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In The Spotlight

“In the Spotlight” showcases TranSystems’ news, staff, projects, awards, successes and other topics of special note to those in the industry as well as our clients.
Replacing the state's busiest stretch of highway

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Malloy continued to push for his massive, 30-year transportation rebuild Monday, visiting what is expected to be the most expensive highway rebuilding project in state history.
 
The Aetna Viaduct, the three-mile elevated highway that carries I-84 from Hartford’s west side to downtown and passes by the Aetna World Headquarters, was designed and built in the 1960’s. It’s now way over capacity, and commuters face daily backups during every morning and evening commute. The viaduct is the busiest section of interstate highway in Connecticut, carrying 175,000 cars and trucks a day. For comparison, the busiest part of I-95 carries 155,000 per day.
 
The Governor toured underneath the aging elevated roadway Monday in what is expected to be the most expensive road replacement program in state history: $5 billion if it is replaced and $10 billion if it is put underground. The Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge over the Quinnipiac River in New Haven cost $2 billion. The Governor says that the state must face the reality that the time for replacing this has come.
 
“Connecticut’s history of under investment over the last 40 years in transportation has got to be dealt with,” he said.
 
The 50-year-old structure is reaching the end of its life expectancy. It was designed to carry less than half the amount of daily traffic that’s now passing on it, and the corrosion of years of road salt are jeopardizing it. The consulting engineer on the project [TranSystems - see details below on how the firm was involved] says the time for the stop gap repairs that have been going on for decades is over. 
 
“It’s like an old car you keep on spending money on,” said Dave Stahnke of TranSystems in Meriden. “It just gets very cost ineffective and not really the best way to handle it, you really need to replace it after a while.”

The Governor has included funding for the design study to replace the Aetna Viaduct in his new budget, but how to pay for this mammoth project is still to be decided.





TranSystems' Involvement on the Project

The I-84 Hartford Project involves the reconstruction of 2.5 miles of Connecticut’s busiest interstate highway.  Serving over 175,000 vehicles per day, I-84 through Hartford was built in the 1960s for an anticipated traffic volume of only 55,000 vehicles per day.  This relatively short corridor includes over 1.3 million square feet of bridges (approximately 30 acres) that have reached the end of their intended life.  TranSystems was hired as the Program Manager to oversee the $4-$6B project. TranSystems is responsible for identifying corridor deficiencies, traffic analysis, developing alternatives, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document assistance, preliminary design, design consultant oversight, and construction management.









 

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