VHB Awarded CTDOT Contract for Fourth Consecutive Term

VHB will continue a nearly 20-year partnership with CTDOT to enhance bike/ped mobility statewide.

January 18, 2024

Extending a productive, trusting partnership spanning nearly 20 years and more than 80 projects that have enriched communities throughout Connecticut, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) recently renewed its Local Roads Liaison contract with VHB. VHB’s team will continue to assist the Local Roads Unit in the day-to-day administration of the Transportation Alternatives (TA) Program and the oversight of its bicycle and pedestrian mobility projects that are vital to the program’s success. Under this fourth consecutive contract, the VHB team’s expanded role through 2028 will include engineering and administrative support of transportation network-enhancing projects from other federal and state programs.

Bridge over river with city skyline in background.

Since 2005, VHB’s team has been bridging gaps for CTDOT in this Local Roads Liaison role, supplementing CTDOT staff with a full toolbox of lessons learned to successfully move projects through their complete life cycles and guiding the effort to close all the gaps in Connecticut's multiuse trail network. From helping municipalities secure federal funding to guiding public outreach, overseeing permit applications, and reviewing construction plans, the VHB team gives invaluable guidance through each stage of a project. They also quickly bring unfamiliar consultants up to speed on the TA Program’s requirements, having worked with nearly 20 firms to date.

Under the apt leadership of Project Manager James (Jim) Kulpa, PE, since 2015, the core VHB team functions cohesively—strengthened by their collective capabilities by relying on each other’s skillsets and learning from each other. Project Engineer Chris Faulkner, PE, Planner Mark Jewell, AICP, and Jim together bring more than 40 years of combined experience serving in the Local Roads Liaison capacity and have cultivated strong relationships with local community decisionmakers across the state.

The trio have brought their formidable problem-solving capabilities to bear many times, particularly in finding ways to stretch dollars to fit tight budgets. Notably, the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) faced financial constraints for a project slated to resurface 17 miles of the Air Line Trail. Thinking creatively, the VHB team proposed a collaboration whereby CTDOT provided materials using federal funds and CTDEEP provided staff labor and equipment—resulting in significant construction cost savings.

Among the dozens of projects under the team’s management that have ushered in greater mobility for communities’ walkers and bicyclists, a highlight was overseeing the design of Connecticut’s first cycle track project in New Haven. The separated two-mile bicycle lane protects cyclists from vehicle traffic, effectively enacting CTDOT’s recently updated Complete Streets policy. The VHB team’s work on the 15-state East Coast Greenway (ECG) multiuse trail—nearly 200 miles of which pass through Connecticut—has also been noteworthy. They have completed 17 projects totaling approximately 40 miles on the ECG through the TA Program, helping to garner Connecticut recognition as one of the states leading the charge on trail completion.

"CTDOT continues to look to VHB as a trusted advisor after nearly 20 years of this important work of enhancing and expanding our state’s bike/ped infrastructure. It's exciting to contribute to projects that are of great value to our local communities,” said Jim. “My approach as Project Manager, shared by my team, has been to collaboratively develop innovative solutions for projects of all scope and sizes. That level of discipline—undergirded by consistent authenticity and honesty—is eye-catching and has earned us CTDOT’s trust.”

Learn more about how we help State DOTs deliver smart solutions to their transportation and mobility challenges with a full suite of transportation planning and engineering services, or contact Jim Kulpa today.