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CT Construction Digest Tuesday October 1, 2019

Stratford issues Route 110, West Broad Street construction update
Ethan Fry
STRATFORD — The city asked drivers to, if possible, avoid the area of Route 110 and Oronoque Lane as work continues to widen the road and realign the intersection.
“Work is currently progressing on the widening of the west side of the road and the Oronoque Lane intersection,” a prepared statement from Mayor Laura Hoydick’s chief of staff said. “At the same time, overhead utility wire relocation will be taking place on the east side of the road.”
“The work will be shifting to the east side lane widening and the Sikorsky driveway alignment during the coming month,” the statement said. “Traffic will be constrained through the corridor during this time. The traveling public is advised to avoid the area during peak times if possible by using alternate routes.” Meanwhile, work is also continuing on improvements to curbing, sidewalks and drainage on Linden Avenue from Church Street to the Interstate 95 off ramp.
Work will soon start on the on relocating utilities at the intersection of West Broad, California and Knowlton streets, according to the city.
“This work will require lane closures and road closures as the all the underground utilities are lowered in the intersection to accommodate the new drainage system,” the city sadi. “While work is done at the intersection, other curb and drainage work will be undertaken on West Broad Street.”
The work, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. will continue through the end of the year’s construction season.
Aquarion Water Company will begin working on the project this week, with California Street closed to through traffic beginning Oct. 4. After the water company is finished, Southern Connecticut Gas will begin work at the site Oct. 14.
Linden Avenue — and the business on it — will be open to traffic during the utility work, but the city asked drivers to seek alternate routes if possible, especially during peak traffic hours.

Offshore wind farm proposals hit the desk of CT regulators
Alexander Soule
Rival developer teams filed formal proposals with Connecticut regulators to build massive new wind farms off the New England’s southern coast, with the state having mandated that 40 percent of its electricity be generated from renewable sources within a decade’s time.
The Vineyard Wind affiliate of Avangrid envisions Bridgeport as the hub for its Park City Wind proposal, which would use Bridgeport as a staging dock for wind farms south of Martha’s Vineyard with the potential for thousands of jobs during construction.Vineyard Wind is based in New Bedford, Mass. and is backed by Avangrid, which has its U.S. headquarters in Orange, and by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.
“Our Park City Wind proposal is much more than an energy project — it’s an opportunity for Connecticut to develop a world-class offshore wind industry in Bridgeport and solidify its role as a high value industry hub in the U.S. for years to come,” stated Lars Pedersen, CEO of Vineyard Wind, in a written statement.
The proposed bids include plans for a required 400-megawatt project and options that would generate 800 megawatts, 1000 megawatts and 1200 megawatts. The wind farms would be constructed in one of two, federally designated lease areas south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
The company has had its sights set on Bridgeport for roughly a year, following 2018 proposal that included plans to invest $30 million into the project as part of a partnership with McAllister Towing, which operates the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Ferry, and Bridgeport Boatworks shipyard.
Eversource Energy and Orsted have committed to investing $57 million to make New London the hub of its Constitution Wind development efforts.
In July, the state of New York awarded the two companies a major share in a separate project that would be the largest yet off U.S. waters, at 1,700 megawatts, with the company’s chief financial officer emphasizing during an August conference call the potential for additional capacity.“There’s many thousands (of megawatts) on the drawing board,” said Philip Lembo, CFO of Eversource, speaking in August. “Our lease areas in my view are the very best — I mean, you look at the proximity of where they are to shore, you look at all the wind speed and other depth characteristics of those sites, and I’d rather have my sites than anything else out there. So there will be plenty of opportunities to grow this as we move forward.”
A third Connecticut entrant called Mayflower Wind backed by Shell and EDP Renewables North America would use Massachusetts ports to dispatch crews and equipment and offload excavation debris and other waste generated in the construction process.
In addition to the offshore platforms, towers, turbines and substations, the projects would require running cable along the seabed to shore-based substations that would connect to transmission lines to feed electricity into the grid.

