VN Engineers Working with City of Waterbury to Upgrade Traffic Signals

Notice of Public Information Meeting

The City of Waterbury has been awarded federal funding for a traffic signal system project from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program. The vision for this project includes upgrading traffic signal controllers and intersection interconnect for existing signals in the core of downtown Waterbury (bounded by Meadow Street to the west, West Main Street to the north, East Main Street to the east, and Grand Avenue to the south). The project entails the redesign of the traffic control signals at fifteen intersections within the project limits. This project will complement other improvement efforts programmed in the downtown business district.


State Project No. 151-325



at the

UCONN Waterbury Campus

Multi-Purpose Room 119

99 East Main Street

Waterbury, CT 06702


Representatives from the City of Waterbury and their consultant, VN Engineers, Inc. will be available from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm. Formal Presentation at 6:00 pm.

Residents, commuters, business owners, and other interested individuals are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to learn about and discuss the proposed project. Right-of-way impacts associated with the proposed project are not anticipated. Construction is anticipated to begin in spring 2021 based on the availability of funding, acquisition of rights of way and approval of permit(s). The estimated construction cost for this project is approximately $2,670,000. This project is anticipated to be undertaken with 100 percent Federal Funds and zero percent State funds.

The Public Informational Meeting is being held to afford a full opportunity for public participation and to allow open discussion of any views and comments the community may have concerning

this proposed project. The meeting facility is ADA accessible. Language assistance may be requested by contacting the City of Waterbury Bureau of Engineering at (203) 574-6851 extension 7182. Requests should be made at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting. Persons having a hearing and/or speech disability may dial 711 for Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) and instruct the operator to contact (203) 574-6851. Language assistance is provided at no cost to the public and efforts will be made to respond to timely requests for assistance. If postponement of the public informational meeting is required due to inclement weather or other conditions, it will be held on November 20, 2019 at the original hour and location.


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VN Engineers Expands Management Team!

We are proud to announce that with the anniversary of our 35th year of growth and market expansion, we will also be welcoming new additions to our Leadership Team. As of January 2019, Tracy Kaplan, PE will move forth as the new President of VN Engineers and Amanda Marino, will serve as Vice President. Robert Gomez, PE, Vice President will continue his current leadership role and Sofia Nirshberg, PE, Founding Principal will continue with the firm providing support with day-to-day operations, strategic company development and continuing her current role with client relations.

As we celebrate our long-standing relationships in CT, NY, FL, PA and RI, our expanded Senior Management is dedicated to maximizing your team's success and continuing to build strong partnerships.

We are committed to exceeding your needs as a WBE/DBE/SBE partner.

Tracy Kaplan, PE
Mrs. Kaplan has been part of the VN team for nine years and provides over 15 years of experience in transportation engineering projects. Her highway background focuses on roadway design, rail design, utility coordination, utility relocations, lighting, signalization and signing and pavement markings. Tracy graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Florida, and brings extensive knowledge and design excellence.

Sofia Nirshberg, PE
Founding Principal
Mrs. Nirshberg is the Founding Principal of VN Engineers and has participated in every transportation project since its inception in 1983. Her role continues to include management of the day-to-day operations and close coordination with clients. With Mrs. Nirshberg's leadership VN has expanded exponentially over the last 35 years and she continues to focus on growth of strategic partnerships with both prime firms and local and state agencies.

Robert Gomez, PE
Senior Vice President
Mr. Robert Gomez is the Senior Vice President at VN Engineers, Inc. He has been working in the Transportation Engineering industry for over 30 years and is a registered PE in six states. Mr. Gomez served as the President of the Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers and formerly served as the President of the American Society of Highway Engineers. He has worked on more than fifty roadway design projects throughout his career and has worked in the capacity of a project manager for more than twenty five years. Additionally he brings and level of expertise in planning rail design and has extensive experience with rail projects completed along the eastern seaboard. He was recognized by the Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers with the Civil Engineer of the Year Award in 2015. Mr. Gomez published his first book titled Looking Forward to Monday: A Guide to Success in Corporate America for People Starting Out or Switching Jobs and is currently pursuing a Bachelor in Guitar Performance from the Boston Conservatory of Music at Berklee.

