CT DOT plans Route 8 new exit signs and numbers from Bridgeport to Valley

Photo of Brian Gioiele
Traffic on Route 8 crosses the Commodore Hull Bridge over the Housatonic River between Derby and Shelton, Conn. on Thursday, September 20, 2018. The Howe Ave. exit, currently Exit 14, is slated to be changed to Exit 12A.

Traffic on Route 8 crosses the Commodore Hull Bridge over the Housatonic River between Derby and Shelton, Conn. on Thursday, September 20, 2018. The Howe Ave. exit, currently Exit 14, is slated to be changed to Exit 12A.

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON — Drivers will soon have to get used to some number changes for exits along Route 8 from Bridgeport through the Valley.

The State Department of Transportation announced plans are being developed for traffic sign replacement and renumbering along Route 8 corridor. Plans are also being prepared to replace signs and complex sign supports along Route 8 in Bridgeport, Shelton, Derby and Naugatuck.

Additionally, to be in conformance with federal standards, state transportation officials say mileage-based exit numbering will be included on the entirety of Route 8.

“The existing signs and supports have exceeded their useful service life and need replacement,” according to state DOT officials.

In a written statement Jan. 6, DOT said the project involves “the replacement of only those signs that have exceeded their useful service life, have less than adequate retro-reflectivity, have evidence of damage, or are no longer in compliance with Federal and State standards and guidelines.”

Northbound from Bridgeport, the former Exit 2 in the city will now be Exit 1. Lindley Street Exit 4 will become Exit 2A. Stratford Exit 8 is slated to become Exit 5. In exit number changes will be for Huntington Road, from Exit 11 to 7; Old Stratford Road, 12 to 9; Constitution Boulevard/Bridgeport Avenue, 13 to 11; CT 110/Howe Avenue, 14 to 12A; and CT34/Derby/New Haven, 15 to 12B. All number changes are tentative at this point.

“I feel like a time in Shelton’s history is coming to a close,” state Rep. Jason Perillo, who was born and raised in Shelton, as were his parents and grandparents.

“The Shelton section of Route 8 was built in 1975 before I was born,” Perillo, the House deputy Republican leader, added. “We always got off at Exit 13 to go home as a kid and my dad still lives in the same house. So, I guess my dad now lives off of ‘new’ Exit 11? It’s going to take some getting used to.”

Perillo said his father still refers to Bridgeport Avenue as Route 8 — before the highway was built in 1975, Bridgeport Avenue was Route 8 — which he admits he always thought was “weird.”

But now the shoe may be on the other foot.

“So, I guess my daughter will look at me funny when I talk about the good old days when Exit 13 was ‘really’ Exit 13,” he said.

Farther north, the Pershing Drive exit in Ansonia will change from 16 to 13A, and Seymour Ave. from 17 to 13B. The Wakelee Ave. exit to Route 334 in Ansonia will change from 19 to 15, and the Derby Ave. exit from 21 to 17.

Exit 26, for Route 63 in Naugatuck, will become the new Exit 25A, and Naugatuck’s Exit 27 will become Exit 25B.

The state DOT website states, on renumbering, that “Highway exit numbers will be modified to a mileage-based exit numbering system to conform with Federal standards as part of corridor sign replacement projects.”

State officials have stated that an informational meeting or formal public hearing will not be necessary.

The design plans for the project are expected to be completed in the spring with construction commencing in the winter of 2022.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com