Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility

Executive Summary

Seven years after the nation suffered a significant economic downturn, Connecticut’s economy continues to rebound. The rate of economic growth in Connecticut, which will be greatly impacted by the reliability and condition of the state’s transportation system, continues to have a significant impact on quality of life in the Constitution State.

An efficient, safe and well-maintained transportation system provides economic and social benefits by affording individuals access to employment, housing, healthcare, education, goods and services, recreation, entertainment, family, and social activities. It also provides businesses with access to suppliers, markets and employees, all critical to a business’ level of productivity and ability to expand. Conversely, reduced accessibility and mobility – as a result of traffic congestion, a lack of adequate capacity, or deteriorated roads, highways, bridges and transit facilities – diminishes a region’s quality of life by reducing economic productivity and limiting opportunities for economic, health or social transactions and activities.

As the insurance capital of the nation and with an economy based largely on finance, engineering, manufacturing, information technology, electronics, agriculture and mining, the quality of Connecticut’s transportation system will play a vital role in the state’s level of economic growth and in the quality of life in Connecticut.

In this report, TRIP looks at the top transportation issues faced in Connecticut as the state addresses its need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways, bridges and transit systems.

Signed into law in July 2012, MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act), has improved several procedures that in the past had delayed projects.  MAP-21 does not address long-term funding challenges facing the federal surface transportation program. The current federal transportation legislation was initially set to expire on September 30, 2014. However, following numerous short-term extensions passed by Congress, the bill is now set to expire on December 4, 2015. Congress will need to pass new legislation prior to the expiration to ensure prompt federal reimbursements to states for road, highway, bridge and transit repairs and improvements.

CT_Infographics_Nov_2015The level of funding and the provisions of the federal surface transportation program have a significant impact on highway and bridge conditions, roadway safety, transit service, quality of life and economic development opportunities in Connecticut.


An inadequate transportation system costs Connecticut motorists a total of $5.1 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • TRIP estimates that Connecticut roadways that lack some desirable safety features, have inadequate capacity to meet travel demands or have poor pavement conditions cost the state’s residents approximately $5.1 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear), the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion, and the financial cost of traffic crashes.
  • TRIP has calculated the average cost to drivers in the state’s largest urban areas as a result of driving on roads that are deteriorated, congested and lack some desirable safety features. The chart below details the costs to drivers in the Bridgeport/Stamford, Hartford and New Haven urban areas.


The rate of population and economic growth in Connecticut have resulted in increased demands on the state’s major roads and highways, leading to increased wear and tear on the transportation system.

  • Connecticut’s population reached approximately 3.6 million residents in 2014, a nine percent increase since 1990.
  • Connecticut had 2.5 million licensed drivers in 2013.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Connecticut increased by 18 percent from 1990 to 2013 –from 26.3 billion VMT in 1990 to 30.9 billion VMT in 2013.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in Connecticut is projected to increase by another 15 percent.
  • From 1990 to 2013, Connecticut’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 41 percent, when adjusted for inflation. U.S. GDP increased 65 percent during this time.


A lack of adequate state and local funding has resulted in one-third of major urban roads and highways in Connecticut and one-quarter of major rural roads and highways having pavement surfaces in poor condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorist in the form of additional vehicle operating costs.

  • Thirty-three percent of Connecticut’s major locally and state-maintained urban roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while an additional 46 percent of the state’s major state and locally maintained urban roads are rated in mediocre or fair condition and the remaining 21 percent are rated in good condition.
  • Twenty-five percent of Connecticut’s major locally and state-maintained rural roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while an additional 48 percent of the state’s major state and locally maintained rural roads are rated in mediocre or fair condition and the remaining 27 percent are rated in good condition.
  • Roads rated in poor condition may show signs of deterioration, including rutting, cracks and potholes. In some cases, poor roads can be resurfaced, but often are too deteriorated and must be reconstructed.
  • Driving on rough roads costs Connecticut motorists a total of $1.6 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • The chart below details pavement conditions on major urban roads in the Bridgeport/Stamford, Hartford and New Haven urban areas:


More than one-third of locally and state-maintained bridges in Connecticut show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length.