Amanda Marino, MBA
Vice President
Mrs. Marino is an essential member of the VN team and has played a key role in the day-to-day operations including business and proposal development, managing field staffing and human resources for all VN's markets. For over nine years Mrs. Marino has exemplified the dedication and team work that defines VN's focus on partnership. As Vice President she will continue to drive VN business and support key agency and client partnerships. Amanda was awarded a Bachelor in Management, with a concentration in Human Resources from Central Connecticut State University and received her MBA from Southern Connecticut State University.

VN Engineers Awarded 2018 ASCE Transportation Award

VN Engineers working as a sub consultant to BSC was awarded 2018 ASCE Transportation award for Route 31 Roadway Reconstruction project in Coventry.

This project was a culmination of a truly interdisciplinary effort of engineering, ecological science, and landscape architecture services. Planned in 2003 and designed and constructed over the next decade and a half, the longevity and complexity of this project have been recognized by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) by being awarded the distinguished 2018 #Transportation Award on behalf of the Connecticut Society of Civil #Engineers. Perhaps one of the biggest drivers of the project was to revitalize the downtown area.

Through a series of public engagement activities, BSC captured the Town's wishes and provided significant #streetscape improvements that enhanced the village's historic and cultural character. Specific streetscape components include ornamental lighting, concrete sidewalks with accent strips, textured crosswalks, street trees, ground covers, and street furniture. Two gateway areas were also established, featuring a fountain, clock, and grinding wheel. Today, the roadway is home to new businesses and is a source of pride for residents.

VN Engineers provided decorative lighting design and we are honored to have been recognized by @ASCE.




VN Engineers Awarded 2017 Engineering Excellence Awards by the ACEC of Connecticut.

The ACEC/CT Engineering Excellence Awards honor the very best of Connecticut’s engineers and the projects they have created for our citizens.

Merit Award
Connecticut Safe Routes to School Program
Engineer: VN Engineers, Inc.
Client: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Mr. Jim Fuda - President of ACEC CT Chapter
Mr. Jeff Maxtutis - Project Manager, AECOM
Mr. Patrick Zapatka - Current SRTS State Coordinator, CTDOT
Ms. Bridget Boucaud - Public Involvement, VN Engineers
Ms. Sharon Okoye - Former SRTS State Coordinator, CTDOT
Mr. Bob Gomez - Vice President VN Engineers
Ms. Sofia Nirshberg - President VN Engineers
Mr. Donald W. Doeg - ACEC Board Member



Safe Routes to School, Statewide, CT

VN Engineers worked with the Connecticut Department of Transportation to encourage children in grades K-8 to walk and bike to school in a safe and fun manner.  The Safe Routes to School Program benefitted all stakeholders involved, as it promoted healthy lifestyles, reduced air emissions, and created stronger sense of community.  VN Engineers collaborated with schools and parents in various ways including phone calls, newsletters, SRTS website, public events, press releases, you tube videos, and surveys. Our firm also assisted with planning workshops, conducted engineering site assessments, running bicycle and pedestrian safety classes, and promoting walk and bike to school day events. The Safe Routes to School Program successfully fostered more bike and pedestrian friendly school communities throughout Connecticut.


June-July News

Why 12 Foot Wider Traffic Lanes Are Not Safer Than 10 Foot Lanes

Traffic Lanes...Wider is Not Better

One would assume that a wider traffic lane would be safer but a recent study by Jeff Speck AICP, LEED-AP, CNU-A, Honorary ASLA provided convincing data to show the opposite to be true.  During a Future of Transportation series Mr. Speck challenged the current conventions that 12-foot traffic lanes are safer than 10-foot lanes. This was especially relevant for city streets with the main problem focused on speed. Simply put, drivers tend to speed when they have more room and when they go faster accidents become more harmful.  

