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CT Construction Digest Thursday October 3, 2019

I-84 Widening Project is Finalist for National Award
REMEBER TO VOTE FEW DAYS LEFT
Twelve winning transportation projects from four U.S. regional competitions, including the I-84 widening project in Waterbury, will battle it out in this year’s America’s Transportation Awards competition, with two $10,000 cash awards for a charity or transportation-related scholarship of the winners' choosing at stake. The broad scope of the projects in the final round include one credited with using drone technology to get transportation systems back up and operating after a devastating hurricane as well as others that endeavor to incorporate citizen feedback and involvement in project design and development.
"This is a significant honor and an affirmation of the innovative approach we have been taking in recent years for major projects," said CTDOT Commissioner Joseph Giulietti. "I am proud of the work everyone did and congratulate the team on becoming a finalist in this prestigious competition. Many of you will recall that the Q Bridge project won the Grand Prize from AASHTO in 2016."
Sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the competition evaluates projects in three categories: Quality of Life/Community Development; Best Use of Technology & Innovation; and Operations Excellence. The projects are also divided into three sizes: small (less than $25 million); medium ($25 million to $200 million); and large (more than $200 million).
The 12th America’s Transportation Awards competition attracted 81 project nominations from 39 state DOTs this year. The three highest scoring projects from each of four regional contests earned a place in the “Top 12” national finals, competing for the national Grand Prize and the People's Choice Award. Both prizes come with the aforementioned $10,000 cash awards.
“These final projects are just a small sampling of the many ways in which state DOTs are making communities safer and supporting economic development,” said Jim Tymon, AASHTO executive director. “Whether deploying innovations to save time and money or exploring strategies to move more people and goods, state DOTs are delivering projects and programs that create a more efficient transportation system for the movement of goods and services.”
An independent panel of transportation industry experts will select the Grand Prize winner, while the general public will decide the People's Choice Award winner through online voting. Online votes will be weighted to each state's population, allowing for greater competition between states with larger and smaller populations. The winners will be announced at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in St. Louis on October 8th.
Online voting is under way and ends at 11:59 p.m. eastern time on Sunday, Oct. 6. Cast your vote at http://AmericasTransportationAwards.org. Individuals can cast no more than one vote per day.
The Top 12 projects in alphabetical order are:
California Department of Transportation – Highway 1/Mud Creek Emergency Restoration – Best Use of Technology & Innovation, Medium category.
Connecticut Department of TransportationI-84 Waterbury Widening Project – Operations Excellence, Large category.
Florida Department of Transportation SunRail Southern Expansion – Quality of Life/Community Development, Large category.
Georgia Department of Transportation Northwest Corridor Express Lanes – Operations Excellence, Large category.
Maryland Department of Transportation Dover Bridge Project – Quality of Life/Community Development, Medium category.
Missouri and Illinois Departments of Transportation Improvements for Downtown City of St. Louis – Quality of Life/Community Development, Large category.
North Carolina Department of TransportationUAS Hurricane Florence Response – Best Use of Technology & Innovation, Small category.
Ohio Department of Transportation I-71 & Martin Luther King Jr. Interchange – Quality of Life/Community Development, Medium category.
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation PennDOT Connects/Connecting Communities – Quality of Life/Community Development, Small category.
Texas Department of Transportation US 290 Reconstruction from I-610 to Beltway 8 – Quality of Life/Community Development, Large category.
Washington State Department of TransportationI-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project, Phases 1 and 2A – Best Use of Technology & Innovation, Large category.
Wisconsin Department of Transportation Zoo Interchange Core and Adjacent Arterials – Best Use of Technology & Innovation, Large category.
Learn more about the America's Transportation Awards and vote for your favorite Top 12 projects at www.AmericasTransportationAwards.org.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials represents State Departments of Transportation in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. AASHTO is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association serving as a catalyst for excellence in transportation. On Twitter: http://twitter.com/aashtospeaks.