  • Nine percent of Connecticut’s bridges are structurally deficient. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Structurally deficient bridges are often posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks and emergency services vehicles.
  • Twenty-six percent of Connecticut’s bridges are functionally obsolete. Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.
  • The chart below details bridge conditions in the Bridgeport/Stamford, Hartford and New Haven urban areas:


Improving safety features on Connecticut’s roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in the state’s traffic fatalities and serious crashes. It is estimated that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes.

  • Between 2009 and 2013 a total of 1,274 people were killed in traffic crashes in Connecticut, an average of 255 fatalities per year.
  • Connecticut’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.89 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2013 is lower than the national average of 1.09.
  • The chart below details the average number of fatalities from 2011 to 2013 in Bridgeport/Stamford, Hartford and New Haven, as well as the average cost per driver as a result of traffic crashes.
  • Conn 4Roadway features that impact safety include the number of lanes, lane widths, lighting, lane markings, rumble strips, shoulders, guard rails, other shielding devices, median barriers and intersection design. The cost of serious crashes includes lost productivity, lost earnings, medical costs and emergency services.
  • Several factors are associated with vehicle crashes that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway features. TRIP estimates that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.
  • Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion. Such improvements include removing or shielding obstacles; adding or improving medians; improved lighting; adding rumble strips, wider lanes, wider and paved shoulders; upgrading roads from two lanes to four lanes; and better road markings and traffic signals.
  • Investments in rural traffic safety have been found to result in significant reductions in serious traffic crashes. A 2012 report by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) found that improvements completed recently by the Texas Department of Transportation that widened lanes, improved shoulders and made other safety improvements on 1,159 miles of rural state roadways resulted in 133 fewer fatalities on these roads in the first three years after the improvements were completed (as compared to the three years prior).   TTI estimates that the improvements on these roads are likely to save 880 lives over the next 20 years.


Increasing levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in Connecticut, particularly in its larger urban areas, choking commuting and commerce. Traffic congestion robs commuters of time and money and imposes increased costs on businesses, shippers and manufacturers, which are often passed along to the consumer.

  • Based on Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) estimates, the value of lost time and wasted fuel in Connecticut is approximately $2.3 billion per year.
  • According to TTI, the average driver in the Bridgeport/Stamford urban area loses $1,174 each year in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion. The average Bridgeport/Stamford commuter wastes 49 hours each year stuck in traffic.
  • According to TTI, the average driver in the Hartford urban area loses $1,038 each year in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion. The average Hartford commuter wastes 45 hours each year stuck in traffic.
  • TTI estimates that the average driver in the New Haven area loses $932 annually in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion. The average New Haven commuter wastes 40 hours each year stuck in traffic.
  • Increasing levels of congestion add significant costs to consumers, transportation companies, manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers and can reduce the attractiveness of a location to a company when considering expansion or where to locate a new facility. Congestion costs can also increase overall operating costs for trucking and shipping companies, leading to revenue losses, lower pay for drivers and employees, and higher consumer costs.
  • Forty-two percent of businesses surveyed by the Connecticut Business and Industry Association believe that the state’s road congestion restricts or limits the territory of their market.
  • Fifteen percent of businesses surveyed by the Connecticut Business and Industry Association have considered relocation because of regional transportation concerns.



Connecticut’s heavily traveled and aging transit system, which plays a vital role in providing mobility in the state, has significant preservation needs to replace aging vehicles and to repair rail lines and bridges.

  • Connecticut’s transit network includes 20 urban and rural systems, including the CTfastrack Bus Rapid Transit line in Hartford and the New Haven Line, the nation’s busiest commuter rail corridor.
  • Connecticut’s transit system provides 42 million bus passenger trips per year on 1,100 buses and paratransit vehicles, and 41 million rail passenger trips per year on 500 rail cars and coaches traveling on 226 route miles.
  • The preservation needs for Connecticut’s bus transit system total $2 billion, while the preservation needs for the state’s rail transit system is $14.5 billion.
  • The average age of state-maintained buses in Connecticut is seven years, while the average age of buses maintained by local agencies is nine years. The average service life of a bus is 12 years.
  • Twenty-two percent of rail bridges that carry commuter rail in Connecticut are in poor condition.