State DOT sets meeting in Plymouth on plans for Route 6
BRIAN M. JOHNSON
PLYMOUTH - The state Department of Transportation will conduct a public information meeting on Oct. 22 concerning proposed major intersection improvements on Route 6 at North Main Street and Agney Avenue.
The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall Community Room at 80 Main St. A design presentation will followed by question-and-answer and discussion-and-comment segments with the audience.
Plans for the proposed project will be on display for public review. Department personnel will be available for discussion. Plans are also available for review at the Plymouth Town Hall.
State Sen. Henri Martin, who represents Plymouth, Bristol, Harwinton, Plainville and Thomaston, said the project is identified as State Project No. 0110-0136.
“The purpose of the project is to correct operational and safety deficiencies at the intersections of Route 6 with South Main Street, North Main Street, and Agney Avenue,” said Martin.
Martin said the proposed improvements will include realignment of North Main Street to form a “normalized four-legged intersection” with Main Street opposite Agney Avenue.
“This new intersection will be signalized,” he said. “In addition, left-turn lanes will be provided in both directions of Route 6 at the new North Main-Agney Avenue intersection and on Route 6 westbound at South Main Street and eastbound at the Woods Court driveway. On-street parking will be provided along Route 6 on various locations.”
There are also right-of-way impacts associated with the proposed improvements.
“It is anticipated that approximately five sliver acquisitions and one total acquisition will be required to accommodate widening and sidewalk construction along Route 6, North Main Street and Agney Avenue,” said Martin. “In addition, several slope and construction easements will be required.”
Plymouth Mayor David Merchant said that this project has been worked on at the state level since he became mayor about six years ago.
“It’s a decent-sized project for downtown,” he said. It will widen Route 6, give us on-street parking and take North Main Street from where it is and move it to that it lines up with Agney Avenue. It will change the whole look of downtown.”
Merchant said that as part of the project, the abandoned “Austin House” on the corner of Main Street and North Main Street will have to be acquired and torn down. A sliver of property will also have to be acquired from land belonging to Thomaston Savings Bank in order to make a turn wider.
“From what I’ve heard, hopefully, the acquisition will start in 2020 right after the first of the year,” said Merchant. “How long it will take, I don’t know. I do know that the state has made contact with everybody involved and everybody is OK with it. We will have to move our monuments down from where they are down a bit. I talked to members of American Legion Post 20 and everybody is OK with it.”
This will be the second meeting that the town has had on the proposed intersection improvement. The first was held two years ago.
The state requires any project like this to have public hearings. All property owners who will be affected have been invited to attend.
Construction is anticipated to begin in spring 2022 based on the availability of funding, acquisition of rights of way and approval of permits. The estimated construction cost for this project is $5.3 million. This project is anticipated to be undertaken with 80% federal funds and 20% state funds.
For more detailed informaion on the project, visit the DOT’s Office of Engineering at 2800 Berlin Turnpike, Newington, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. excluding holidays. People can also call Matthew R. Vail, principal engineer, at 860-594-3274 or e-mail at Matthew.Vail@ct.gov.