In a new study, Dewan Masud Karmin P.Eng., PTOE, evaluated dozens of intersections in Toronto and Tokyo. His study linked lower crash rates to narrower lanes with 10 to 10.5 foot lanes showing reduced speeds and less severe collisions. 

Narrow Lanes Are Safer

Based on this data, the ideal lane width is around 10.2 feet in Tokyo (3.1 meters) and 10.5 feet in Toronto (3.2 meters). Interestingly crash rates increased as lanes got too narrow and they also rose as lanes got wider. Karim declared that these results “clearly demonstrate why ‘conventional wisdom of lane width’ does not hold up to scientific scrutiny.”


Crash rates in Toronto (blue) and Tokyo (green) were lowest in lanes between 10 and 10.5 feet wide.

Tokyo (blue) tends to have narrower travel lanes than Toronto (orange), which might explain why collisions occur there at slower speeds.

Narrow Lanes Still Carry Lots of Traffic

The current rationale for larger lanes is that 12 foot lanes reduce congestion but with proper planning 10 foot lanes can provide a larger benefit as recently demonstrated in New York City. To make way for bike lanes many streets were narrowed, providing a safe alternative transportation option for city inhabitants. 


Transportation Planning and Traffic Engineering

VN Engineers Inc. offers roadway design services from corridor studies to the management of NEPA style preliminary engineering to environmental studies. We use an integrated team approach to the design process which draws from our construction management experience. With input from our construction staff, our designers are able to produce high quality constructible and biddable plans. Working as a subconsultant we have partnered with dozens of firms to provide traffic, M&PT/MOT, signal and lighting plans. 

  • Planning Services (Roadway/Bike/Ped) 
  • Design of Signalization
  • Traffic Impact Studies
  • Illumination Design
  • Tunnel Illumination
  • Parking Loading and Geometric Design
  • Signing and Pavement Markings
  • Maintenance and Protection of Traffic during Construction
  • Data Collection Origin and Destination Surveys
  • Parking Studies
  • Traffic Management Studies
  • Traffic Calming
  • Traffic Operations Studies
  • Traffic Safety Enhancement
  • Utility Coordination
  • GIS Mapping Services

Reconstruction of I-95 Northbound in the Long Wharf Area, New Haven, CT 92-649

VN Engineers, Inc. is a subconsultant responsible for Operational Analysis and Capacity Analysis for six signalized intersections and three un-signalized intersections using SYNCHRO and Highway Capacity software.  We have collected accident data, summarized in collision diagrams and prepared warrant analysis for four intersections. 

VN also prepared PE report-outlining improvements which address safety and operations to I-84 and the Route 34 and Route 25 intersection, including acceleration lanes, deceleration lanes, taper lengths and the need for turning lanes. The design of three traffic signals and traffic signal improvements for four signalized intersections including quantities and special provisions.

Additionally, we have conducted traffic signing inventory of I-84 and surrounding roadway network.  VN has prepared preliminary and final ground mounted and overhead signing plans, including guide signs, regulatory signs and warning signs as well as any other signs required for the freeway corridor, ramps and local streets.  Prepared quantities and special provisions.

April-May News

CSCE Engineer of the Year Award

VN Engineers VP Robert Gomez Awarded CSCE 2015 Civil Engineer of the Year

On May 20th 2015, VN Engineers' Robert Gomez was honored at this year's CSCE ACE Awards with the Civil Engineer of the Year (Private or Public).  His contribution on many key projects in Connecticut such as CTfastrak, NHHS High Speed Rail Project Grade Crossings, Bridge Rehabilitation Program (Killingly, Meriden & Windham, CT), Bradley International Airport, New Terminal “B” Passenger Facility and Associated Improvements (Windsor Locks, CT) and Safe Routes to School (Statewide, CT) as well as his dedication to mentoring and guiding young engineers as they start their careers in Civil Engineering were cited as contributing to his nomination and award.  