Investment in Connecticut’s roads, highways and bridges is funded by local, state and federal governments. A lack of sufficient funding at all levels will make it difficult to adequately maintain and improve the existing transportation system.

  • From 2009 to 2013, the federal government provided $1.75 for road improvements in Connecticut for every dollar the state paid in federal motor fuel fees.
  • Following numerous short-term extensions passed by Congress, the current federal surface transportation legislation is set to expire on December 4, 2015. Congress will need to pass new legislation prior to the extension expiration to ensure prompt federal reimbursements to states for road, highway, bridge and transit repairs and improvements. If Congress decides to provide additional revenues into the federal Highway Trust Fund in tandem with authorizing a new federal surface transportation program, a number of technically feasible revenue options have been identified by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
  • A significant boost in investment on the nation’s roads, highways, bridges and public transit systems is needed to improve their condition and to meet the nation’s transportation needs, concluded a new report from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
  • The 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report found that annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges needs to increase from $88 billion to $120 billion and from $17 billion to $43 billion in the nation’s public transit systems, to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobility needs.


The efficiency of Connecticut’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Businesses rely on an efficient and dependable transportation system to move products and services. A key component in business efficiency and success is the level and ease of access to customers, markets, materials and workers.

  • Annually, $143 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Connecticut and another $119 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Connecticut, mostly by truck.
  • Seventy-three percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Connecticut are carried by trucks and another 18 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.
  • Businesses have responded to improved communications and greater competition by moving from a push-style distribution system, which relies on low-cost movement of bulk commodities and large-scale warehousing, to a pull-style distribution system, which relies on smaller, more strategic and time-sensitive movement of goods.
  • Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to re-locate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system.
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number two site selection factor behind only the availability of skilled labor in a 2013 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.
  • The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

Sources of information for this report include the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the U.S. Census Bureau, the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).


New Cat® 6015B Hydraulic Shovel Moves More Material at Lower Costs

Building on the robust and productive Cat® 5110B, the new 6015B Hydraulic Shovel delivers a productivity advantage over other 100-tonne shovels thanks to the most powerful engine in its class, a large standard bucket and payload capacity of 14.6 tonnes. The design translates to fast cycles and a pass match advantage over leading standard-equipped shovels in its class when loading trucks of 55, 65 and 90 tonne capacities.

The 6015B is equipped with a single Cat C27 ACERT engine that provides 606 kW of rated power. As with all hydraulic shovels, the greater the engine power, the greater the digging power and the faster the digging cycles. The large, 8.1-cubic-meter standard bucket, outfitted with Cat C70 hammerless GET, further boosts production capability. With the standard bucket, the 6015B is optimized to fill a Cat 773 truck in four passes, a 775 in five passes, and a 777 in seven passes. These truck models are commonly found in heavy construction, quarry/aggregate and small to mid-size mining operations across the globe.

Cat 6015B Hydraulic Shovel loads Cat 775G truckThe 6015B is currently available only in a backhoe configuration.

Efficient operation

Cat 6015B Hydraulic Shovel, left sideThe 6015B is both powerful and efficient. Caterpillar’s proprietary integrated engine control technologies, a boom float feature that regenerates boom oil for reduced engine demand, an oil cooling system that’s independent of engine cooling, and regeneration of swing energy via its closed-loop swing system, all increase fuel efficiency.

Cat automatic flow proportioning technology creates more efficient hydraulic pump utilization, reduced energy losses and increased fuel savings. Exclusive Cat Proportional Priority Pressure Compensating technology ensures that hydraulic flow is proportional, according to demands, so individual functions—boom, stick, and bucket—are automatically prioritized during simultaneous operations. This aids smooth, efficient operation and controllability. Pressure and flow compensation deliver only as much flow as needed. The result is reduced heat build-up and component wear.

Reliable performance

The 6015B is built upon the robust 5110B platform, proven durable and reliable. And the entire machine benefits from extensive use of proven Cat components, such as the engine, undercarriage and cab.

