Downtown Crossing Phase 3 was originally planned to include construction of a bridge connecting Temple Street to Congress Avenue. To reduce traffic impacts and address funding issues, Downtown Crossing will now have four phases:
Downtown Crossing Phase 3* will begin the process of reconnecting Temple Street to Congress Avenue with pedestrian and bicycle-friendly streetscapes. Construction for Phase 3 will begin in May and last through the end of 2021.
Phase 3 will free previously unusable land for private economic development–the construction of 101 College Street: 500,000+ square feet of lab, research, and meeting space in support of New Haven’s burgeoning bioscience economy. This private development will expand the City’s tax base, add over 800 direct, well-paying bioscience jobs as well as spur approximately 7,000 additional jobs to the local economy, and further establish New Haven as a top bioscience hub.
Combined with Phase 1 (College Street, completed in 2016) and Phase 2 (Orange Street, opening this summer), the Temple Street connection to Congress Avenue will restore the urban street grid connections between the Hill, Downtown, the Medical District, and Union Station for pedestrians, bicyclists, and slower speed motor vehicle traffic.
The City of New Haven’s Downtown Crossing team has worked to develop plans to reduce traffic congestion to the extent possible and will continue to do so throughout Phase 3 construction. Immediately below, please find an overview of Phase 3 construction. Further down in this newsletter you will find more detailed information.
April through mid-May 2021: No traffic impacts
Preparation for Phase 3 construction will occur in mid/late-April through mid-May 2021. Preparation includes the setup of construction equipment and fencing off the construction area. No traffic impacts are anticipated during this period.
Mid-May 2021: Minor traffic impacts
Actual road construction for Phase 3 will begin around mid-May and will result in minor traffic impacts, limited to single-lane closures.
June-November 2021: Potential for more significant traffic impacts
Beginning in June and lasting through approximately November 2021, the portion of South Frontage Road between College and Church Streets will be closed to safely accommodate construction. This closure is needed to safely raise the road approximately 8-feet to meet the grade of the future bridge connecting Temple Street to Congress Avenue. The closure of this portion of South Frontage Road has the potential to cause significant traffic impacts.
The City of New Haven’s Downtown Crossing team has worked to prevent traffic delays and congestion to the extent possible during construction. An official detour route with on-road signage will guide drivers around the construction area. Certain streets along the detour route will be made one-way or two-way to accommodate detour traffic and keep traffic flowing.
In addition to the official detour route, the City of New Haven’s Downtown Crossing team is developing alternative routes to provide drivers with various route alternatives to avoid the construction area and delays. Alternate routes from over a dozen parking locations in or near the construction area will be shared with the public well in advance of the June closure of this portion of South Frontage Road.
Advanced notice of construction impacts to traffic will always be provided. Road signage will alert drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians to work areas, lane closures and detours.
South Frontage Road between College and Church Streets will be closed from June through November 2021. This closure is necessary to safely raise the road approximately 8-feet to meet the future bridge that will connect Temple Street to Congress Avenue. There will be an official, signed detour around the closed portion of South Frontage Road, as shown in the second image below.
In addition to the signed detour route, the City of New Haven Downtown Crossing team is developing alternate routes for all large parking garages and lots in the construction area. The purpose of the alternate routes is to divert traffic away from the construction area and prevent or reduce traffic congestion and delays during construction.
Alternate routes will be shared with the general public and with those who park at large garages and lots in the construction area well in advance of the closure of South Frontage Road between College and Church Streets.
Phase 3 work will prepare the Temple Street and Congress Avenue area for the construction of a bridge connecting the two streets in Phase 4. Phase 3 work will include:
Phase 3 work will enable access to two land parcels for new development: 1.63 acres between College and Temple Streets and 1.23 acres between Temple and Church Streets. In addition to being previously inaccessible, these parcels were unavailable for use or development due to the former Route 34 expressway right-of-way. The land value of the two new development parcels will increase from $0 to approximately $47 per square foot, yielding tax revenues and economic benefits to the City. It is estimated that the entire Downtown Crossing Project could yield net tax revenues of in the millions.
The Phase 4 construction schedule is not finalized but may occur from 2023 through 2025. Phase 4 will include the construction of the bridge connecting Temple Street to Congress Avenue. The bridge will be designed to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists as well as slower speed motor vehicle traffic.
Rendering: General design of Phase 4 bridge connecting Temple Street to Congress Avenue