Having worked in FL, RI, NY and CT with over 29 years of experience, he has worked at both large and small engineering firms. With his recent book Looking Forward to Monday, Robert has focused on educating tomorrows engineers and has spoken at universities, libraries and transportation seminars, motivating students to pursue careers in civil engineering. "Giving future engineers the tools to succeed in our ever-changing industry is the reason I speak at these schools".  

  • Woman’s Transportation Seminar - Hamden, CT
  • Russell Library - Middletown, CT
  • United States Coast Guard Academy - New London, CT
  • University of Hartford West - Hartford, CT
  • Quinnipiac University - Hamden, CT
  • Marist College - Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Broward College, FL

CSCE recognized his efforts with the book and his focus on giving engineers a sense of day-to-day life in civil engineering and tools to succeed in both large and small companies.  


Providing Opportunity and Growth for New Engineers

An integral part of VN Engineers philosophy as a WBE/DBE is making sure we give young engineers the opportunity to get hands-on experience and form strong foundations for promising careers. We provide them with a diverse learning experience while still allowing them to have fun during the summer.  We are proud of the 2015 VN Engineers Summer Interns and look forward to having them onboard.  

Miranda Garcia

Miranda Garcia

Miranda was born and raised in Cheshire, CT and is the youngest of 3 children, including a 25-year-old brother and a 23-year-old sister. She is going into her junior year at the University of Connecticut and intends to graduate in May of 2017. She is currently undecided on her major, but has already begun to pursue minors in both Business and Spanish. In her free time, she enjoys playing on The Club Field Hockey Team at Uconn and spending time with her friends and family. Outside of school she also enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time on the beach. 

Alexis Ruest

Alexis is attending the University Rhode Island where she is studying Civil Engineering and her anticipated year of graduation is 2016. In addition to working this summer, She is also playing and coaching volleyball. Alexis is looking forward to a busy summer with the company and having fun with her friends.

Andrew Amarone

Andrew is heading into his senior year at Roger Williams University where he is studying Civil Engineering. At school, he is a member of the Roger Williams University Division III Men's Tennis Team and an active member in the American Society of Civil Engineers chapter at Roger Williams. His anticipated graduation is May of 2016. He has interned at VN Engineers the past two summers and looks forward to being part of the team again this summer. 

February-March News

VN Engineers Celebrates Opening Day of Connecticut’s CTfastrak Busway

Design Excellence 

CTfastrak is a dedicated Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) facility along an exclusive 9.4 mile corridor, between downtown New Britain and downtown Hartford.  This project posed many complicated design related issues, including the layout of the two-lane Busway running parallel to an active railroad.  The project contained three bus stations and the design of three bridges adjacent to active railroad bridges. The Busway was a controversial project that required a steadfast public involvement effort.  VN Engineers Design Team was involved in the roadway design and the design and permitting for the proposed drainage system, noise wall design, site design, utility coordination, illumination, preparation of detour plans and signalization for the project.

CEI Services

Once the CTfastrak project moved into the construction phase our CEI Team was awarded multiple projects that included the construction inspection of large segments of the project.  Our team was involved in construction of multiple stations, bridge reconstruction and replacement, roadways construction, and relocation of railroad.

  • Contract 1, Project No. 88-177: Construction of CTfastrak from Main Street to Stanley Street and the construction of New Britain Station, demolition reconstruction of the bridge over Route 9, reconstruction of Route 72 off and on ramps. Subconsultant to AI.
  • Contract 2, Project Nos. 88-178 & 93-166: Construction of CTfastrak from Stanley Street to Cedar Street, development of two stations, two new bridges, reconstruction of Florence Street and replacement of the existing Cedar Street Bridge. Subconsultant to STV.
  • Contract 3, 63-643 & 93-180: Construction of CTfastrak from Cedar Street to Sigourney Street and construction of seven stations, eight new bridges, two culverts to be installed under Amtrak rail lines, a new bridge carrying Flatbush Avenue over Amtrak and CTfastrak, plus construction of an Amtrak maintenance road. Subconsultant to Gannett Fleming.
  • Contract 4, Project No. 63-670: Construction of CTfastrak from Sigourney Street to Asylum Street and construction of one station, two new bridges, and the relocation of approximately one mile of railroad. Subconsultant to Urban Engineers
  • Contract 5, Project Nos. 63-641/671: Replacement of the existing Broad Street Bridge over Amtrak rail lines and CTfastrak, reconstruction of Broad Street from Capitol Avenue to Farmington Avenue. Subconsultant to Urban Engineers

