Public can comment on tunnel plans

WOODBRIDGE >> Public comment is sought for the state Department of Transportation plan for the Heroes Tunnel.

The DOT presented its initial plan for the tunnel, which bisects West Rock on Route 15, at a public meeting Sept. 22, according to a press release from the town administration.

The twin, horseshoe-shaped tunnel is a connector between New York and Hartford and carries about 71,000 vehicles daily.

The meeting can be seen at

Comments may be made through Oct. 7 to Mark W. Alexander, transportation assistant planning director, at

Structural and draining deficiencies, along with general deterioration and other substandard characteristics necessitate tunnel rehabilitation or replacement, the release said.

Several alternatives were presented to the Woodbridge, New Haven and Hamden communities, including tunnel rehabilitation, tunnel widening and construction of a third tunnel.

The DOT plans to present its long-term conceptual plans for the Exit 59 project to the Board of Selectmen on Oct. 18.

CDM Smith Inc., a New Haven design consulting firm, has been retained by the DOT to lead the project through preliminary design. The DOT plans to keep the communities involved in all phases of the project.

“Town staff and I have been working closely with our counterparts in New Haven and DOT staff to understand the implications of the tunnel rehabilitation and to mitigate the impact to our residents,” said First Selectman Ellen Scalettar.

There are three state DOT plans under way that will affect Woodbridge: short-term, for the Exit 59 area; long-term for the Exit 59 area, as well as the Heroes Tunnel.

► “It is extremely important for all three DOT project teams to work together to minimize the impact on the Woodbridge community,” Scalettar said. ◄ The short-term plan is scheduled to begin in 2018, according to the DOT.