The Gold Star Memorial Bridge is the largest bridge in the State of Connecticut. It is 6000 feet long and over 150 tall at the center span. The bridge is actually a pair of steel truss bridges that span over the Thames River, between New London and Groton, Connecticut. It carries Interstate 95 and US Route 1. Interstate 95 is a major east coast traffic corridor that carries interstate traffic from Maine to Florida. In total, the bridge has more than 1,000,000 square feet of deck surface area spread over 11 vehicle traffic lanes and a pedestrian sidewalk. Today the 11 lanes accommodate an average daily traffic count of 117,000 vehicles.
The original structure was completed in 1943. (Now the Northbound Bridge) In 1951, the bridge was designated as the “Gold Star Memorial Bridge” in honor of members of the Armed Forces from Groton, New London, and Waterford who lost their lives during World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. The bridge was an integral part of early highway bypass systems in southeast Connecticut. In 1964 the Route 184 bypass was completed, officially making the bridge and the bypasses part of Interstate 95. The second span was completed in 1973. (The Southbound Bridge) The southbound structure includes the pedestrian/bicycle path.
The bridge accommodates a large amount of local traffic as there are several major industrial, academic, and government facilities in the area, including, General Dynamics / Electric Boat, Mill Stone Nuclear Plant, US Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut College, and US Naval Subbase.
Both structures have undergone maintenance and repairs over the years. In addition to the current southbound project there are future maintenance and strengthening plans being developed for the northbound structure.
|Owner:||Connecticut Department of Transportation|
|Location:||Groton and New London, Connecticut|
|Spans Across:||Thames River|
|Roadway:||Interstate 95 / US Route 1|
|Average Daily Traffic:||117,000 Vehicles|
|Length:||6150 feet – Average|
|Surface area:||1,000,000+ Square Feet|
|Height:||155+ feet at Mid-span|
|Design Type:||Steel Truss|