BL Companies is performing corridor-wide environmental studies, design engineering services, value engineering, and a tolling and financing study for the extension of the Route 11 Expressway in Salem, Montville, East Lyme, and Waterford, Connecticut. This segment of Route 11 is the last remaining unfinished segment of expressway (highway) in Connecticut, approximately 8.5 miles in length with a full interchange at I-95/I-395.
BL Companies will develop a preliminary design for the new roadway in coordination with various environmental studies and a tolling and financing study. The preliminary design will include highway design, structural design, and development of an extensive stormwater management program for the long-term operation of the highway. The horizontal and vertical alignment development will minimize impacts to wetlands, watercourses, seasonal pools, core wildlife habitat, T&E species and cultural resources. Two interchanges will be designed, including a 3-level interchange with I-95 and I-395 at the southern terminus of the highway. The project will require design of 14 bridges to avoid and minimize direct wetland impacts, maintain fish passage, wildlife movement, hydraulics, and stormwater treatment. Public coordination will be an important part of this large-scale, complex project. BL Companies will work with stakeholders, engage public and private interest groups, coordinate public information meetings and public hearings, and publish newsletters, a website, and host working group meetings.
Environmental work includes state and federal wetland delineation & function and value assessment, state and federal environmental permitting, comprehensive biological surveys, seasonal dependent field surveys for threatened and endangered species, Section 7 ESA biological assessments, corridor-wide mitigation strategy & planning. Compensatory mitigation for project impacts includes wetland restoration, creation, enhancement, and preservation initiatives. BL Companies will use a watershed-based approach with strict performance standards to accomplish suitable mitigation to off-set impacts caused by the roadway. In addition, BL Companies will develop strategies for assessing preservation sites of approximately 700 acres of high value core wildlife habitat.
In conjunction with engineering and environmental work, a Tolling and Financing Study will be performed to determine whether tolling, and in particular All Electronic Tolling (AET), can generate sufficient revenue to finance the proposed project to extend Route 11 to I-95, including a new interchange at I-95. This requires a special analysis of the viability of tolling as a revenue generation method, the evaluation of different tolling methods, and a determination of the administrative systems needed to support toll collection. It also requires an analysis of traffic and trip patterns to determine: (1) how many vehicles might use the tolled sections of highway, and (2) how the imposition of tolls might cause drivers to divert to alternate routes and change existing traffic patterns. Finally, the study must determine how much of the Route 11 project cost can be financed from toll revenues.