Scott Whipple | New Britain Herald

 

Kevin Bartram | Staff Connecticut DOT representative Lisa Rivers, left, and Tyler Tompkins from Baker Construction inspect the nearly complete downtown New Britain CTFastrak station on Friday. The dedicated busway from New Britain to Hartford is scheduled to begin service next year.
Kevin Bartram | Staff Connecticut DOT representative Lisa Rivers, left, and Tyler Tompkins from Baker Construction inspect the nearly complete downtown New Britain CTFastrak station on Friday. The dedicated busway from New Britain to Hartford is scheduled to begin service next year.

While working on the New Britain Downtown Station, a CTfastrak construction worker hums the theme to “The Jetsons.” Lisa Rivers, transit manager for the Connecticut Department of Transportation, knows why.

“He says the lampposts look like flying saucers,” she said. “We used a lot of stainless steel here. It’s easy to maintain and it has a modern look”.

With the station nearing completion and needing only finishing touches, Rivers gave a visitor a tour of the site Friday.

Rivers said construction teams have been getting the 9.4 mile busway and its stations built. “Now we’re making sure what we built works for our customers,” she said. She was especially proud of the level platform, so riders can enter and exit buses easily.

“We adjusted the bellows on buses to ease the berthing,” Rivers explained. “A finishing touch will be a rub rail along the curve so drivers can use their mirrors to line up the bus with the platform. The rub rail bumps the tires so the bus can’t get too close.”

Opening day is scheduled for Saturday, March 28, 2015. However, there could be an earlier soft opening showcasing express buses. Signs will tell riders when their bus will arrive and its ultimate destination. People with visual impairments can push a button and hear the message on the sign.

All stations will be completed on time, though, at this point, downtown New Britain is farther along than stations closer to Hartford.

“The other stations started later, and we‘ve been using those locations as a lay-down area [storage for construction.],” Rivers said.

The solar panels for the platform will be installed next weekend, and later the ticket vending machines. Over the winter, more bits and pieces will be added. Read more