The Connecticut Light and Power Company
P.O. Box 270
Hartford, CT 06141-0270
(860) 947-2000

News Release

Contacts: Frank Poirot (CL&P) Samantha Crowley (UI)
Office: (860) 665-3409 (203) 499-3824

ConnDOT Chief Engineer Honored for Bridging Permitting Gap
Arthur Gruhn’s Work Memorialized at Ash Creek

BERLIN, CT, and NEW HAVEN, CT, March 24, 2009 – Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P), a Northeast Utilities (NU) company, and The United Illuminating Company (UI), part of the UIL Corporation (UIL), today dedicated a plaque in memory of Arthur W. Gruhn, chief engineer for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) for his contribution to the successful permitting of the Middletown-Norwalk (M-N) transmission upgrade.

The December 16, 2008, energization of M-N would not have been possible without the dedication to problem-solving shown by many associated with this important project.

The M-N project is a major transmission initiative that resolves long-standing reliability issues in southwest Connecticut and makes the regional transmission grid more secure and efficient. Natural terrain and man-made structures challenged the project team for creative solutions along the project’s entire 69-mile route.

The underground segment of the project posed some special obstacles. Each water crossing along the underground route required a unique combination of solutions, but the Ash Creek crossing between Bridgeport and Fairfield tested the abilities of two utilities, local and state elected leaders, neighbors, businesses, motorists, the Department of Environmental Protection and ConnDOT to agree on a plan everyone could live with.

“Among those most instrumental in helping this project move in a positive direction across Ash Creek was the late Arthur W. Gruhn, chief engineer for ConnDOT,” said James A. Muntz, president, NU Transmission. “While a much larger I-95 bridge crisis over Howard Avenue in Bridgeport earned his reputation as a resourceful engineer who acted quickly in a tough situation, Mr. Gruhn brought these same skills to the table when looking for solutions at Ash Creek.”

When challenged to review and approve a method of crossing Ash Creek, a tidal water basin on Fairfield Avenue/Post Road, Mr. Gruhn worked closely with the M-N project team and community to arrive at a solution that served both the electric and transportation infrastructures, while reflecting the local aesthetic sensitivity to the area.

“Input and direction from Arthur Gruhn and ConnDOT were key components to finding a workable solution that respected the environmental, engineering and social issues raised by the Ash Creek crossing,” said Anthony J. Vallillo, UI chief operating officer and president.

State regulators and environmental officials worked for years to ensure the technical needs of the regional grid were balanced with the individual needs of residents and businesses along the project routes. In the end, state officials showed an acute understanding of all the interests, provided critical input and allowed the project to move forward.

Mr. Gruhn’s tireless efforts were instrumental in helping CL&P and UI improve the reliability of the power grid and helping to meet the state’s growing customer demand for power.

The Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P) has been part of everyday life in Connecticut for more than 100 years, providing safe and reliable electric service to homes, neighborhoods and businesses. With 1.2 million customers in 149 cities and towns, CL&P is an active member in the communities it serves, offering programs in energy conservation, economic development and environmental education. CL&P is part of the Northeast Utilities System (NYSE: NU). For more information, please visit

UI, The United Illuminating Company, was formed in 1899 when the Bridgeport Electric Company merged with the New Haven Electric Company. UI is a regional distribution utility providing electricity and energy-related services to more than 318,000 customers in the Greater New Haven and Greater Bridgeport areas.


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