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Project Phases

The I-84 Hartford Project is a very complex project. The dense urban environment, engineering challenges, volume of traffic to be accommodated, and desires of the project’s many stakeholders all need to be very carefully evaluated. The project will take place in four major phases of work:

Needs and Deficiencies Phase

The needs and deficiencies phase involved the collection and evaluation of data to more fully understand travel patterns and more closely evaluate the condition of the many structures throughout the I-84 Hartford corridor. A more complete understanding of mobility needs helped facilitate the development of a Statement of Purpose and Need, which is one of the first steps of the Environmental Phase. During this phase the project team began collecting and analyzing information on both the natural environment and the human environment to use in an initial screening of possible alternatives.

Our public involvement program began early in the Needs and Deficiencies phase. Early steps included development of a project contact list (list of stakeholders), formation of a Public Advisory Committee to help steer the project, meetings with many stakeholders, development of the first few project newsletters and e-bulletins, and the initiation of social media discussion via Facebook and Twitter. A public information meeting was held in June 2014 near the end of Phase I.

See Project Schedule for more information.

Environmental Phase

During the environmental phase (the current phase of this project), alternatives are developed and screened, the most viable alternatives are advanced into environmental review, and the impacts and benefits of those alternatives are documented in an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement.

Development and Evaluation of Alternatives

One of the first steps in the environmental process was the development of a Statement of Purpose and Need which clearly defines both the problem to be solved as well as the goal and objectives of the project. The Statement of Purpose and Need lays the groundwork for both the development of alternatives and for their comparative evaluation. Alternatives were initially screened for their ability to meet the criteria set forth by the Purpose and Need, as well as their constructability and cost-effectiveness. The environmental process began with Project Scoping and a public scoping meeting to determine which issues of concern need to be addressed by the project.

See Project Schedule for more information.

Environmental Documentation

Both the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA) require the preparation of environmental documents for projects receiving federal or state funding, respectively. The goals of environmental documentation are to promote informed decision-making by ensuring that a) a range of reasonable alternatives are considered; and b) that potential impacts created by the alternatives will be avoided, minimized or mitigated. The environmental documentation phase will end with the selection of the preferred alternative for implementation, at which time the project can move forward toward permitting, final design and construction. It is critical to the successful completion of the environmental process that stakeholder input be sought and actively considered from the earliest stages of the project.

During, the earliest part of the environmental phase, a Statement of Purpose and Need was drafted that will serve as the underpinning of subsequent environmental documentation and evaluation of alternatives.

See Project Schedule for more information.

Design Phase

Preliminary phases of project design actually begin early in the project, as an adequate level of engineering design is necessary to be able to accurately determine the feasibility of the alternatives (i.e., whether they are constructible and whether they serve the stated transportation need). Only those alternatives that appear to be feasible will be advanced into environmental documentation. Early levels of design include conceptual design and preliminary engineering. However, following the selection of a preferred alternative for implementation, the project will move into the final design phase. Final design ends with the development of design specifications for construction. During this phase all of the details about how the project will actually happen will be worked out, ending in placing the project out for bid to interested contractors.

See Project Schedule for more information.

Construction Phase

While the project is under construction, CTDOT will provide frequent information as to how the project is progressing and will communicate clearly when the construction work is anticipated to affect travelers and neighbors. All efforts will be made to minimize impact to both the surrounding community and to travelers while construction occurs.

See Project Schedule for more information. See Project Glossary and Acronyms.