The 6015B front is sturdy and strong, yet light enough to promote fast cycle times. The boom and stick utilize high strength steel and rugged castings that are joined and thermally stress relieved for optimum structural life and resistance to impact and wear in difficult digging conditions. Box section design provides superior rigidity and strength, and heavy duty castings are used in high load areas to add exceptional strength and durability.

Providing superior stability, extending component life, and ultimately improving machine uptime, the 6015B swing system includes a unique cross roller bearing with sealed internal gearing, connected to an automatic lubrication system. Adding further to reliability, the undercarriage is a Caterpillar design that leverages proven Cat components.

A newly designed hydraulic filtration system has been incorporated into the 6015B design. A separate kidney loop provides continuous filtration and optimum oil cleanliness at all times, ensuring consistent oil cleanliness for dependable hydraulic system performance.

Safe and comfortable

The 6015B features well engineered access and egress with walkways for safe movement around the machine and an optional 45-degree powered access stairway. Wire and hose guarding facilitate safe maintenance. Numerous and optimally positioned lights, mirrors and E-stop buttons further improve safety.

The operator cab offers large, wide windows, which provide excellent all-around visibility of the work environment, contributing to the operator’s situational awareness during digging, loading and travel. Combined with multiple strategically positioned high-powered lights, and a heavy-duty wiper, good visibility is maintained in both dark and inclement weather conditions.

The cab is pressurized to keep dust out, and the climate control system is fully automatic, allowing for consistent in-cab temperature and operator comfort in any weather conditions. The controls are ergonomic with adjustable joystick console height, independent of the seat, to suit operator preference. And the electro-hydraulic controls provide sure, precise maneuvering.

 Cat technology and support

The 6015B incorporates advanced Cat technology solutions, such as MineStar, VIMS and Product Link for improved productivity, maintenance and equipment management. Like all Cat equipment, the 6015B is backed by the Cat Dealer Network with well-trained service technicians, unparalleled repair facilities and parts stocked around the world for fast service.

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Cat® GRADE with ASSIST delivers efficiency and productivity gains to the Cat 323F L Hydraulic Excavator. This system is the first operator ASSIST feature with semi-autonomous grade control available on Cat excavators. GRADE with ASSIST automates grade adjustments that are typically achieved by the operator using manual controls. Operators at all experience levels can reach target grade as much as 45 percent faster than traditional grading.

Optimized for Cat Excavators, this new technology is easy to use from the start. Integration with the familiar Cat GRADE system, display and joysticks enables the operator to easily create simple 2D designs in the cab, press the auto button, and get to work. Operators can take advantage of the guidance features built into the base system without the need for data transfer infrastructure. For example, grade indication and audible alerts function while using ASSIST technology to perform precision work—without the need for infrastructure.

Integration with the machine and hydraulics delivers full power to the cutting edge with precise control throughout the cut, enabling the operator to create fast, accurate grades with less effort. System flexibility enables customers who work with complex grade plans to add Cat AccuGrade™ for additional 3D capability.

Automatic assistance and protection features

ASSIST technology goes to work when the cutting edge gets within 4 inches (10 cm) of target by locking onto grade and automatically adjusting boom up/down and bucket in/out movements. The operator simply controls stick speed using a single lever—significantly reducing manual inputs. The system also automates bucket movements to maintain a constant bucket angle, which is operator adjustable to match cutting angle to digging conditions and can be automatically recalled for next pass. To eliminate the chance of overcutting, a grade protection feature prevents the cutting edge from penetrating below grade—saving contractors the time and cost of rework, additional fuel, grade checking, labor hours and fill material.

C10693003In addition to helping customers speed grading, PROTECT features safeguard the operator and C10692992machine when working near obstacles and around utility hazards. Ceiling and Floor PROTECT prevent any part of the boom, stick, or bucket from going above or below a pre-set elevation— enabling the machine to excavate in areas with low ceiling heights such as indoors and under over-passes, and near above-and below-ground utilities. Operators can quickly disable AUTO control with an override trigger at their fingertips.

