Main street Bridge

Art and Urban Design Reconnect Downtown

Project At a Glance

City of New Britain
New Britain, CT
Concept Design to Redesign an Existing Highway Overpass into a Pedestrian-friendly and Artful Main Street Corridor
Project Team:

Engineer: Fuss & O'Neil

Collaborting Architect: Svigals Art + Architecture

Landscape Architects: Richter & Cegan

Structural Engineer: Fuss & O'Neil

health biophiliaequity inclusivitycultural placemaking



As part of the revitalization of the downtown area of the City of New Britain, Pirie Associates was selected as a part of an interdisciplinary team to create a vision for the Main Street overpass. Located immediately adjacent to the downtown and the new FasTrak station, the overpass serves as both a gateway as well as an icon for New Britain.

The design proposals centered on creating a more human scaled environment through the implementation of a Complete Streets program across the bridge. This involves the reduction in the number of travel lanes, increasing the width of pedestrian sidewalks and introduction of bike lanes.

The Iconography incorporated into the two schemes reference the City’s Seal and Motto “Industry fills the hive and enjoys the honey.”

During the Conceptual Design Phase of the project, which spanned approximately six months, a series of public design charrettes and work group meetings with local stake holders were held. The design charrette involved the identification of specific issues that would make the overpass more inviting for people to use on a daily basis as well as set a direction for the iconographic goals of the project.

Following the charrette, many options were presented at the first work group meeting with two approaches identified as potential directions for the project. These two conceptual approaches were further developed and presented at the second work group meeting where one was selected as the preferred concept to move forward.