The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) has chosen HNTB Corporation to lead the design and engineering team charged with studying and recommending replacement options for “The Mixmaster” in Waterbury, also known as the Route 8/Interstate 84 interchange.
The project cost is estimated to range from $3 billion to $7 billion depending on the degree of replacement work.
“We have asked HNTB to take a fresh look at all options and to take fully into account how the interchange fits into the urban fabric of the city,” says CTDOT Commissioner James P. Redeker. “We want them to balance the requirements for improved traffic flow over the new structures, as well as look for enhanced economic development opportunities and a design that will be context sensitive and complement the urban landscape of our fifth-largest city.”
AECOM Technical Services and BL Companies Connecticut will also be on the design and engineering team.
CTDOT says the interchange sees 150,000 vehicles on average daily, a figure three times what it was originally constructed to carry 49 years ago. Part of the challenge in reworking the structure is its elevated, double-decked design, the agency says, as well as its left- and right-hand ramps over the Naugatuck River and city streets.
Officials estimated the project could support 5,000 to 11,000 construction jobs. CTDOT believes a new interchange could improve “transportation efficiency and lower travel and shipping costs” which would “save households time and money, and create a competitive advantage for the region’s businesses.” In turn, the agency says the interchange could then help create 2,000 to 3,000 jobs “over the life” of the structure.