Q&A Apr 2, 2024

A View on the Future of Transportation: A Q&A with John Hapkiewicz

Vice President and Connecticut Office Leader is connecting New England through technology-driven, reliable transport solutions

John Hapkiewicz headshot in Q&A banner

As infrastructure ages and the world population increases, resilient solutions and new technologies are key to addressing future transportation demand and keeping our world moving forward.

Whether by air, sea, underground or even through mountains, Jacobs helps our clients move people, goods and freight. Our solutions help plan, develop, finance, design, construct, maintain and operate smart transportation infrastructure that connects people and communities around the world.

But we can’t move our clients forward without our global transportation teammates and their unmatched engineering and design, environmental, program and construction management and safety knowledge.

In this Q&A, we connect with one of these teammates, Vice President and Connecticut Office Leader, John Hapkiewicz. Leveraging his more than 30 years of experience in project management, operations and design for design-build, John is shaping how Jacobs delivers integral transit programs across Connecticut and New England. 

Hi, John. Tell us about your role.

I joined Jacobs two years ago as part of a team tasked to grow our business in Connecticut and New England. Since then, we’ve been successful in winning and delivering new projects with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) and bringing 12 new, talented Jacobs’ teammates into our Connecticut office. I wear many hats to support the tremendous growth we’re experiencing. In addition to leading our Connecticut office, I’m also supporting several critical infrastructure improvement projects across New England in leadership roles.

What are the key transportation challenges we’re solving for our clients in New England?

Jacobs has become a major player in the local transportation market, working on high-profile projects like CTDOT’s TIME-1 (Track Improvement Mobility Enhancement) Project, a USD $800 million upgrade to Metro-North Railroad. We’re also managing design on Newton Weston Bridge Bundle, a USD $320 million roadway interchange design-build project in Massachusetts.

Reducing travel time is a major focus on most New England transportation solutions these days. No one likes sitting in a traffic jam or a delayed transit route, so finding technologies to aid in a smoother travel experience and delivering solutions that connect people and goods to the places that matter most is top of mind for us.

Share a bit about a cool project you and your team are working on right now. 

I’ve mentioned CTDOT’s TIME-1 project, which is part of a larger program that will enhance speed and decrease commuting time on Metro-North Railroad trips between New Haven, Connecticut and Grand Central Terminal in New York. These enhancements will make rail and public transit more attractive to commuters by reducing travel time into and out of the metropolitan region. 

TIME-1 is the first of five projects planned by CTDOT to reinvest in its rail infrastructure and is a priority project for Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont. Successfully delivering TIME-1 will build a strong foundation for Jacobs’ future involvement on the TIME program; and reinforce us as a trustworthy partner for CTDOT on these priority initiatives. 

How will data and digital technology change how we deliver transportation solutions going forward? 

Today’s innovative technologies allow transportation agencies and consulting firms to make stronger, data-backed decisions. 

During the pursuit and delivery of any major project, I always look to highlight where Jacobs can add value that sets us apart, like incorporating StreetLight, a big data web platform – wholly owned by Jacobs – that harnesses connected devices and data to measure vehicle, transit, bike and foot traffic virtually anywhere. On top of that, its origin-destination data helps determine the character of each transportation network.

StreetLight empowers both Jacobs and our clients to understand the dynamics of people’s movement and customize analyses for a variety of use cases, including emerging areas, such as social equity and energy transformation. In fact, we proposed Streetlight to support traffic analysis for the TIME-1 Project and have successfully used it on several others design-build projects in New England.

Why is connecting communities through transportation solutions so important to continued progress and equity?

Earlier in my career, I spent time in Haiti to design a bridge that was washed out during a major hurricane. Working on this project was a very humbling experience and reiterated how important reliable transportation is to a community, especially in underserved areas. It was gratifying knowing that I was part of rebuilding the main access roadway between northern Haiti and the Dominican Republic, a very important commerce route between countries. Witnessing the different lifestyle and challenges experienced by people in the area made me reflect be thankful for what we have in the U.S., and proud to help deliver critical infrastructure solutions wherever we’re called upon. 

What do you enjoy most about being part of #OurJacobs?

The opportunities to go beyond your comfort zone are plentiful at Jacobs. For example, I joined the Newton Weston Bridge Bundle Design-Build Project as part of the design management team, which was originally not on my radar. This project allows me to learn about one of our key clients, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and our joint venture contractor. Through these relationships, we’re building connections for future design-build work and the critical infrastructure efforts of tomorrow. Delivering challenging and important projects, working with a well-rounded group of Jacobs’ teammates, is very satisfying.  I enjoy being a part of creating and building teams to deliver designs; that we then see being built and used in our communities.

About the interviewee

John Hapkiewicz headshot

Turning a childhood love of math, science and Legos into 30 years of progressive experience in transportation engineering, John Hapkiewicz is a vice president and Connecticut Office Leader at Jacobs. He focuses on staff development, client satisfaction and company growth across critical transportation projects. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time his family and most weekends are filled with traveling to his children’s sports activities throughout New England. He’s also a fan of an eclectic group of professional sports teams, the Cleveland Browns, the Boston Celtics and the New York Yankees!

Join #OurJacobs team

What drives you drives us as we work to build a better world – together. At Jacobs, every day is an opportunity to make the world better, more connected, more sustainable. We’re always looking for dynamic and engaged people to join our team. Bring your passion, your ingenuity and your vision.

Let's see the impact we can create, together