Features and functions

Intelligent control and protection features assist contractors in getting more work done. Functions include:

  • GRADE with ASSIST – automatically adjusts boom up/down and bucket in/out to maintain constant grade.
  • Operator ASSIST – operator controls stick speed using a single lever with one hand.
  • Bucket Angle ASSIST– automates adjustments to maintain a constant bucket angle.
  • Grade PROTECT – prevents the cutting edge from penetrating below grade.
  • Ceiling PROTECT + Floor PROTECT– prevents any part of the boom, stick or bucket from going above or below a pre-set elevation.
  • Operator OVERRIDE – enables the operator to override AUTO functionality.
  • 2D and 3D Control – works with existing 2D grade indication system; can be upgraded to AccuGrade for 3D positioning and elevation guidance.

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ASCE Reports: Surface Transportation Conference Committee Makes Progress and Gets More Time

{08d819bc-1d22-4dd2-80f4-4bea43d54eb4}_ASCE_GovernmentRelations_WashingtonThis week the Surface Transportation Bill Conference Committee met in what will likely be its only public meeting to finalize work on a compromise bill. Congress moved the November 20 deadline to December 4 to give conferees additional time to complete their work. The conference committee chairman, Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) kicked-off the meeting by stating, “There is plenty of common ground between the [House & Senate] proposals to allow us to reach an agreement that both [chambers] can willingly support.” The lead House Democrat on the committee, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), underscored the importance of achieving an increase in overall funding in the final bill. “I’m hopeful to get higher levels of spending on an annual basis and if funds are so limited that we have to reduce the term of the bill, it’s an option I think should be looked at,” said DeFazio.

The committee announced a timeline which includes finalizing the conference agreement by November 30 and having a House vote on the bill by the December 4 deadline. It remains to be seen whether the Senate will be able to act before that date. They may need a week extension to approve the legislation before it can be sent to President Obama for his signature. Many members of the committee seem hopeful that a final agreement will be reached very soon and that they can craft a measure that will receive the necessary votes in both the House and Senate to be signed by the president.

In a letter sent to conferees this week , ASCE stated that a five-year program which includes significant funding increases should be the goal of the committee. Otherwise the country could begin to see the job losses and reduction in GDP identified by ASCE’s Failure to Act Economic Report.

Now is a critical time to reach out to conference committee members. Please take a moment to determine if your election official(s) sit on this committee and ask them to support a final bill that increases investment in America’s transportation system. Visit our Click and Connect page to identify your elected official! Take action today!


490x245xnational-canine-lymphoma-awareness-day-november-7-1024x512.png.pagespeed.ic.UPKBoAnlMYNational Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day is observed annually on November 7. It is a day to educate and create awareness about canine lymphoma.

Well-known and respected dog agility trainer and competitor, Terry Simons, was devastated when his “heart and soul” dog was diagnosed with Lymphoma in 2011.  An educated dog owner, Terry did all he could for Reveille but soon discovered that, even though lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in dogs, accurate information regarding options and treatment can be elusive. Terry connected with professionals that helped him choose the best path for his beloved companion.

Remus  and Mill my best friends, both victims of lymphoma earlier this year.

Remus and Mill my best friends, both victims of lymphoma earlier this year.

Reveille not only competed in dog agility throughout her treatment, but thrived, having the best agility year of her career.  When Terry chose to let Reveille go, one year and a week after her diagnosis, he knew he was making the right decision for her.  Grief can do strange things, it can destroy and it can inspire.  In the case of Reveille, the realization that he may lose Reveille at any time inspired Terry to form CLEAR (Canine Lymphoma Education Awareness and Research), a cancer foundation dedicated to providing information, resources and research into the devastating disease.  Reveille’s legacy is to ensure that dog owners know their options, thereby being empowered advocates of their four-legged family members.

CLEAR – Canine Lymphoma Education Awareness and Research is dedicated to increasing awareness of canine lymphoma.  Through education we empower dog owners and through research we look for a cure to the devastating disease.

It is all about education and awareness, which is available in the award-winning documentary on canine lymphoma, My Friend: Changing the Journey (Best Documentary Feature – Los Angeles Movie Awards and Best Educational Documentary – Bare Bones International Film and Music Festival).


National Canine Lymphoma Day was submitted by Terry Simons in January of 2015.  The Registrar at National Day Calendar declared that it will be held annually on November 7.

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