Department of Transportation
At a Glance
JOSEPH F. MARIE, Commissioner
Established – October 1, 1969
Statutory authority - P.A. 69-768
Central office – 2800 Berlin Turnpike,
Newington, CT 06131-7546
Authorized number of full-time employees – 3,426
Recurring operating expenditures – $507.3 million
Capital Budget 2008-2009 – $725 million
Organizational structure – Office of the Commissioner, Bureau of Aviation and Ports, Bureau of Finance and Administration, Bureau of Engineering and Construction, Bureau of Highway Operations, Bureau of Policy and Planning, Bureau of Public Transportation, State Traffic Commission.
The mission of the Connecticut Department of Transportation is to provide a safe and efficient inter-modal transportation network that improves the quality of life and promotes economic vitality for the State and the region.
The agency shall be responsible for all aspects of the planning, development, maintenance and improvement of transportation in the State (Section 13b-3 C.G.S.). The agency serves its customers by providing safe and efficient systems for the movement of people and goods within, to or from the State, whether by highway, air, water, rail or other means (Section 13b-2[I]).
Information Reported as Required by State Statute
The agency shall develop and revise, biennially, a comprehensive long-range transportation plan designed to fulfill the present and future needs of the State and to assure the development and maintenance of an adequate, safe and efficient transportation system (Section 13b-15 C.G.S). The purpose of the Master Transportation Plan is to provide its customers, the Administration, the General Assembly, local elected officials, and the general public with a comprehensive understanding of the transportation projects and programs that the agency will be pursuing over the next ten years. The strategic goals of the agency are to ensure safety, maintain the existing system, increase system productivity, promote economic development and provide required capacity.
Affirmative Action Policy
The Department of Transportation is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. It is the established policy of the Department to ensure equal opportunity and to implement various affirmative action programs. All services and programs of the Department are administered in a fair and impartial manner, pursuant to the State Code of Fair Practices and all other relevant State and federal laws and regulations including, but not limited to: C.G.S. 46a-60, Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Department continues to work cooperatively with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, the U. S. Department of Transportation and other State and Federal compliance agencies in conducting various reviews and providing requested information.
For the Bureau of Aviation and Ports, FY 2009 was another year focused on adapting to organizational changes, planning and implementing infrastructure improvements and responding to economic upheaval in the airline sector.
Adapting to Organizational Changes – In FY 2009, the Bureau successfully adapted to organizational change brought on by the Department’s continuing efforts at reorganization, continuous improvement and the State’s Retirement Incentive Program (RIP).
Planning and Implementing Infrastructure Improvements – The Bureau is continuing its development of all the State-owned Airports and Waterways.
Responding to Economic Upheaval in the Airline Sector – The airline industry was plunged into economic turmoil in FY 2008 by the rising cost of fuel and declining economy. This has only worsened in FY 2009. Most major airlines are in “survival mode” and have instituted major cuts in airline service capacity in response to the situation. The Bureau has implemented a plan to address the situation:
The airlines unanimously approved the FY 2010 budget as a result of the actions taken and the Bureau is positioning Bradley to take maximum advantage of the airline business cycle when it again enters an expansion era.
The Bureau of Engineering and Construction continued to manage all programs and projects to maximize federal funds allocated to Connecticut for improvements to all transportation modes. In addition, as of July 22, 2009, the Bureau has obligated more than $176 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds for State and enhancement projects. The Bureau is also working diligently with the Metropolitan and Rural Regional Planning Agencies to obligate an additional $98 million for municipal projects in advance of the February 2010 deadline.
Major projects underway include the reconstruction of the major runways at Bradley International Airport (as discussed above); repairs to the I-84 Aetna Viaduct in Hartford; the replacement of the Amtrak Railroad bridge over Route 1 in Branford; the construction of Route 7 (Brookfield Bypass); the reconstruction of Route 7 in Danbury; the reconstruction of I-95 in New Haven; the resurfacing of Route 15 in Trumbull and Fairfield; the relocation of Route 72 in Bristol; the rehabilitation and widening of the Route 190 Bridge in Suffield and Enfield; the reconstruction of the Grand Avenue Bridge in New Haven; the construction of the Fairfield Metro Center Railroad Station; railroad system improvements in Bridgeport; the construction of a bus facility in New Haven; the reconstruction of Route 20 in East Granby; the reconstruction of the Route 63 Bridge over the Naugatuck River in Naugatuck; the replacement of the existing Bridge over the Housatonic River in Salisbury; safety and operational improvements on Route 44 in Avon; the reconstruction of Route 4 in Farmington; and various other safety and operational improvements throughout the State.
