FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 24, 2020 City of New Britain Receives $2.97 Million for Complete Streets Phase VIII Work NEW BRITAIN—Mayor Erin Stewart announced today that the City of New Britain has received $2,976,000 from the Connecticut Department of Transportation through the Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program (LOTCIP) for Phase VIII work of the City’s Complete Streets Masterplan.
Phase VIII involves making roadway improvements to areas of Chestnut Street, Columbus Boulevard, and Washington Street, which are all major gateways into downtown New Britain. These roads, however, present challenging pedestrian and bicycle environments with high traffic volumes, high speeds, long intersection crossing distances, and the lack of other pedestrian needs.
Improvements include the paving of the roadways, adding traffic calming measures such as the reduction of travel lanes in some areas, new drainage, granite curbing, the addition of new brick paver sidewalks where they currently don’t exist (such as the north side of Columbus Boulevard), the replacement of deteriorated sidewalks, ADA upgrades, and new vegetative landscaping. The traffic signal at the intersection of Columbus Boulevard and Chestnut Street will be replaced and will be tied into the City’s new centrally-controlled coordinated signal system that allows for remote changes to maximize traffic operations.
Specifically, the project consists of implementing Complete Streets techniques on approximately 2300’ of roadway on sections of Washington Street, Columbus Boulevard, and Chestnut Street. Complete Streets techniques will also be implemented at the intersections of Washington Street at Columbus Boulevard and Chestnut Street at Columbus Boulevard near the recently opened Columbus Commons mixed-use development.
The Washington Street bridge crossing over State Route 72 will have the sidewalks reconstructed and the bridge rail will be removed and replaced with a new decorative rail to match adjacent projects recently constructed. In addition, there is a proposal for a multi-use trail on the north side of Columbus Boulevard, which requires taking approximately 10,000 square feet of state owned property along Route 72. The trail will terminate on Main Street south of the Beehive Bridge and is envisioned to be part of a 4.5 mile gap closure to connect with the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail.
“This project builds on our work to create more transit oriented development opportunities by increasing access to underutilized land and builds upon other recently completed investments such as the Beehive Bridge and the other Downtown Complete Streets Phases,” said Mayor Stewart. “The work will also increase pedestrian access to and from the downtown CTfastrak station.”
The City’s Downtown Complete Streets Master Plan is aimed at balancing the needs of cars, people, bicyclists, and transit riders, while providing a safe and attractive environment for those living, working, and visiting in and around the City.
The design phase for the work is just getting underway, so construction may begin in 2021.
“I’d like to personally thank Commissioner Joseph Giulietti and the Connecticut Department of Transportation for their support of this project,” Stewart said.
It is important to note that the grant funds 100 percent of the project and there is no City match required.