CTDOT Celebrates Earth Day
The Connecticut Department of Transportation in observance of the 51st anniversary of Earth Day today provided an update on its ongoing efforts to invest in and promote programs and policies that emphasize environmental stewardship to foster a cleaner and healthier environment in the State of Connecticut.
“The Department of Transportation is committed to shepherding environmentally sustainable activities like pollinator corridors, transit-oriented developments, and complete streets planning and integration,” said Joe Giulietti, CTDOT Commissioner. “We provide amenities for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as grants to cities and towns to better connect their communities. We’re proud of this work. It’s at the core of an agency that is doing its part to improve and sustain a better natural environment for everyone to enjoy.”
Highlights from this past year include:
Progress on Pollinator Program
The CTDOT has added 26 additional pollinator conservation areas in 2021, for a total of 106 areas statewide. Pollinator corridors provide critical habitat for pollinating insects and result in reduced mowing operations, enhanced germination of wildflower seed bank, reduced fuel use, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
EV Charging Initiatives at Newington CTDOT Headquarters
The CTDOT began the installation of Level 2 electric vehicle chargers at our headquarters and received our first electric vehicles to replace older internal combustion engines. By November 2021, the CTDOT will have 54 ports or outlets for electrical vehicles to charge – including visitor, fleet, and employee charging. Future plans include feasibility studies to expand electric vehicle charging to our statewide satellite facilities.
Connecticut has two electric buses in service in Bridgeport and will see 18 more brought into service over the next year for use in Stamford, New Haven, Bridgeport, and the Windham region. The program includes installation of charging infrastructure in the bus garages, and a feasibility assessment for electric bus charging at all bus garages as part of the fleet-wide transition to clean transit.
Water Saving at all of our Facilities
The CTDOT installed hybrid waterless urinals and water conserving faucets at 7 rest areas over the past year, resulting in savings of approximately 900,000 gallons of water a year. The CTDOT also recently completed the conversion of urinals and faucets at our headquarters building and is now doing the same at our district offices and other facilities.
The CTDOT is pursuing solar energy installations at our Newington headquarters and at the Hamden bus garage facilities, through a CT Green Bank renewable energy program. The two locations are expected to generate close to 3 megawatts of power. Also, the agency is exploring additional locations for renewable energy generation.
Community Connectivity Grant Program
The Community Connectivity Grant Program provides construction funding for local initiatives that will improve safety and accessibility for bicyclists and pedestrians in and around community centers. Now, more people are able to use these healthy and environmentally sustainable modes of travel. The grant program also facilitates social and economic opportunities for communities that have been previously underserved by providing equitable levels of access to safe and affordable transportation.
In 2021, the CTDOT announced an additional $5 million of grants to cities and towns, split among 10 additional projects around the state, bringing the program’s cumulative total to 90 projects statewide to date.