Governor, Mayor Stewart kick off first phase of Energy and Innovation Park project in New Britain
Catherine Shen
NEW BRITAIN - Construction of the Energy and Innovation Park at the former Stanley Black & Decker site, promising to bring transformative technology, clean renewable energy and economic development to New Britain, kicked off its first phase Wednesday morning.
The $1 billion energy and data center project formally began construction after government officials and local partners, including Gov. Ned Lamont; Mayor Erin Stewart; Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes; and Mark Wick, a partner in the project’s developer, EIP, LLC, celebrated the culmination of several years of collaborative work by multiple agencies.
Stewart told the crowd that she is proud to be a part of the project and to be able to celebrate new beginnings together.
“To be able to reuse an old property is great,” she said. “When the old building was first taken down, it caused a lot of ruckus because of the historical properties. But now we’re able to adapt it and reuse it, not only for the benefit of New Britain, but to the state and the regional areas as well. That’s an incredible thing.”
The park is expected to create more than 3,000 direct and indirect jobs over the next 20 years. It is also estimated to generate $45 million in tax revenues for New Britain and more than $200 million for the state during that time. EIP will spend $100 million on the first phase, which will house 44 Connecticut-made Doosan fuel cells.
According to the project’s developer, the first phase of construction will involve the renovation of two buildings on site and the installation of 19.98 megawatts of grid-connected fuel cells, which will make this the world’s largest indoor fuel cell installation. Fuel cells run on natural gas to generate electricity but have very low emissions and increased energy efficiency. It will also become a critical backup power for data centers, which reduce capital needs and cost of operations. The project also entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement with Eversource, which will buy all the power generated from the new installation.
“This reuse of an urban site will help reduce the spread of unused properties, bring tax revenue back to a thriving community, and improve the overall public health because pollutants will be reduced,” said Dykes. “It’s thrilling to see the commitment from so many agencies to support fuel cell projects in the state.”
The project is not only consistent with the state’s goals of clean and renewable energy, it is expected to create a major technological hub in the city.
There are many facilities in the state that need to be turned around and that is what this project is doing, said Lamont. “This will become the heart of high tech in the state and it will be amazing to see what the transformation will be.”
More than 175 years since Stanley led New Britain to the forefront of manufacturing and innovation, Wick said, EIP aspires to continue to bring more innovative projects to the city.
“As a lifelong resident of Connecticut, I’m honored to be a part of a project that will turn the city around,” he said.

Stonington moving forward with designing plan for Town Dock repair
Joe Wojtas
Stonington — The town has instructed an engineering firm to combine two of the less expensive options as a way to repair the deteriorating south pier at the Town Dock.
The 450-foot-long pier was constructed in the 1830s and is leased by the Southern New England Fishermen and Lobstermen’s Association, which docks boats along the protected north side of the pier and stores equipment on it. Using a Connecticut Port Authority grant, the town hired Stantec Consulting to develop options for repairing the pier and in January 2019, the firm conducted an above- and below-water inspection of the structure.
It found that the paved deck was in good to fair condition, while timber piles were in fair condition with varying degrees of deterioration, splitting and rot. There was a partial collapse of the north wall where a steel plate has now been placed and loads are not allowed in that area. There are also missing and loose stones in the wall of the pier.
Alternative 1 calls for no action, which the report states would result in the pier continuing to degrade with unanticipated closures of berths. This would have significant impact on operations until repairs could be made.
Alternative 2 calls for making localized repairs at a cost of $1,840,000. Alternative 3 calls for the removal and reconstruction of the stone seawall above the mean low water level at a cost of $5.6 million. Alternative 4 calls for construction of a new concrete seawall at a cost of $7.2 million, and Alternative 5, a new steel bulkhead at a cost of $6.3 million.
Simmons said combining aspects of Alternative 2, which would give the pier a 15-year life span, and Alternative 3, which has a life span of 50 years, will help keep costs down. He said the study will give the town the plan and cost estimates that it needs to apply for state funding to cover much of the cost.
If the 80 percent funding were approved, it would be up to the Board of Finance to decide how to appropriate the remainder. That could come from an allocation in the annual capital improvement budget, bonding or from the town’s undesignated fund surplus.

Shelbourne continues downtown buying spree with $3.9M parking lot takeover
Joe Cooper
Shelbourne Global Solutions LLC, one of downtown Hartford’s most prominent landlords, says it’s acquired a 295-space surface parking lot in the heart of the city's business district.
The New York-based landlord on Wednesday announced it purchased the parking lot at 180 Allyn St., covering a block abutting Allyn, Ann Uccello, Church and High streets, from Tishman Realty & Construction Co.
The purchase price was $3.9 million, city records show.
Ben Schlossberg, managing member of Shelbourne, said the company’s investment is meant to support the parking needs of its residential and office tenants downtown. Shelbourne in a news release also touted the lot’s proximity to downtown’s XL Center, Dunkin’ Donuts Park and Union Station.
The deal comes months after Shelbourne’s joint $70.5 million purchase of downtown’s iconic Gold Building with parking giant LAZ Parking, and other acquisitions of office and apartment space on Pratt and Trumbull streets.
Shelbourne, which has spent over $200 million buying and refurbishing downtown commercial buildings, controlling more than 1.6 million square feet of office and retail space, recently teamed with LAZ and Lexington Partners LLC in proposing a $100 million plan to redevelop the underutilized Pratt Street corridor.
Shelbourne is also slated to begin an interior facelift of downtown’s 100 Pearl office tower with a golf-themed lobby including a virtual golf-simulator and putting green, among other improvements.
“Shelbourne is doing more than buying properties in downtown Hartford,” said Tom York, a principal of Goman + York Property Advisors, which brokered the deal. “It is remaking Hartford’s central business district into a vibrant, dynamic urban hub where people come to work, live and play.”

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