ConnDOT: Busway Groundbreaking Scheduled as Final Environmental Permit is Approved
2012

CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
NEWS RELEASE
 
2800 BERLIN TURNPIKE P.O. BOX 317546
NEWINGTON CONNECTICUT, 06131-7456
 
FOR RELEASE: April 25, 2012
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
TELEPHONE: (860) 594-3062
FAX: (860) 594-3065
WEB SITE: www.ct.gov/dot 

Busway Groundbreaking Scheduled as Final Environmental Permit is Approved

         The Department of Transportation (DOT) received word today that the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) has approved the final wetlands permit needed for the New Britain-Hartford Busway, clearing the way for a formal groundbreaking next month.

         The ACOE permit is similar to the permit approved at the state level last month by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP); it requires the DOT to include in the project 9.7 acres of wetland enhancement and creation areas in exchange for placing permanent and temporary fill within 2.6 acres of wetland areas.

         “With this permit, we are full-speed ahead on the Busway. This project will have major, positive implications for Greater Hartford – reducing congestion and emissions on I-84, making it easier and more convenient for people to travel in the corridor, and creating or sustaining 4,000 construction jobs and 100 permanent jobs,” said DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker. “Central Connecticut commuters will notice a real difference in the amount of time it takes to travel through the corridor, especially during peak commuting times.”

          “The Busway project will bring to life Governor Malloy’s vision that we can reduce energy consumption and protect our environment – while growing our economy,” said Daniel C. Esty, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  “By offering a very real alternative to car transportation for those making their way around the Greater Hartford and New Britain area, the Busway will result in fuel savings and cleaner air while sparking economic development.”

         The first “shovels in the ground” will be for a 5.8 mile segment of the Busway that begins just north of Cedar Street in Newington and runs north to a point just north of Sigourney Street in Hartford. The $130 million contract for this segment also includes the construction of seven stations, a new $19.9 million bridge at Flatbush Avenue in West Hartford and the construction of a new gravel maintenance road for Amtrak. A groundbreaking ceremony is tentatively scheduled for May 22, at a location to be announced.

         The DOT has now awarded four major construction contracts for the project (additional background on contract awards is available at www.ctrapidtransit.com).

         Last fall, the Federal Transit Administration announced the approval of $275.3 million in federal New Starts discretionary funding for the project. Another $179.5 million in federal dollars has previously been allocated, and the state of Connecticut will fund the remaining $112.2 million to complete the 9.4 mile-long Busway, which is expected to begin operations in late 2014.

          The Busway is being constructed on an abandoned railroad corridor from New Britain to Newington Junction and then alongside the active Amtrak rail right of way of the Springfield Line.  The project will include 11 stations in New Britain, Newington, West Hartford and Hartford. Buses will operate from approximately 4:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. During peak service periods, buses will operate every three minutes along the inner portions of the Busway.

          It is estimated that the bus services using the Busway will provide 16,000 passenger trips per day between New Britain and Hartford, with direct connections to Bristol, Waterbury and points west along I-84 and with businesses, hospitals, schools and cultural attractions in the region.

Additional information about the Busway may be found at: www.ctrapidtransit.com.