VN Engineers Pennsylvania Office Opens

As part of VN Engineers ongoing expansion the Pennsylvania office is now open.  The PA office is the next step in providing Design Excellence and Construction Inspection Services throughout the northeast.  VN Engineers is now able to provide the same level of service to our PA clients, that our clients in Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and Florida have benefited from for 30 years.

For all inquires please contact us at:

1700 Market Street
Suite 1005
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 366-2405

January News

VN Engineers Plays Key Role in Reconstruction of I-95 Interchange 14 and 15 in Norwalk, CT

Design Services: Sub-consultant to Lochner

VN Engineers was responsible for Preliminary and Final Traffic Engineering Design Services for the reconstruction of I-95 Interchange 14, Norwalk, CT.

Our Design Team conducted capacity and network analyses utilizing Synchro, SimTraffic, and HCS software programs. They designed four interconnected traffic signals, including required revisions to an existing utility pole mounted hard wire traffic signal interconnect system. The signals are located on Route 1 (Connecticut Avenue), within a coordinated traffic signal system to the north and to the south of the project limits. Notable intersection improvements include the incorporation of exclusive left turn lanes and associated protected and permitted phasing patterns. Revised intersection time splits were installed to minimize delays, reduce fuel consumption and emissions. The team documented existing and design year traffic analysis levels of service in a traffic analysis report with supporting calculations. They also prepared time of day timing patterns for peak and off peak periods. A traffic signal interconnect plan was developed to depict required work of the existing utility pole mounted interconnect. The plan detailed the installation of a new utility pole mounted interconnect to address the geometric roadway widening of the Route.  VN Engineers also coordinated several overhead utilities to facilitate pole relocation work that met the needs of all vested utilities in a dense urban environment. Detailed estimates and special  provisions were prepared.

VN prepared preliminary and final ground mounted and overhead signing plans, including guide signs regulatory signs and warning signs, as well as any other signs required for the freeway corridor, ramps and local streets. Permanent pavement markings were designed and quantities, special provisions and proposal estimate were developed.

Community Outreach/Public Involvement/Construction Inspection: Sub-consultant to HAKS

VN Engineers is also providing construction inspection services for this project as well as the development and on ongoing maintenance of the I-95 Norwalk Exit 14 and 15 Improvement Project website (  Functioning as the main site to communicate with the local residents, business, and the driving population the site describes the project and ensures that all traffic detours and potential impacts on drivers are shared with the general public.  The site includes a historical view of the projects site from the ground breaking ceremony to the current month's progress.

Due to its effective and simple to navigate structure, CTDOT recently recognized VN Engineers' web design services as a model for current and future CTDOT projects.

195Norwalk Website




December News

VN Engineers and the Connecticut Department of Transportation Team to Expand Safe Routes To School

VN Engineers is currently working with the Connecticut Department of Transportation on a program that will encourage children in grades K-8 to walk and bike to school in a safe and fun manner. This program, Safe Routes to School (SRTS), is very beneficial for every stakeholder. It promotes healthy lifestyles and helps to increase children’s interest to learn in school. It also helps to reduce air pollution and traffic congestion and helps to increase neighborhood safety. VN Engineers, Inc. will be reaching out to all of Connecticut’s elementary and middle Schools to inform them about the program and to help them get their SRTS Program started.   VN Engineers is reaching out to the schools and parents in various ways including phone calls, newsletters, SRTS website, public events, press releases, you tube videos, surveys and working with educational organizations such as the Parent Teacher Organization. Once a school expresses interest in starting a SRTS Program, VN assists with their planning workshops, provides them with guidance on how to receive grants from different funding sources, conducts site assessments, conducts bicycle and pedestrian safety classes and helps with the promotion and operation of their first walk to school day event.

