CONNstruction - Fall 2015 - (Page 22)
Intelligent Communication in
By Gail Short
In Connecticut, drivers traveling on the I-84 corridor between
downtown New Britain and Hartford often experience brutal traffic
jams during their morning and evening rush hour commutes.
But on March 28, 2015, the state, in an effort to ease traffic
congestion, launched a new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system called
CTfastrak. The CTfastrak system features low-emission, diesel
electric buses that travel between Hartford and New Britain along
a two-lane roadway dedicated exclusively for BRT vehicles. The bus
route has just 10 station stops, approximately one stop per mile, so
commuters, for just $1.50, can bypass the rush-hour traffic, avoid
making multiple bus transfers, experience shorter wait times and
reach their destinations faster. Since its debut, CTfastrak averages
14,000 riders a day, according to state officials.
CTfastrak buses are equipped with a sophisticated, state-ofthe-art wireless network communications system constructed by
McPhee Electric, Ltd. McPhee, which is based in Farmington,
specializes in sophisticated electrical design and construction
solutions for commercial enterprises, electric utilities, government
and educational institutions.
The state hired McPhee to build an Intelligent Communications
System for CTfastrak. The work included designing, constructing,
installing and testing a 48-strand, fiber optic cable that is the backbone of the BRT's communication infrastructure.
McPhee was the prime contractor for CTfastrak directly responsible for functional system operation including all software and
communications hardware at the stations and in the buses. "A
22 / CONNstruction / FALL 2015
complete functional systems test had to be performed at McPhee's
prefab and testing facility in Farmington prior to installation in the
field," says Brian Parent, McPhee Executive Project Manager. "This
presented a tough challenge for us, since the 13-mile long fiber
system is completely redundant and requires independent paths in
and out of each station with a minimum number of splices."
The cable supports a 10-gig network for all of the systems that
are on the platforms that control communication along the CTfastrak
system, Parent says.
McPhee started work on the project in September 2013 and it
took months of pre-planning, says Parent.
"Even before we were awarded the contract to start, we had 12
meetings with the DOT and CTfastrak Transit from May to August
of 2013 just to get the conceptual design and all of the pieces
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CONNstruction - Fall 2015
Striking the Right Technological Balance
Eyes Over the Project: Drones in Construction
Connecticut Moves to Modernize Technology
Technology Drives Lean, Adds Value to Projects
Machine-Controlled Equipment Improves Jobsite Performance
Secure Your Data
Intelligent Communication in Transportation
Is Your Construction Software Technology Up to Speed?
Young Contractors Forum Summer Membership Meeting and Young Contractors Forum Annual Charity Golf Outing
AGC of Connecticut Annual Golf Outing
Press Conference and 2015 CCIA Ethics and Compliance Summit
Index to Advertisers/Advertiser.com
CONNstruction - Fall 2015