The Exit 21 Off-Ramp’s Days Are Numbered in Waterbury
I didn't know it was possible to have a favorite highway off-ramp, but I do, and it's going away forever. Waterbury has been transforming the I-84/Rt.8 interchange - The Mixmaster - for a very long time. It's a truly massive undertaking, and the Connecticut Department of Transportation has been nipping away pieces of it every year.
It's just been announced on newmixmasterwaterbury.com that it's finally time to bring the old Exit 21 off-ramp from I-84 Eastbound to Meadow Street down for good, and I'm kind of sad about it. I truly learned how to drive merging with the traffic from Rt. 8 right before that ramp, and that elevated, steep curve that brought you down to the end of the exit was a thrill as a new driver. Back in the glorious 1980's, I used to bring my grandma to Pathmark, and then for decades my parents to Home Depot. I probably used that ramp thousands of times, and I loved the view of the entire valley as you used it.
The reason it's coming down is to improve the tangled mess of spaghetti that you see in the above photo. Why did traffic always bottle up at this area? The convergence of two major highways, combined with a slew of on and off-ramps. This stretch is beng streamlined, to make it easier for you to make the Rt.8 to 84 transition, while also beautifying the ground underneath formerly occupied with concrete pilings.
The CTDOT has also announced that a Conceptual Public Information Meeting will be held at Maloney Magnet School on Thursday, March 23, 2023, where an overview of the project and it's timeline will be discussed, it is open to the public.
Goodbye old friend.