I-91 Interchange 29 Flyover Bridge, Charter Oak Bridge

Originally constructed in 1940, the Charter Oak Bridge — a.k.a. “the congestion buster” — is a major steel bridge that crosses the Connecticut River and connects downtown Hartford with East Hartford. The three-year, $240 million project involved three heavily traveled roadways and 22 bridges. To connect I-91, I-84, and Route 2 in East Hartford, this route is critical.

CHA’s final design addressed significant safety issues and operational performances, all centered around our innovative reconstruction of Exit 29. The new configuration includes a left-hand, high-speed, two-lane diverging ramp that often requires a complex straddle bent structure. But our team offered a unique solution for this straddle bent design: the “Load Path Redundant Member” (LPRM) approach. The LPRM approach eliminated the fracture-critical designation and special long-term inspection requirements. The final result? Improved safety and reduced construction and maintenance costs.

Project summary

8 mos.

New I-29 ramp opened 8 months early.

2 yrs.

Project completed two years ahead of schedule.


Low bid more than $52M below project budget.

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Bob Talbot, PE*

Bob Talbot, PE*
Principal Engineer

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Bob brings 34 years of experience designing and managing civil, highway and interchange design projects, including over 20 years of project management for large multidisciplinary projects. Bob is experienced in all aspects of design, including horizontal and vertical geometry; drainage and hydraulics; traffic maintenance; railroad coordination (including Amtrak); construction management; and preparation of final contract plans, cost estimates, and specifications.