Life: Revealed
Beehive Bridge, an ACEC 2020 Engineering Excellence Honor Award-winning project, is a testament to the power of structures to both connect people and connect to people. This unique project balances form and function, reconnects long divided neighborhoods, enhances transit operations, encourages pedestrian use, and represents its community through its singular design.

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Inspiration and Collaboration

The City recognized they had a unique opportunity to do something different. New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart originally visualized incorporating public art into one of the Route 72 overpasses to create a public space that draws people to cross the highway and shelters them from the highway bustle and noise. Public Works Director Mark Moriarty, PE was the project’s champion from the beginning stages. His commitment to public engagement, placemaking, art, and architecture, as well as his willingness to innovate through complete streets design, were key reasons this project advanced. Design development began with a multi-session charrette process and collaboration among design team members (Svigals + Partners, Pirie Associates, Richter & Cegan, Inc.), city officials (the mayor, Mark Moriarty, PE, and City Engineer Rob Trottier, PE), and other project stakeholders on the Project Advisory Committee.

The charrettes were spirited and the enthusiasm built as the goal came into focus. The charge was to create an iconic structure that spoke to the history of the city, while embracing a bright future and remaining uniquely New Britain. The City’s motto is industria implet alveare et melle fruitur, which translates to “industry fills the hive and enjoys the honey”. The beehive theme runs throughout the City, appearing on its seal and lending its name to its baseball team, the New Britain Bees. It was decided that this bee/beehive theme would be the inspiration for this design of this signature project.

Practice Areas Involved


Both economic development and connectivity were drivers for this project. The Connecticut Main Street Center advocated, and contributed early financing, for a TOD at 99 West Main Street, within walking distance of CTFastrak. Under construction is Columbus Commons, a $58M mixed-use TOD with 160 new apartment units, which is a short walk from the Beehive Bridge. Pedestrian use has seen significant increase, and the ribbon cutting was a community party. The bridge was a sea of smiling faces. Project partners who had been emotionally invested over the past six years brought their families to watch their passion project realized. The community showed up en masse, and brought along the high school band, Girl Scout troops, local breweries, and food trucks. This bridge that was designed to be singular is truly bringing people together.

Special Thanks to Our Project Partners

The City of New Britain

Mayor Erin Stewart

Mark Moriarty, PE

Rob Trottier, PE

Bill Pietrowicz

Svigals + Partners

Pirie Associates Architects

Richter & Cegan, Inc.

Martin Laviero Contractor, Inc.


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