HOK, WSP help Hartford, CT forge transit redevelopment plan
A project replacing 2 miles of Interstate 84 in Hartford, CT, is expected to be the catalyst for a redevelopment of the city's Union Station and could cost up to $5 billion, according to the Hartford Courant. City officials hope the project will help rejoin parts of the city that were split by the interstate's construction in the 1960s.
The city, using HOK Group and WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff as consultants, will take the opportunity provided by the interstate project to come up with a master plan for the 100 acres west of the station as well as to build a new transit hub to accommodate the necessary relocation of tracks. The city hopes the pair will inject modern elements within the station's historical design, much like they did at Washington, DC's Union Station.
The project, which is not scheduled to begin for another five to 10 years, will most likely also see demolition of some buildings around the existing station as well as the construction of new commercial and residential spaces.
There is a noted amount of rail and light-rail transit hub development occurring around the U.S., particularly where the bones of historical stations like the one in Hartford offer an opportunity to incorporate grand elements of a bygone era with modern convenience.
When these rail stations are transformed into mixed-use developments, they also allow transportation departments to market the locations as destinations unto themselves and profit from a plethora of retail, office and residential spaces.
For example, DC's Union Station offers ample options for travelers and other visitors to eat and shop in a modern concourse replete with historical embellishments. Developers are planning a 3-million-square-foot mixed-use project, Burnham Place, that will offer residential, retail and commercial space directly above the station. It joins a $50 million concourse for the station that Amtrak announced last year.
Light-rail stations are on the rise around the concept of transit-oriented developments, whose high-density nature has officials betting they will lead to increased ridership. Albert Santana, director of high capacity transit for the City of Phoenix, told Construction Dive last month that its station-by-station, tailored TOD strategy resulted in a nearly $9 billion economic boon around the stations. Careful planning for each station's location, along with that of the TODs, allowed the city's Valley Metro system to attain its 20-year goal of 50,000 daily riders in just a few years.
- Hartford Courant City and State Studying Redevelopment of Union Station Neighborhood
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