The largest Capital Program within the Department’s current plan is the I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing Corridor Improvement Program. The Program includes both roadway and transit improvements to increase capacity and reduce congestion between New Haven and Branford. The reconstruction and widening of I-95, east of the existing Quinnipiac River Bridge (the Q-Bridge), in New Haven, East Haven and Branford, was completed in 2008. Three lanes on I-95 southbound are now open from Interchange 54 in Branford to the existing Q-Bridge in New Haven (4.5 miles). On I-95 northbound there are four lanes open from Interchange 50 in New Haven to Interchange 51 in East Haven. Three lanes continue northbound to Interchange 54 in Branford. Foundation and west approach construction for the new Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge commenced in April 2008 and construction of the I-95 northbound to Route 34 eastbound flyover commenced in October 2008. The contract to construct the new Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge was bid in June 2009 and was awarded near the end of July. The work is scheduled to commence in fall 2009. The major work to reconstruct the I-95/I-91/Route 34 Interchange will be advertised in spring 2010. The entire New Haven Crossing Corridor Improvement Program is estimated to cost over $2.2 billion and will be completed in late 2016.
The design of the New Britain-Hartford Busway is expected to be complete by the end of 2010. Construction is expected to start in 2011 and take approximately two years, resulting in an anticipated revenue operations date for the bus rapid transit system of 2013.
The Department’s Bridge Safety and Evaluation Section continued to aggressively inspect, evaluate and inventory the structural condition of more than 5,000 bridges, 1,800 overhead sign supports, 900 traffic signal mast arm supports and 40 high mast illumination towers. Bridges are typically inspected at two-year intervals; however, some bridges are inspected more frequently due to significant structural deterioration. This critical function helps to ensure the safety of the traveling public through the identification of bridge deficiencies and needs in a systematic and timely manner.
The Department’s Utilities Section and the Office of Construction are continuing with their efforts to facilitate the installation of Northeast Utilities (NU) and United Illuminating Company’s underground 345 kilovolt transmission lines in Southwestern Connecticut. All sections of the underground installation have been completed and permanent pavement restoration is underway.
Additionally, NU has submitted plans known as the New England East-West Solution for additional electrical transmission facilities in other parts of the State. Whenever State highways may be affected, the Department will continue to cooperate on future transmission projects. NU’s multi-billion dollar transmission projects have placed Connecticut at the forefront in resolving existing problems with the regional transmission system attaining national and regional reliability standards, thus assuring the adequacy and availability of electric power.
The Department’s Office of Rights of Way completed 212 acquisitions of real property for various projects at a cost of $13,575,916. A total of 116 relocation payments were made to displaced residential and business owners and tenants at a cost of $2,917,632. Some 29 parcels of State land were sold during the year producing $1,652,470 in sales revenue. Long- and short-term leases of State highway property produced $2,149,704 in rental income.
The Bureau of Maintenance and Highway Operations provided roadway and roadside maintenance to 5,682 effective two-lane miles of roadway and provided snow removal and other roadway maintenance services to 61 State agencies. With respect to snow and ice control, there were 13 winter storms which required the use of 179,705 tons of sodium chloride and 839,900 gallons of liquid calcium chloride and 4,234 cubic yards of sand abrasives applied by 632 State trucks and 145 contracted trucks. Maintenance of existing roadways included 264.73 miles of vendor-applied bituminous concrete overlay. In addition, 6,800 feet of drainage pipe was installed along with 382 drainage structures. During the past year, maintenance repairs were performed on 964 of the 3,831 State-maintained bridges through the combined efforts of Department personnel and contractors. The Traffic Services Units painted 7,048 miles of center lines and lane lines; erected 2,433 new traffic regulatory, warning and directional signs; renewed or removed 5,693 existing signs; continued maintenance of 2,748 traffic signals and 1,253 miles of highway illumination; and installed 29 new traffic signals and 134 signal revisions.
