team photo

Figure 1
project photo

Environmental Engineering
Team 8

Team Members

Advisor

Leonardo Abreu
James Kennedy
Mackenzie Pias
Jason Soltys

Wei Zhang

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Analysis and Design of Meriden Rails to Trails Project

This project involved an environmentally friendly design of a rail-to-trail conversion and a parking lot on a site in Meriden, CT. Once a railroad, this mile-long strip passes by a high school and a scenic view of a pond. The railroad tracks were converted into an asphalt trail that can be enjoyed by pedestrians and bikers. Multiple elements on the site had to be design and analyzed. This included the design and calculations of two bridges, horizontal and vertical alignments, the parking lot, and drainage. To connect the two points along the trail that crossed over a brook, two simply supported steel pedestrian bridges were designed. In addition to the design loads from pedestrians, the bridges were designed for bikers, and an H5 design vehicle. The parking lot was constructed with a central bioretention basin to aid the navigation of the parking lot, reduce the amount of stormwater runoff generated, and provide a visually pleasing assortment of native plants. A section of open grass was converted into a playground that can be used by the pedestrians. Overall, the project revitalizes the former railroad tracks by providing a space to embrace and interact with nature.