New York changed its I-84 bridge replacement construction schedule on Sept. 4 and the change will bring traffic congestion to Danbury immediately when the bridge work starts. Work starts on the westbound bridge, and Mohammed said that will impact Danbury immediately.
The bridge replacement work on I-84 consists of first building two replacement bridges next to I-84's existing bridges over Dingle Ridge Road. That work is complete or nearly complete. On Sept. 21 and 22, workers will shut the highway, and demolish the existing bridge westbound. Then they will slide the new bridge in place. They will repeat this process either a week or two weeks later on the eastbound side.
"As soon as people driving west on 84 hit delays, they will get off the highway," Mohammed said. "We know that from the pedestrian and tractor trailer accident a couple of weeks ago."
Connecticut State Police said a Ridgefield man may have committed suicide on I-84 at exit 5 on Aug. 21 by walking into on-coming traffic. The accident and investigation closed westbound traffic for nearly three hours, which caused delays back to nearly Southbury.
Mohammed said when State Police closed I-84 westbound at exit 5 in Danbury, cars started pulling off the highway at exit 10 in Newtown and at every exit in between.
"That was a typical example of what will happen," during the bridge work, Mohammed said. "Once they hit traffic, they get off."
Mohammed said the best thing people can do is not travel on I-84 on Sept. 21 and 22.
"Stay away from the area," Mohammed said.
That was the same advice given by the New York state Department of Transportation on their website.
"Use Alternative Routes Near Conn/NY Border Beginning Sept.21 and 22.
The New York State Department of Transportation is replacing two bridges carrying Interstate 84 eastbound and westbound over Dingle Ridge Road in the Town of Southeast, Putnam County. The work is being accelerated to minimize traffic impacts, but will require the interstate to be closed in that area during two weekends.
Traffic delays are anticipated. Please use alternate routes and avoid traveling through this area during construction.
The weekend of Sept. 21 and 22, I-84 westbound will be closed at Exit 1 in CT., and directed back onto I-84 at Exit 20 in the Town of Southeast, NY."