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Connecticut DOT Community Connectivity Project is Regional Winner and National Finalist

Boxer Square Revitalization Project
Boxer Square Revitalization Project
NEWINGTON, CT — The Connecticut Department of Transportation’s (CTDOT) Community Connectivity Program — designed to look for opportunities to improve connections for biking, walking, and public transit in community centers — has won the top regional prize for Quality of Life/Community Development in a competition sponsored by the Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials (NASTO).

“This is great news for Connecticut and for the team of dedicated CTDOT professionals who have spent several years developing the Community Connectivity program and making it the success for which it is being recognized today,” said CTDOT Commissioner Joseph J. Giulietti. “I am extremely proud of this effort, because it shows our level of commitment to the 169 cities and towns we partner with every day of the year.”

The NASTO award specifically recognizes the connectivity program for downtown Stamford’s Boxer Square Revitalization project. As a regional winner, the Stamford project will be among 12 projects entered in a second competition for two top prizes — the Grand Prize, chosen by an independent panel of judges, and the People’s Choice Award, which is determined by the public through online voting. Both carry a $10,000 cash prize to support a transportation-related scholarship or charitable cause and will be announced at this fall’s annual meeting of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

Under the Community Connectivity Grant program, the city of Stamford was awarded $400,000 to improve transportation options and create a community space in Boxer Square. Completed in 2019, the revitalized square improves traffic operations, provides safer connections to alternative transportation options (biking, walking, and public transit), and incorporates the square’s namesake boxer statue. The project has brought new economic opportunities and enhanced the quality of life for everyone who lives in or visits the community.

Since the grant program began in 2018, CTDOT has awarded 80 grants totaling $25.8 million to 80 cities and towns in the first two rounds of funding. A third round will go out for solicitation in late August. Towns must first submit an application for funding to CTDOT, with detailed plans for local projects to improve the safety and accessibility for bicyclists and pedestrians in urban, suburban, and rural community centers.

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“The people who planned, engineered, and built these projects deserve recognition for the positive impacts they have provided through these investments in local communities,” said Patrick McKenna, Director of the Missouri Department of Transportation and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials 2019-2020 President. “Their work represents a dedication to connecting people and improving local economies while implementing creative solutions.”

Sponsored by AASHTO, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the America’s Transportation Awards competition was created to showcase the projects delivered by state departments of transportation every year in order to tell the broader story on the importance of transportation. Now in its 13th year, the projects nominated in this competition are making communities stronger, the economy more efficient, and quality of life better, all while utilizing innovative technology to get these projects done better and faster. This year, 36 state transportation departments are participating in the competition, nominating 79 projects in one of three categories: Quality of Life/Community Development, Best Use of Technology & Innovation, and Operations Excellence.

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