There were 3,219 highway encroachment permits issued. The Oversize/Overweight Permits Unit collected $2,802,986.60 for the issuance of 89,912 oversize/overweight permits, 127 radioactive permits and 228 industrial permits.
The Department’s computerized traffic control signal systems include a total of 934 traffic signals on 58 major arterials in 54 municipalities. The Newington and Bridgeport Operations Centers monitor 300 highway cameras and operate 121 variable message signs and 14 highway advisory radio stations. The Operations Centers responded to a total of 2,571 reported incidents on the State’s limited access highway system. The Department’s Connecticut Highway Assistance Motorist Patrol (CHAMP) Program provided highway assistance to a total of 11,382 motorists along the I-95 corridor from the New York state line to the Rhode Island state line, and 2,554 on Route 15 (Merritt Parkway). Additionally, the CHAMP Program provided assistance to 4,928 motorists in the greater Hartford area and 2,401 motorists in the greater Waterbury area.
Within the Bureau of Finance and Administration, a project closeout team was formed in the beginning of October 2008, with representatives from the Department’s operational areas and Federal Highway Administration. The Department seeks to closeout projects and release unused State and federal funding for obligation on new projects. The Department is moving forward and making progress with the Project Closeout and Final Voucher initiative, closing 206 projects by June 30, 2009.
The Department continues its efforts at streamlining its contracting and agreements processes. In FY 2009, a Master Municipal-Stimulus Funding Agreement was developed with the assistance of the Department's legal staff and the Attorney General's office. This master agreement is now being used to provide stimulus funding to municipalities within the timeframes required under the federal stimulus program. A similar collaborative effort was used in the completion of a Master Utility Agreement now being used to effectuate work on the State's utilities infrastructure required as part of our transportation projects. Master agreements are also under development for six major ongoing municipal aid programs administered by the Department including Design Projects, Rights of Way Activities, Construction Projects, Wheelchair-Accessible Vehicle Acquisition, Transportation for Elderly and Disabled Persons and the Connecticut Clean Fuel Program. The Department will continue these efforts in FY 2010 with a view toward completion of approved master agreements for all funding programs, as well as the development of master agreements for other activities of the Department.
The Department has established a performance target for its Contracts Unit to award construction projects within 60 days of the Department's receipt of bids. During this 60-day period, the Contracts Unit reviews all bids for accuracy and status of contractor qualifications, ensures that environmental permits and rights of way requirements are in order, verifies project funding is in place and ensures the proper federal approvals have been received as well. Performance against this target is assessed regularly through self-reporting by the unit and this structure has served the Department well. In FY 2009, 51 percent of all the Department's awards met this target in comparison to only 13 percent being awarded in less than 60 days in FY 2008. In addition to the reduction in days to award, the number of contracts awarded increased by 57 percent in this same period (from 54 awards in FY 2008 to 85 in FY 2009)
The Bureau of Policy and Planning conducts planning studies and associated activities for the movement of people and goods for all modes of transportation, including highway, rail, bus, aviation, maritime, rideshare/commuter parking facilities, bicycle and recreational. Social, environmental and economic analyses and documentation of proposed alternatives are prepared for all projects through a public process. The Bureau interacts with Congressional and State legislators and staff, as well as nationally recognized transportation organizations, on various transportation bills, including major authorizations and appropriation bills for surface transportation, intercity passenger rail and aviation.
The Bureau of Policy and Planning administered programs during the 2008-2009 fiscal year for commuter parking facilities, pedestrian access, bicycling and safe routes to school. Continuing major studies include the Buckland Area Transportation Study (Manchester), the I-84 Waterbury-Danbury Environmental Impact Statement, the Danbury Rail Branch Electrification Study (Phases I and II), the I-84/Route 8 Waterbury Interchange Needs and Feasibility Study, the Danielson Airport Master Plan Update, the Waterbury-Oxford Airport Federal Aviation Regulation Part 150 Noise Study, and the Federal Environmental Impact Statement for improvements to the I-95 corridor between Interchanges 70 and 84. Major planning studies initiated include the New Haven Rail Line, Waterbury and New Canaan Branch Lines Study, Groton-New London Airport Master Plan, State Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan and Bicycle Map update, and the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Commuter Rail Environmental Assessment. The Connecticut Rail System Report, Waterbury-Oxford Airport Master Plan Update, the Rest Areas and Services Plazas Study Statewide, and the Middletown Area River Crossing (Arrigoni Bridge) Needs Assessment and Preliminary Alternatives Development Study were completed. The Long Wharf Draft Environmental Assessment was distributed. The Bureau is awaiting funding from the Bureau of Engineering and Construction to begin the Route 7/Merritt Parkway Federal Environmental Assessment/ Section 4(F) Evaluation for the completion of the Route 7/Merrritt Parkway/ Main Avenue intersection.
