including the Sleep Inn and Suites at 5 King Arthur Drive, the Stop & Shop center at 249 Flanders Road, and Pools Etc. at 280 Flanders Road. 

In a June 11 email, Nursick said no properties have been acquired yet. 

Property maps are currently under development for six properties including Motel 6 at 269 Flanders Road, and the True Value Home Center at 300 Flanders Road. 

Nursick said additional time was also needed for complex hydraulic engineering and modeling, additional coordination with regulatory agencies and extensive coordination with regard to utilities. 

Estimated project costs include $5.1 million for rights of way and $142.1 million for construction, both funded at 80 percent by the federal National Highway Performance Program and 20 percent by the state. 

Nursick said there are no major changes in scope from the original plan, which includes reconstruction and widening of I-95 ,the construction of auxiliary or speed-change lanes between exits 74 and 75, full replacement of the I-95 bridge over CT 161 and the widening of CT 161 to provide turn lanes, 5-foot shoulders and sidewalks.

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