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3 locations in southeast Connecticut to have wrong way driver detection installed

The equipment will be installed in two locations in Groton and one in Montville as part of a larger program.

NEWINGTON, Conn — Construction to battle the rise in wrong-way crashes on Connecticut's limited access highways is happening on three ramps in the southeastern part of the state starting Thursday.

This is part of the Connecticut Department of Transportation's $20 million project. 

Roadway ramp preparations for wrong-way detection system installations will be performed at the Exit 6 off-ramp from Interstate 395 northbound to Route 163 in Montville, the Exit 88 off-ramp from Interstate 95 southbound to Route 117 in Groton, and the Exit 3 off-ramp from Route 349 northbound to Route 1 in Groton.

"The wrong-way detection systems consist of 360-degree camera that will indicate when a driver is heading in the wrong direction," said Shannon King Burnham, CT DOT Strategic Communications Manager. 

Burnham added a study was conducted on 200 ramps in the state that helped them determine where to place these flashing lights.

The lights will only flash red if a car were to hop onto an exit ramp. So far, only the lights by the off-ramp of exit 32 in Southington will notify DOT and State Police if a car were to hop on. 

"Ramps being close together, being a bit confusing and then they’re also located near bars, restaurants and nightlife," added Burnham. 

The work is scheduled for Thursday. 

Connecticut Department of Transportation said that drivers can expect lane shifting to occur in these locations. The work schedule for this project is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

According to CT State Police, there have been 22 wrong-way fatalities this year so far. 

"Oftentimes, we know the hours are between 11 pm and 3 am so we often find operators who are under the influence when we do have the ability to stop them prior to any type of accident," said Sgt. Christine Jeltema of CT State Police. 

When asked if the lights will be enough to deter drivers under the influence, Sgt. Jeltema said she hopes it will be since the lights are very bright. 

Republican State Senator Heather Somers has lobbied for these lights and wanted to see an end to the tragic deaths 

"There’s a stretch of 95 that runs basically from Groton to the Rhode Island border. It’s very dark. It’s very rural. If you’re not familiar with the area or you’re elderly, it’s very confusing because the exit and the on-ramps are literally right next to each other," said Sen. Heather Somers of the 18th District. 

RELATED: Wrong-way crash between car, tractor-trailer on I-84 in Newtown: Police

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Next year, the state will be working on additional sites for the detection equipment.

  • Derby - Route 8 North Exit 15 at Route 34 (Main St.)
  • East Hartford - I-84 West Exit 58B at Roberts Street
  • Hamden - Route 15 South Exit 60 at Route 10 (Dixwell Ave.)
  • Hartford - I-84 Exit 46 at Sisson Avenue 
  • Hartford – I-91 Airport Road (will include the ability to alert the Connecticut State Police)
  • Manchester - I-84 East Exit 63 at Route 30 (Deming St.)
  • Manchester - I-384 East Exit 3 at Route 83 (South Main St.)
  • New Haven - I-91 Exit 2 at Hamilton Street Rocky Hill - I-91 North Exit 23 at Route 411 (West St.)
  • New Haven - I-91 South Exit 8 at Route 17 (Middletown Ave.)
  • North Haven - I-91 North Exit 12 at U.S. Route 5 (Washington Ave.)
  • North Haven - Route 40 East Exit 1 at Dixwell Avenue
  • Plainville - Route 72 West Exit 2 at Route 372 (New Britain Ave.)
  • Rocky Hill - I-91 North Exit 24 at Route 99 (Silas Deane Hwy)
  • Southbury - I-84 East Exit 16 at Route 188 (Strongtown Rd.)
  • Stonington - I-95 South Exit 90 at Route 27 (Greenmanville Rd.)

RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Witness reacts to seeing deadly wrong-way collision into tractor-trailer

Doug Stewart is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at dstewart@fox61.com.

Carmen Chau is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at cchau@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


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