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  • What is the I-84 Danbury Project?

    The I-84 Danbury Project is a Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) initiative to improve safety, increase capacity, and improve access and operations on Interstate 84 between Exits 3 and 8 in Danbury. Project goals and considerations include connecting the City of Danbury with regional destinations, improving multimodal connections, and improving local and regional commerce and freight mobility.

  • Why is this project needed?

    There is significant congestion on I-84 in Danbury. Danbury is the western gateway into Connecticut, and this stretch of I-84 carries substantial interstate traffic including a high percentage of commercial vehicles destined for markets in CT, the Boston metropolitan area and greater New England. The interstate highway’s value to the regional and state economy cannot be overstated. Improving traffic flow on I-84 in Danbury will have positive effects for commerce and freight mobility for the entire state and region.

  • How many crashes per year occur on this stretch of I-84?

    The number of crashes on this stretch of I-84 is approximately 350 per year.

  • What are the principal causes of the crashes?

    The principal causes of crashes are short weaving areas, roadway curvature, closely spaced exits, and congestion during peak periods.

  • Why is there so much congestion during my daily commute?

    Inadequate capacity for through traffic, closely spaced interchanges, left-hand on- and off-ramps, short weave sections, and curving alignment all contribute to traffic congestion. The interstate layout, combined with the extremely high traffic volumes, can cause excessive traffic delays on both interstate and connected city streets.

  • How many vehicles travel on I-84 in Danbury?

    Current daily traffic volumes vary from approximately 83,000 to 110,000 vehicles per day.

  • What are the different steps of a project prior to construction?

    The pre-construction phase consists of planning and design development. The design development phase includes the preparation of preliminary design and final design plans, and contract development.

    • Planning: In this phase, it is determined what the Project intends to address, the establishment of the project limits, and the layout and analysis of alternatives. Steps include:
      • Data collection and analysis
      • Defining the problem – Needs and Deficiencies
      • Establishing the project’s Purpose and Need
      • Project Scoping
      • Development and evaluation of alternative solutions
      • Environmental documentation and selection of the preferred solution
    • Preliminary Design: In this phase, the design alternative is further refined with schematics, diagrams, and layouts and includes preliminary engineering and analyses needed to establish parameters for the final design.
    • Final Design: During final design, the specific details of project elements are worked out.  Final, detailed architectural and engineering drawings (the “blueprints”), specifications and estimates are produced.
  • How long will it take to rebuild I-84?

    The I-84 Danbury Project is a very complicated endeavor. Due to the complexities and the size of the Project, the Project Team must go through a federally-regulated process to develop alternatives, obtain stakeholder and public input and provide a thorough assessment of our anticipated environmental impacts. This process is governed by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA) and can take 2-3 years or more. The environmental process will result in the selection of a “preferred alternative” and a Record of Decision (ROD). Once the final ROD is obtained, the Project Team will begin the formal design process where the details necessary for construction will be developed. The design process usually takes 3-5 years. The duration of construction is dependent on the preferred alternative and could vary greatly.

  • How does CTDOT decide which alternatives to evaluate?

    The I-84 Danbury Project alternatives analysis will follow the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA) and the processes they outline. The NEPA and CEPA processes ensure that feasible and reasonable transportation alternatives are considered, that community involvement is kept at the forefront, and that potential impacts to the environment and community are assessed and disclosed to the fullest extent.

    After a broad range of possible project solutions is established, alternatives that are not technically or economically feasible or are otherwise not reasonable are eliminated from further consideration. The alternatives analysis evaluates the benefits and impacts of the alternatives, such as:

    • Will the alternative meet the Purpose and Need of the I-84 Danbury Project?
    • Is the alternative feasible to engineer and construct?
    • Is the alternative economically feasible?
    • What would be the impacts on environmental resources?
    • What would it cost?
    • What would be the disruption to the surrounding community during construction and other temporary impacts?
    • What would be the socio and economic impacts?
  • How many alternatives will be studied?

    Several alternatives will be considered by the Project Team early in the process.  Each concept will be developed and screened to determine whether it meets the project’s Purpose and Need.  The Connecticut Department of Transportation and other state and federal agencies, project stakeholders, and the public will have an opportunity to review and comment on the conceptual alternatives as well as the criteria by which they will be assessed.  As the alternatives review process continues, additional alternatives or variations in alternatives may be developed and considered.  Eventually, lower performing, less desirable and unreasonable alternatives will be removed from consideration. Once a range of reasonable alternatives has been determined, each will be fully assessed, along with the no build alternative, in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)/Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA) environmental document.

  • Who decides which alternative to select?

    The Connecticut Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), acting as the lead agencies of the project, will ultimately decide which alternative is selected.  However, this decision cannot be determined without agency coordination and extensive public involvement.

  • What does environmental documentation or environmental review mean?

    Projects that propose to use federal or state funding must comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA), or both, and cannot be built without environmental review. NEPA and CEPA require rigorous analysis of potential impacts to the manmade and natural environments. The following impacts are some examples: Properties, water resources, air quality, noise, cultural resources, social and economic, and the ability to improve safety and manage traffic volumes. The analysis is provided in a comprehensive report that will be made available to agencies and the public for review and comment.

  • What is NEPA?

    In 1969, the U.S. Congress passed the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which promotes more informed decision-making of federally funded projects. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed shortly after the act was passed. NEPA requires preparation of an environmental document to evaluate the environmental effects of federally funded projects.  NEPA requires project teams across the country to provide clear reasons of why a project is needed (“Statement of Purpose and Need”), adequate consideration of feasible alternatives, and the development of measures to ensure that potential negative impacts from the proposed project are avoided, minimized, or reasonably mitigated wherever reasonably possible.

  • What is CEPA?

    Similar to NEPA, the Connecticut Legislature passed the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA) in 1971 for significant projects using state funding.  Many other states also have state-level environmental legislation that mimics NEPA.  If a project involves both federal and state funding it must comply with both NEPA and CEPA.

  • What is "Scoping"?

    Scoping is the first official step of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA) environmental documentation process. During the scoping period, state and federal regulatory agencies and the public are asked to provide input on:

    • The project’s Purpose and Need
    • The project alternatives under consideration
    • Specific impact concerns.

    By providing input during the Scoping phase, regulatory agencies and the public help to develop the “scope” of the environmental document so that the process is thorough, comprehensive and focuses on the key items of concern. At the end of the Scoping period, all comments from the regulatory agencies and the public will be summarized and responded to in a Scoping Summary Report. The material in the Scoping Summary Report helps set the direction for the further development of project alternatives.

  • What is a Purpose & Need Statement?

    The Purpose and Need Statement is a document that explains why a project is necessary. It sets the stage for the consideration of alternatives.  The “Purpose” defines the transportation problem to be solved and outlines goals and objectives that should be included as part of a successful solution to the problem.  The “Need” provides data to support the problem statement.

    The Purpose and Need Statement should clarify the expected outcome of the project and why it is necessary.  It will be used to guide the development of a reasonable range of alternatives for further study.  Also, it will be used to advise the development of criteria by which alternatives will be assessed and by which the preferred alternative will be selected.

  • How will the State pay for improvements to I-84 in Danbury?

    On similar highway projects, the federal government has covered about 80 percent of construction costs, with the State funding the remaining 20 percent. However, the total amount of federal aid necessary for all of Connecticut’s transportation needs is insufficient. Many states, including Connecticut, are exploring new and innovative ways to finance transportation projects.