Awards, News

CHA Earns ACEC CT Engineering Excellence Award for Transformed Hartford Highway

Posted April 18, 2023

Clough, Harbour & Associates, LLP/CHA Consulting, Inc. (CHA) has earned a 2023 ACEC Connecticut Engineering Excellence Award for relocating the I-91 Northbound Interchange 29 and widening of I-91 Northbound and Route 5/15 Northbound to I-84 Eastbound in Hartford, Connecticut. This annual competition showcases the talent and expertise of consulting engineering firms and individuals building and designing projects in Connecticut.

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The enhanced operations contribute to the ongoing success and development in the Hartford area.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) retained CHA to resolve congestion at Interchange 29, connecting I-91 Northbound with Route 5/15 Northbound in Hartford, Connecticut. The original ramp was a single-lane ramp with a steep grade and significant traffic weave at the merge with Route 5/15, resulting in daily back-ups for commuters and commercial traffic to northern New England.

The reconfigured Interchange 29 resulted in a new high-speed two-lane ramp that accesses Route 5/15 Southbound via an 880-foot-long, five-span flyover structure. The ramp continues over the Charter Oak Bridge to I-84 Eastbound without the need to weave. Northbound I-91 and Route 5/15 were widened to add additional through lanes, requiring modifications to eight interchanges and seven corridor bridges, including widening five spans of the Charter Oak Bridge over the Connecticut River.

The project has been a tremendous success for CTDOT and the Hartford area. CHA’s design of a high-speed, two-lane ramp uses a flyover ramp bridge that has revolutionized the steel bridge industry. Its unique triple I-girder straddle bent design is structurally redundant and costs nearly 50% less than an equivalent box section. Several states are now adding this innovative design as a key tool in their steel bridge toolbox. The new ramp and added lane on I-91 eliminated delays, saving millions in roadway user costs/year, improving operations, and reducing crash rates.

Winning firms will be honored at the ACEC Connecticut Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on June 20, 2023. A Grand Award winner will be announced at the event.

As an award winner, this project was advanced to the National ACEC 2023 Engineering Excellence Awards. It will be honored with a National Recognition Award at the ACEC National Awards Gala on June 13 in Washington, DC.