CT members, avoiding I-95?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jay H, May 24, 2004.

  1. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Have to go to Exeter, RI this weekend (memorial day) and wondering if there is a better route from NJ than I-95 through ct which I'm afraid might be very trafficy. Trying to leave NJ around 12:30pm but I'm still thinking going through CT might be tough. Comments?

    I thought of an alternate route to take the NYS thruway (I-87) to I84 in Newburgh and go to Hartford. Then there are some smaller roads, namely CT State Route 2 that goes SE towards New London, CT. Then from there, it's back to I-95 towards RI.

    Is that worth it? It looks to be an added 40 miles or so and who knows what the traffic in Hartford would be. Any local CT members would have a good idea? Thanks!

    jay
     
  2. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    I'm heading a simmilar path, but to MA. We usually take the Merrit Parkway through CT, but I don't know how far out of your way that is.
     
  3. Andrew Pezzo

    Andrew Pezzo Second Unit

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    Dont Take 84 through CT. If you think 95 is bad 84 can be a lot for worse on certain sections. I drive on 84 everyday and in the summer time going east bound from the beginning of the CT section all the way through Hartford can be stop and go (especially on Fridays). Might take several hours just to go 100 miles.
     
  4. PeteyG

    PeteyG Stunt Coordinator

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    I would 2nd the recommendation to take the Merrit Parkway. Although it's only 2 lanes, it does move pretty quickly certainly no "dead stop" areas like you could (most likely will) have on I95.

    A good friend of mine lived in East Berlin, CT (right where 95 & 84 meet) and we would always make better time traveling via the Merrit vs. I95.

    Good luck and have a safe trip!

    Pete
     
  5. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    Of course, bad things can happen on the Parkway too. I guess it was two years ago now that my wife and I were traveling up to MA along the parkway, when suddenly, traffic stopped. And stayed stopped. For three hours. And then we crawled, and 15 mph. According to the radio, a tractor trailer carrying car bateries overturned on 95 right outside of New York, shutting down 95 completely. Everyone got on 84 and the parkway, shutting them both down as well. It was really hot, and everyone kept everheating.

    This was the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. We barely made the rehearsal for the wedding we were attending.
     
  6. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    For all it's reputation as a better alternative to the I95, I find the Merrit quite overrated. Sure, it's much more scenic, but with it's 2 lanes and million curves that keep you on your toes, I have never saved any substantial amount of time (if any at all) by going that route (southbound to NYC).

    --
    H
     
  7. Tom Fynan

    Tom Fynan Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't think there is a good route through CT on the Friday of a holiday weekend. I live and work in the New Haven area, where the worst congestion seems to be. If you are not over the Q bridge and past exit 63 by 3 pm, you are probably doomed. However, the traffic is usually gone by 7pm. I'd think about leaving later, or leaving NJ right after morning rush hour. When we head to Cape Cod, we usually leave here at 7pm on a Friday, and can get to Hyannis Port in 3 hours.

    I would take the GW bridge or Tapan Zee to the Merritt, and then take the connector down to 95 after the Sikorsky Bridge. Getting to 84 from the Merritt can be a real nightmare, with traffic backed up several miles down 91 from the exit ramp. If you are willing to travel on back roads, and don't mind extra time if you spend it driving instead of sitting in traffic, you could take route 80 from New Haven and miss the worst of 95.

    Good Luck.
     
  8. Dan D.

    Dan D. Stunt Coordinator

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    Ahhh, come on guys, stop telling everyone about the Merritt! Shhhh! [​IMG]

    The Merritt is probably the best route as most people seem to agree. One big word of caution though. We took the Merritt on a trip from Boston to NYC last week. The Sikorsky Bridge is getting a major overhaul and the westbound traffic was backed up about 3-4 miles. You'll want to drop down to I-95 well before this.

    On the plus side, they seem to be replacing the bridge's road surface with regular asphalt as opposed to that horrid, terrifying metal grating. I always felt like my car was going to spin whenever I went over that bridge.
     
  9. Phil_L

    Phil_L Second Unit

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    You're going to end up on 95 eventually, as that is the easiest way to get to Exeter once in RI. The Merritt is a good choice to skip the Bridgeport/Stamford debacle on 95 which is terrible nearly anytime of day. Rt 84 will take you way out of your way for getting to Exeter, as it heads northeast towards Boston. You'll need to take 95 to get into RI, but skip as much of it in SW CT as you can.
     
  10. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    So, if I take the Merritt Pkwy, which looks to branch off 287 in westchester county before you get onto I-95, I can take that parallel to I-95 to around Milford. After Milford, Rt 15 (merritt pkwy) looks to head N/NE so it starts going out of the way a bit.

