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    (2/21/2013) Project will Reconnect the Hill

    Neighborhood with Downtown New Haven

    (NEW HAVEN, CT) Phase 1 construction of the Downtown Crossing project—which will begin to reconnect the Hill neighborhood to Downtown New Haven and allow for the development of housing and businesses where Route 34 now sits—is set to begin at the end of this month.

    Closing the Route 34 expressway will allow for work to begin on the infrastructure improvements which are necessary for future development of the area. The first development will be the construction of 100 College Street, which will be located on the parcel of land that sits east of College Street near the Air Rights Garage. The construction of 100 College Street will begin immediately upon the completion of infrastructure improvements. Once completed, 100 College Street will be home to new medical labs and office space.

    In addition to reconnecting the Hill neighborhood with Downtown New Haven, the project will create a pedestrian and bike-friendly environment where Route 34 now stands--allowing new housing, retail and other amenities to develop. Streetscape plans feature the inclusion of a bicycle infrastructure with dedicated bike lanes, upgraded pedestrian crosswalks and new traffic signals equipped with state-of-the-art controls designed to improve traffic flow. “For half a century, Route 34 divided the City and served as a reminder of the homes and businesses that were lost. No more, work is now beginning to remove the highway and restore the street grid. What was once a symbol of lost opportunity will again become a thriving part of our community,” said Mayor John DeStefano Jr.

    The early stages of Phase 1 work will consist of preparing the site for the closing of Exit 3 of Route 34. This preparation work includes the installation of signage and of a protective barrier that will shield areas outside of construction from debris, as well as utility work. An official ground breaking ceremony will be scheduled within the coming weeks.

    Throughout the construction of Downtown Crossing, there will be an extensive amount of road work in the area, which will result in road closures and detours. Residents and visitors to New Haven are urged to sign up to receive project alerts in order be aware of lane closures and detours during construction. To sign up for alerts, please visit http://downtowncrossingnewhaven.com/contact_us/ . The City urges motorists to drive safely and share the road with the many pedestrians and cyclists who travel in the area every day.

    Other major work that will be undertaken over the next two years includes:

    • Route 34 West Bound: Exits 2 and 3 will close; traffic will be routed to Exit 1. MLK Boulevard will be widened to three travel lanes between Church Street and College Street to accommodate traffic flow.

    • Route 34 East Bound: Entrance Ramp 3 (between York Street and College Street) will be closed. Entrance Ramp 2 (east of College Street) will be widened to accommodate traffic flow.

    • The College Street Bridge will be fully replaced and the road re-built on grade with landscaping, bike/pedestrian amenities and on-street parking.

    • George Street will become a two-way street between Church Street and State Street.

    • The intersection of Orange Street and MLK Boulevard will be modified to eliminate the hairpin turn to State Street. Local traffic will be re-routed to George Street.

    The Downtown Crossing project is funded by the United States Department of Transportation, the City of New Haven and the State of Connecticut. The project is expected to create up to 2,000 construction jobs and, when completed and open in 2015, an estimated 600-900 permanent jobs.

    To learn more about Phase 1 and the future phases of Downtown Crossing, please visit the project website at downtowncrossingnewhaven.com.

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