West Hartford Names New Town Engineer – We-Ha

Greg Sommer has been promoted to West Hartford town engineer effective Feb. 28, 2022.

By Ronni Newton

Acting Town Manager Rick Ledwith announced Monday that Greg Sommer has been named West Hartford’s town engineer.

Sommer, who has held the title of assistant town engineer since 2019, takes over the role from Duane Martin, who was recently named the town’s director of Community Development.

In more than 10 years with the Town of West Hartford, Sommer has been involved in many key infrastructure projects, including traffic calming measures, utility work, and the design of the I-84 and Park Road interchange. He has also spearheaded grant applications to obtain funding for projects that include the Trout Brook Trail – which will soon open a new section – and the creation of bicycle lanes.

Sommer also played a key role in the design and implementation of the town’s successful outdoor dining program during the past two summers.

“This new role creates some exciting opportunities,” Sommer said. “I’m excited to be working in this great town and improving the Town of West Hartford for many years to come.”

He said Martin has done a great job leading “a very talented and hardworking” Engineering Division team, and he looks forward to continuing the legacy.

“In the years ahead, our team will work on improving the storm drainage system, implement complete streets and traffic calming measures, and improve sidewalk and pavement conditions, along with other goals,” Sommer said.

Some of the town’s share of American Rescue Plan Act funds will be able to be used for infrastructure improvements, which will be under the purview of the Engineering Division, and Sommer said the town is in the midst of an RFP process, also funded through ARPA, to hire a consultant to reevaluate West Hartford Center and the need for functional upgrades including expanded sidewalks to increase accessibility and permanently accommodate expanded outdoor dining and retail areas as well as traffic calming measures.

Sommer said Connecticut Natural Gas will be installing new gas mains on Farmington Avenue, and as that work concludes, repaving and reconstruction work will be able to commence on LaSalle Road as well as Farmington Avenue.

“We are thrilled to announce Greg as our town engineer,” Ledwith said in a statement Monday. “Greg has already demonstrated a strong work ethic and dedication to West Hartford through his work as assistant town engineer and we know that his experience and knowledge of our public infrastructure, as well as his commitment to our community, will make him tremendous asset to the town as he moves into his role as town engineer.”

Martin, to whom Sommer will continue to report, said he is proud the work Sommer has done. “Greg’s successful project track record, leadership qualities, professionalism, and dedication will serve him well in this new role. I look forward to working with Greg and his Engineering Division to improve the community for many years to come,” Martin said.

The Engineering Division will look to hire another civil engineer in the upcoming fiscal year, to backfill the vacancy created by the promotion of Martin and Sommer.

Sommer came to Connecticut in 2006 from a role with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, and after spending six years working for private consulting firms joined the Town of West Hartford as a civil engineer in January 2012.

Sommer earned a B.S. in civiil engineering from Syracuse University and an M.S. in civil engineering from California State University in Los Angeles. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Connecticut.

Sommer said he enjoys doing home improvement projects and theatrical set design in his free time. He has been involved in design and creation of the sets for Hall High School’s Pops ‘N Jazz as well as West Hartford Community Theater. He also enjoys watching sports and spending quality time with his wife, Katie, and two young daughters.

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