Safe Routes to School Testimonial

"The experience with the Safe Routes to School Program here at Orchard Hill has been wonderful. It is a community-building event, which we have, a monthly walk to schools.

It really brings out so many students, parents as well as staff who walk with us to school. Also the safe Routes program has made some great safety improvements   that really get our kids walking and biking to school so much so that last year our PTO purchased another bike rack that is used continuously because we’ve had so many kids walk and bike or scooters to school and again the safety improvements that have come about through the Safe Routes Program have really helped with that. So since my time here I’ve seen so many more students walk and bike to school.

We always tell them it is good to be active before school. It helps with getting them ready, and getting their brain ready for learning.

My favorite part of the Safe Routs to School Program is definitely our monthly walk to schools, as I said before it is such a community building event in which we have so many members of our school community come and walk with us."

Mike Tortora/Principal
Orchard Hill Elementary School / South Windsor

October News

VN Engineers and Urban Engineers Plan Strategic Partnership

The VN Engineers management team recently returned from a two day visit to Urban Engineers' Philadelphia headquarters. During their stay, they were given a grand tour of the City by Ed D'Alba, CEO of Urban and the Urban executive team.

VN Engineers has enjoyed a long standing relationship with Urban Engineers, having worked together on multiple projects including Bradley International Airport New Terminal Redevelopment, CTfastrak and the New Haven Rail Yard Component Change Out Shop. The partnership with Urban is based on our core values of exceeding expectations as a WBE/DBE subconsultant. Our goal as part of any team is to ensure projects get the attention and commitment you would expect from one's own project team.

Urban Engineers and VN Engineers have begun planning a multi-state partnership that will allow for a focused and expanded teaming with VN Engineers providing key services such as Construction Inspection, Traffic Design, Roadway Design, M&PT, Signalization and Illumination.

Bradley International Access Roadway Lighting

The Bradley International Airport project is one of several  on-going facility improvement projects to update and expand the airports infrastructure and operating facilities.  This project entails the design of new roadways and a roundabout to facilitate circulation for a future car rental/parking garage and a new international terminal building.   Schoephoester Road (SSR 401) was realigned from approximately the Park Road Overpass east to Trap Rock Road.  A new “de-planing” roadway was designed to connect the airport to Schoephoester Road at a proposed roundabout.    

VN Engineers, Inc. is responsible for the design of preliminary and final roadway lighting plans for the project.   The design utilizes LED lighting fixtures and was designed to meet the lighting needs of both the Connecticut Department of Transportation and the Connecticut Airport Authority.  VN Engineers also designed; as part of the Terminal B demolition project, an aircraft apron lighting design to facilitate temporarily parking aircraft overnight on the tarmac.  The lighting design utilized 50’ high mast lighting fixtures with high-pressure sodium fixtures and is currently under construction. 

New Haven Rail Yard Component Change Out Shop

The New Haven Rail Yard Component Change Out Shop, State Project No. 301-106 is part of a program called the New Haven Rail Yard Facilities Improvements Program. The purpose of this program is to transform the existing rail yard into a fully functional facility that provides for efficient and effective storage, dispatching, inspection, maintenance and cleaning of an increasing fleet of rail cars. This Component Change Out Shop portion of the program will provide a new maintenance shop for the repair and maintenance of the 300 cars electric commuter rail fleet on the New Haven Rail Line. VN Engineers is providing Estimating and Construction Inspection Services for this project. Responsibilities include the inspection of piping for drainage, HW & CW, vent piping, air and gas along with the monitoring of activities at the Water Treatment Facility, and Environmental Health Safety personnel. VN Engineers also performed construction surveying, soil density testing and non-destructive testing on concrete and steel members. Other duties included monitoring pile driving operations (500 plus piles, 16 in x 16 in precast pre-stressed concrete piles) along with the installation/relocation of various existing utilities.