The Bureau of Policy and Planning assisted staff assigned to the Commissioner’s Office on the development and publication of a performance measures report titled “Connecticut on the Move: Performance Metrics Report,” which was printed and distributed on January 12, 2009.
The Bureau of Policy and Planning, in coordination with the other 6 Department Bureaus, developed performance measures and targets for bridge and road conditions, photolog savings, congestion management, highway safety, recycling, geographic information systems, project delivery, rail operations, and airport operations. A total of 21 measures were prepared for the above programs, and will be placed onto the Department web site for access by the general public, as well as published in an annual report in January 2010.
The Bureau of Policy and Planning has worked to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Environmental Protection regarding implementation of a Flood Management Certification for the Grant programs administrated by the Department. This MOU will streamline the Flood Management Certification process and avoid the duplication of effect within the two agencies.
The Bureau of Policy and Planning published the 2009 Master Transportation Plan, the State’s long-range transportation plan titled, Connecticut on the Move, Strategic Long-Range Transportation Plan 2009 – 2035 (2009 LRP), and has completed the Public Involvement Guidance Manual, Revision of 2009. The Bureau developed, with technical assistance from the Department’s Office of Research and Materials, a streaming video on the development and contents of the Draft 2009 LRP as part of the Department’s public outreach efforts to solicit public input on the document. The Bureau also updated the existing 2007 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) throughout the year and is in the process of developing the Draft 2010 STIP. The Bureau has developed a draft Public Involvement Procedures document which will go out for public review late summer or early fall 2009. The Bureau has been actively involved in the solicitation and scheduling of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects from the Regional Planning Organizations (RPOs) throughout the State and continues to coordinate the review and approval of these projects through the RPO’s. The Bureau also developed various transportation planning-related documents and documentation required by the Federal Highway Administration, and provided extensive support for the Transportation Strategy Board program initiatives, studies and projects. The Bureau continues to participate in various planning studies Statewide in coordination with the RPO’s and other State agencies. Air quality conformity model runs were completed for various transportation projects to assure compliance with the emissions goals of the Clean Air Act. A survey was conducted and a report published on usage of High Occupancy Vehicle facilities in the Greater Hartford region. Bureau staff also represented the Department on the Neighborhood Revitalization Zone (NRZ) Advisory Board and coordinated the Department’s review and submittal of comments on various NRZ strategic plans, and gave a PowerPoint presentation on “ConnDOT’s Functions” and the planning process to participants in the Danbury Leadership Program and the Fairfield County Leadership Group. Bureau staff provided technical support for the Governor’s Steering Committee on Climate Change.
The Bureau of Policy and Planning prepares an annual planning document which addresses a set of highway and traffic safety problems with the goal of reducing fatalities and injuries as the result of motor vehicle crashes on Connecticut roads. These traffic safety program areas include Impaired Driving, Occupant Protection and Child Passenger Safety, Police Traffic Services, Motorcycle Safety, Roadway Safety and Traffic Records. Also included is the Safe Routes to School program, which provides support for infrastructure projects and educational training for bicycle and pedestrian safety, and Operation Lifesaver, a national non-profit public information program dedicated to improving public safety by reducing the number of injuries and fatalities associated with at-grade railroad crossing crashes and accidents involving railroad trespass.
In addition, the Bureau of Policy and Planning maintains the State’s traffic counting program, accident records system and an inventory of the highway system. This data, as well as future land use and employment projections, is used to estimate future travel demand, identify current and future capacity deficiencies, and analyze alternate highway and transit improvement – and is used in environmental studies.
The Bureau of Policy and Planning provides Geographic Information System software and application development support for the Department. The Bureau has begun development of a new comprehensive digitized road network which comprise approximately 27,000 miles of roadways. This network will support many high-level initiatives such as evacuation planning, emergency response, capacity planning, oversized and overweight permitting, and routing analysis
The Bureau of Public Transportation’s mission is to provide mobility to the residents of the State and to enhance economic development, access to jobs and the environment by providing safe, efficient, economical and reliable transportation alternatives.
