Open Letter to DOT I-95 Project Manager: “dismayed that the scope of work “

Open letter to Neil Patel, Dept of Transportation Project Manager for State Project No. 0056-0316. I-95 submitted by Susan Foster, Riverside

Dear Mr. Patel:

I am a concerned resident writing to provide comments on Project 56-316, Resurfacing, Bridge Rehabilitation and Safety Improvements on I-95, in the Town of Greenwich and City of Stamford.

I live in Riverside, the easternmost community in the Town of Greenwich near Exit 5. Interstate 95 has a significant impact on our community. I was pleased to learn that this long overdue work has been scheduled, but dismayed that the scope of work for this project to date does not include: Highway Noise Assessment, Air Quality Analysis, Targeted Sound Barriers, and Quiet Pavement Design for the Mianus River Bridge. Extremely loud noise reverberates throughout Riverside twenty-four hours a day not only from the highway, but also from the bridge —clearly not conforming to the State’s policy regarding noise set forth in Sec. 22a-67.

I understand that sound barriers cost approximately $1.5 million per mile and quiet pavement overlay costs about $250,000 per mile. Therefore, mitigation of the highway noise and air pollution could be undertaken for the Riverside portion of this project (between exits 4 and 6) for less than $2 million.

The entire length of the project (exits 2- 6) could have mitigation undertaken for approximately $11 million.

This critical work could be accomplished with just a 5% cost increase to the overall project. Would it be possible for our legislators to work with you to secure the necessary funds?

I understand that currently the project is only approximately 30% designed, and therefore some further tailoring and tweaks seem doable.

Addressing noise from I-95 would have a positive environmental effect on a significant number of residents not only in Riverside, but many other Greenwich and Stamford residents.

Taking a forward-looking approach to the project would have the added benefit of allowing the State to evaluate proven, cutting-edge technologies such as Quiet Pavement Design. Now that current projects are being scrutinized through an environmental lens, this low-cost redesign for the Mianus River Bridge would be a terrific model showcase for Connecticut and the nation.

Are you available to work with my elected leaders to seek noise mitigation and air quality solutions with this project, including installing quiet pavement overlay on the Mianus River Bridge and noise barriers from the Bridge to exit 6 on I-95?

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to your responses.

Susan Foster