Location: New Britain and Hartford, Connecticut
The 9.4-mile-long CTfastrak (formerly New Britain-Hartford Busway), Connecticut’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, connects New Britain, Newington, West Hartford, and Hartford. The BRT runs along inactive and active railroad corridors and consists of a two-lane, bus-only roadway and 10 stations with sheltered platforms. The system was designed to improve the speed, reliability, and convenience of bus service; enhance mobility; and promote a healthy environment. It incorporates an intelligent transportation system (ITS) comprising closed-circuit television (CCTV), dynamic message signs (DMS), wayfinder kiosks, hub facilities, and a fiber optic backbone. CTfastrak gives Connecticut residents greater access to downtown and suburban employment centers, and its operational flexibility allows the transit system to respond more effectively to changing ridership demand and future development within the corridor.
As program manager, Michael Baker International was responsible for overall coordination among four line designers, one station designer, and four municipalities. Michael Baker also provided surveying; preliminary and final structural, civil, utility, drainage, and track design; environmental support; right-of-way services; and constructibility reviews for all design packages. Michael Baker also provided construction management support services that included coordinating with contractors, reviewing submittals, and other tasks requested by the client. Project challenges included a shared right-of-way with Amtrak, railroad and utility relocations, ITS application, station area development, and overall designer and municipality coordination. Construction was completed in 2014, and bus service operations began in March 2015.
The project was granted the 2014 Award for Excellence from ITS Connecticut, the 2016 American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)/CT Grand Award, and the 2016 ACEC National Recognition Award.