Over the past year, substantial progress has been made in advancing the Bureau’s long-term capital agenda. In addition, ridership grew significantly as commuters and discretionary riders reacted to higher fuel prices early in the fiscal year, but dropped off later in the year as gas prices plummeted and national economic conditions negatively impacted all modes of travel.
Rail ridership grew by 3.4 percent on the New Haven Line over the first six months of FY 2009 (July through December 2008) and declined 3.5 percent in the second half (January through June 2009). Rail ridership grew by 24.7 percent on Shore Line East over the first six months of FY 2009 (generated by new weekday and weekend service) and increased 10 percent in the second half (January through June 2009). The Amtrak Service Agreement was renegotiated to implement expanded Shore Line East service which included new mid-day and late-night weekday service, lengthening trains and the inauguration of weekend/holiday service. Planning continues for implementation of a second phase of Shore Line East expansion which extends service to New London.
Mid-day service was added on the main New Haven Line, the Waterbury and Danbury branches, and branch line trains were lengthened to accommodate ridership growth
Stimulus funds made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) were directed to a rail signalization project on the Danbury Branch, rail station improvements on the New Haven Line and the construction of a major rail car facility in New Haven to inspect and maintain the new M8 rail cars.
Bus ridership grew by 5.1 percent over the first six months of FY 2009 as gas prices began the year at historic highs and declined throughout the remainder of the calendar year. Bus ridership fell by about 5 percent in the second six months of the fiscal year when compared to the prior year, as gas prices remained low and national economic conditions deteriorated. The Transit Office facilitated the development of a package of capital improvements in response to the funding made available through the ARRA program. More than $75 million of new bus capital funding was made available to the State and its transit systems. The Office conducted a statewide service planning effort to develop a second phase of bus service enhancements to add to the $3 million of new services funded in FY 2008. However, funding for these enhancements was delayed due to the State budget crisis. The Office conducted an update of the statewide effort to implement new Safe Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) planning requirements for specialized public transportation programs.
The Bureau has made significant progress in moving its long-term Capital Program forward. Major activities and achievements during the year include:
· Continued construction of catenary (electric overhead wire) replacement and bridge rehabilitation from New Haven to the New York state line on the New Haven Main Line.
· Initiated the design phase for priority improvements at New Haven Line train stations (ARRA construction project).
· Continued inspections and condition studies for New Haven Line bridges.
· Continued the track maintenance program, bridge timber replacement program, and railroad bridge maintenance program.
· Continued the rehabilitation of the State’s M2 electric multiple unit (EMU) rail cars to ensure reliable New Haven Line service; developed rehabilitation specifications for M4 EMU rail cars.
· Completed the necessary repairs and reconditioning of 33 rail cars purchased from the State of Virginia in order to provide additional seating capacity on the New Haven Line and Shore Line East.
· Continued project design and engineering management for procurement of 300 new M8 rail cars to replace the New Haven Line EMU fleet in cooperation with Metro-North Railroad (MNR).
· Completed delivery and acceptance of 6 New Haven Line shuttle locomotives and 5 nonrevenue service locomotives for Railroad MNR to replace obsolete shuttle and switcher locomotives on the MNR system.
· Completed the study to evaluate the New Haven Line signal and communication system with MNR and provided recommendations to upgrade the system; continued the design phases for the program; began signal system construction from the New York State Line through Greenwich
· Continued design for the expansion of the Shore Line East stations including north side platforms, pedestrian overpasses and parking expansion at Branford, Guilford, Clinton, Madison and Westbrook.
· Undertook a procurement effort to purchase up to 136 replacement buses and vans for transit operators Statewide in FY 2010 and hundreds of additional vehicles over the final four option years of the procurement. Awards are expected early in FY 2010.
· Began construction on the new 250,000 square foot bus maintenance and storage facility in Hamden for the CTTransit New Haven Division.
· Continued final design and rights-of-way activities for the Bus Rapid Transit System for the New Britain-Hartford Busway.
· Continued planning activities for new bus storage and maintenance facilities in Watertown for the CTTransit Waterbury division and smaller facilities for the Northwest Connecticut Transit District and the Windham Transit District.