    Then by Milford I could get back onto I-95 and go into RI that way... Do you think this is worth it then if I say try to leave NJ by 1pm? I guess I could always gage the traffic going across the Tappen Zee but the Merritt looks interesting and it certainly looks more scenic than I-95.. Never been on it.

    Jay
     
  11. Tom Fynan

    Tom Fynan Stunt Coordinator

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    Jay,

    The Merritt to Milford, then the connector to 95 is probably the best route. Just plan on lots of traffic on 95 from Milford through to Clinton (exits 38 to 63) unless you can get through there by 3 o'clock.
     
  12. John*C

    John*C Stunt Coordinator

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    What a thread to respond to it was on I-95 in June 9, 1985 I had by career ending accident that disabled me! I haven't been up there for going on 19 years. My company Yellow Freight System of Shawnee Mission, KS. made us take I-95, I was coming from Mt. Vernon, NY. I delivered a heavy to the satellite, I then hooked to a empty trailer and dead headed(pulling a empty Trailer)up to Providence, RI, to pick up a 'heavy'(full Trailer)at their satellite; then back to Maybrook, NY to our breakbulk (Hub)there, also where I lived. Yellow Freight breakbulk had 350 doors + at the time I drove for them, is located about 1/2 mile south of the exit 5 on I-84 mile marker 29.


    There was a 89 year old *nut* man backing up in the middle lane in the rain yet! He missed the exit, he never even went to the granny lane or off on the dirt to back up. I crashed my TT purposely as there was 4 kids plus the 2 parents in a car traveling at 53mph and a pickem up truck I spied in my left (frisco) mirror in the extreme left lane; where there were concrete K-rails as the center divider. He took off to get away while the family stayed to talk to CT State police, to give the his license number and to ask "If that TT driver is still alive won't you please thank him for saving my husband and me and our 4 childrens lives"? This was told to me(word for word) in Norwalk General Hospital by the CT State Police, where I woke up 3 fays later from being comatose.

    When I seen there was no hope and being a professional drivers and caring about childrens lives, I said "God my life is in your hands" then I jackknifed the truck so it would roll sideways and not hit anyone. It was a no win situation for over the car I could see high grass and a big boulder field of large rocks. I couldn't bump the car off to face that, which could have killed all or put them all in wheelchairs to get around the *nut* who always drove in the middle lane. Remember folks TT drivers are not allowed in the extreme left lane, so pass a car then get back in the granny lane. If a TT needs to pass you if your in the middle lane, the driver he/she will have to pass you on the right side in the granny (slow) lane which is considered very dangerous to both!

    I WOULD STAY OFF THE MURDEROUS I-95 AT ALL COSTS but it's your decision, since there is a lot more traffic and *nuts* on it than in 1985!
     
  13. CalvinCarr

    CalvinCarr Supporting Actor

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    Bypass Exeter and go straight to Newport...[​IMG]
     
  14. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    Fantastic story John. I"m glad your safe. It's amazing what people decide to do when in those "pick the best of the worst options" situations.

    For what it's worth, tractor trailers aren't allowed on the Merrit Parkway.
     
  15. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Yeah, thanks guys, I took the Merritt parkway north on the way to Exeter, RI and it was good... weird having a section near the NY border which is 40mph and have people passing me going 70mph while I'm going 60 with my kayak.

    Anyway, I only hit stop and go traffic in New Haven where I-91 splits [​IMG] So on the way back, I picked up a map at the visitor's center and was prepared to figure out a backway. Got to around exit 56 and traffic started to slow. Lots of volume but usually at an OK pace 45-60mph. I knew it would only get worse in New Haven so I took exit 56 I think and tried to basically dead reckon to get to CR139 north to North Branford. By chance, I got onto CR139 and then met up with SR80 West which I took to I91 South. Saw the exit for I95 south was backed up so I took SR34 West through downtown New Haven (not the nice part of town either). Then SR34 meets with the Merritt Parkway... Sweet! No traffic...

    Jay
     
  16. MikeDeVincenzo

    MikeDeVincenzo Stunt Coordinator

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    You know, its threads like these that have to make one wonder: What is the Northeast's transportation system going to be like in 20 years?

    Interstate widening would be massively expensive, and there are many places I've driven in NY, NJ, MA, CT, etc. where that doesn't even seem to be a viable option as there is simply no room to expand without destroying many businesses/homes.

    Maybe the Big Dig in Boston is the wave of the future?? I dunno.
     

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