DOT awards major Busway contract as DEEP permit is approved
With the approval by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) of a wetlands permit for the New Britain-Hartford Busway, the Department of Transportation (DOT) today awarded the largest of the construction contracts to build the 9.4-mile bus rapid transit project.
The $130 million contract includes construction of 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 contract also includes the construction of seven stations, a new bridge at Flatbush Avenue in West Hartford and the construction of a new gravel access road for Amtrak. The contract was awarded to Middlesex Corporation of Littleton, MA, the lowest of six bidders on the project. The project is expected to create or sustain 4,000 construction jobs and 100 permanent jobs.
Ground will be broken for this portion of the Busway later in the spring. 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 Busway, which is expected to begin operations in 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 and 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 rush-hour service periods, buses will operate every three minutes along the inner portions of the Busway.
It is estimated that the Busway will provide 16,000 passenger trips per day from New Britain to Hartford, with direct connections to points west along I-84 and with businesses, hospitals, schools and cultural attractions in the region.