Connecticut offshore wind competition kicks off
Benjamin Kail           

Hartford — Multiple renewable energy ventures recently entered the competition to provide Connecticut electricity from offshore wind farms.
So far, Connecticut's first selected offshore wind suppliers, Ørsted and Eversource, will compete with Mayflower Wind, a joint venture between Shell New Energies and EDPR Renewables North America, and Vineyard Wind, a pairing of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables.
The auction, following the state's request for proposals in August, stemmed from lawmakers' and Gov. Ned Lamont's push for an injection of up to 2,000 megawatts of electricity from offshore wind by 2030. The competition comes as states along the East Coast are ramping up commitments to offshore wind and renewable energy while targeting significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
Ørsted and Eversource, already slated to provide Connecticut and Rhode Island a combined 700 megawatts from the Revolution Wind farm south of Martha's Vineyard, announced in a news release Tuesday that they had submitted to state regulators several proposals as part of the Constitution Wind project.
Ørsted and Eversource said the project would be located 65 miles off the coast of New London and will have the capacity to power up to half a million homes. The project will benefit from more than two years of surveys, studies of wind speed data and ongoing work with stakeholders such as mariners and commercial fishermen, the companies said. The state of New York earlier this year tapped Ørsted and Eversource to deliver power to Long Island from a wind farm 30 miles east of Montauk Point.
"Since 2015, our team has been focused on bringing affordable, renewable energy to Connecticut, a major opportunity for the state's clean energy future and economy," Thomas Brostrømm, Ørsted President and CEO, said in a statement. "Following up on the selection of our Revolution Wind project by the state and our investment to turn New London State Pier into a world-class offshore wind center, our proposed Constitution Wind project will be delivered by the industry's leading experts to ensure the project is achievable, sustainable and successful for Connecticut."
Ørsted and Eversource remain in negotiations with the Connecticut Port Authority and the state to overhaul New London State Pier into a hub for upcoming wind projects along the East Coast. They have pledged to invest almost $60 million into pier upgrades, but some concerns have risen about transparency of the plans, port authority management and potentially displaced businesses.
Ørsted, a Danish-based offshore wind giant that has divested most of its previous oil and gas business, bought Block Island Wind Farm developer Deepwater Wind for $500 million last year. Ørsted also bought onshore wind and solar developer Lincoln Clean Energy for almost $600 million last year.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection also received bids from Mayflower Wind, a joint venture of U.K.-based Shell New Energies and EDPR Renewables North America, a Texas subsidiary of Spain-based wind and solar firm EDP Renewables. The bids included 800- and 400-megawatt proposals. The companies proposed 400- and 800-megwatt projects to the state of Massachusetts last month.
"Governor Lamont has outlined a vision for moving Connecticut toward a clean energy future, and we believe our proposal can play a role in advancing that vision in an affordable manner," said John Hartnett, president of Mayflower Wind. "The state's comprehensive energy strategy calls for deployment of cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy resources — and that is exactly what we are offering."
According to a news release Tuesday, Shell already has interests in four onshore wind power projects in North America and one offshore wind farm in Europe. EDP Renewables is the world's fourth-largest wind developer.
Vineyard Wind, meanwhile, announced a range of bids starting at 400 megawatts with options to develop wind farms generating 800, 1,000 and 1,200 megawatts. The project, dubbed Park City Wind, would be located south of Martha's Vineyard and rely on the city of Bridgeport for development.
Vineyard Wind is already developing an 800-megawatt wind farm for the state of Massachusetts.
"Vineyard Wind is pleased to submit a dynamic set of project proposals to deliver a reliable source of fixed, low-cost, zero-emission energy to Connecticut ratepayers, while supporting the state's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Lars Pedersen, CEO of Vineyard Wind, said in a statement. "Our Park City Wind proposal is much more than an energy project. It's an opportunity for Connecticut to develop a world-class offshore wind industry in Bridgeport and solidify its role as a high value industry hub in the U.S. for years to come."
Proposed electricity rates were not yet made available to the public.
Offshore wind prices have dropped significantly since Deepwater Wind built the Block Island Wind Farm, which delivered power at 24 cents per kilowatt hour in its first year of operation with a 3.5 percent annual escalator built into the contract.
Vineyard Wind's 800-megawatt offshore project — recently hit with delays after the federal government called for further environmental review — will sell power to three Massachusetts utilities at a fixed rate of 8.4 cents per kilowatt hour, according to EcoRI News.
In Rhode Island, which will receive 400 megawatts from Revolution Wind, National Grid will pay 9.84 cents per kilowatt hour for 20 years.
State-regulated utilities Eversource and United Illuminating will buy electricity produced at Revolution Wind and deliver it to Connecticut consumers, but the proposed price per kilowatt hour — which is fixed, unlike the Block Island Wind Farm — has not yet been released.
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection could not be reached to comment about the proposals.

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