(HARTFORD) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the State of Connecticut is applying for $600 million in federal transportation funding to help cover the capital costs of three resiliency, or “hardening”, projects central to the commuter rail infrastructure of Connecticut. The federal funds will be matched with $200 million in state funds for various upgrade and replacement projects along the New Haven Line.


“We learned some tough lessons during Super Storm Sandy, but one of the most important was that several aspects of our transportation infrastructure are in dire need of hardening measures. We have made billions of dollars in investments in new rail infrastructure in recent years, but it is just as crucial to maintain, protect and replace existing systems along the Northeast rail corridor,” said Governor Malloy. “The New Haven Line is the busiest single commuter rail system in America and the backbone of our economy and its failure due to a weather-related event would have a catastrophic ripple effect throughout the region and the nation. In anticipation of adding even more service on this state owned rail corridor, we want to undergo these projects now to ensure a safe and reliable commute for riders, prevent any major system interruptions and protect against future natural disasters.”


Congress and the Obama administration made $3 billion available for 11 states affected by Storm Sandy in October 2012. Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) Commissioner James P. Redeker said that the Federal Transit Administration will announce grant awards under the Sandy Resiliency Project Program in the fall. Connecticut is applying for $603 million to be applied to the following key components of the New Haven Line, which is owned by ConnDOT and operated by Metro-North:


·         ConnDOT is requesting $349 million in federal funding to help cover the cost of the Walk Bridge Replacement Project in Norwalk, representing 75 percent of the $465 million total project cost. ConnDOT would match the federal funding with $116 million in state funds.

§  The funding will be used for project design, engineering, environmental clearance, and construction.

§  The WALK bridge was built in 1896, and replacing it with a more resilient “bascule” bridge (which would open for marine traffic from one side with a counterweight system) will significantly enhance the safety and reliability of commuter and intercity passenger service along the Northeast corridor.



·         ConnDOT is requesting $245 million in federal funding for the replacement of the existing communications and signaling system along the Connecticut section of the New Haven Line, representing 75 percent of the $326 million total project cost.  ConnDOT would match the federal funding with $82 million in state funds.

§  The requested federal funding will be used towards completing the design, engineering and construction of a new reliable and resilient communications and signaling system.

§  The current system was installed over 35 years ago and is now well past its useful life, with its poor condition exacerbated by winds and flooding.



·         ConnDOT is requesting $9 million in federal funding for a Power Upgrade at the New Haven Rail Yard, representing 75 percent of the $12 million total project cost. ConnDOT would match the federal funding with $3 million in state funds.

§  The New Haven Yard Power Upgrade project will protect power transmission to the yard in the event of high winds and flooding by providing two new underground feeders from the power company (United Illuminating), to the yard’s power distribution system.

§  Two dedicated 10 megawatt feeders will be installed underground and fed directly from UI’s Water Street substation; if one feeder fails, the other feeder can still supply the entire yard.



“As storms like Sandy become the new normal, we must take immediate action to strengthen the resiliency of our public transportation systems. Protecting the New Haven Rail Yard, the Walk Bridge and communications systems along the New Haven Metro-North line are important measures that will help ensure the viability of our commuter rail system for generations to come,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). “These are investments we must make now, or pay for later with paralyzing service disruptions causing lost economic opportunity and hardship. I look forward to working with the state and the rest of the delegation to ensure Connecticut receives the funds it needs and deserves to prepare its transportation infrastructure for the future.”


“Protecting and upgrading our transportation systems are among the smartest investments we can make,” said U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT-3). “We have seen the havoc disruption to these systems can cause several times over the past several years. Putting the necessary money into this infrastructure will protect a vital part of our transportation system and yield economic benefits in the long run. I am proud to support the Governor’s request and will do everything possible to support it.”


“We must protect the flow of commerce by investing in our transportation infrastructure,” said U.S. Representative John Larson (CT-1). “Severe weather is a reality in Connecticut and I commend Governor Malloy for recognizing the need to improve our infrastructure in the face of extreme weather events, lower congestion and provide stronger avenues to help put people back to work. Infrastructure is neither Republican nor Democrat, it’s American, and whether it is our railways, highways or levees, we must provide funding necessary to protect it.”


“This funding would provide critical infrastructure improvements and help improve the future of our state’s rail lines,” said U.S. Representative Joe Courtney (CT-2). “I applaud Governor Malloy’s leadership in Sandy recovery efforts and I intend to work alongside my colleagues in the state and in Congress to secure funding for our infrastructure priorities.”


“Super Storm Sandy made it all too clear that Southwest Connecticut is far from immune to the effects of severe weather, and that we must do everything we can now to mitigate the damage from future storms,” said U.S. Representative Jim Himes (CT-4). “Governor Malloy’s request for funding to help pay for important resiliency projects along Metro-North’s New Haven Line, including for the replacement of Norwalk’s Walk Bridge, will help ensure that the trains so many of my constituents rely on to get to work will keep running after the next big storm.”


“Even though the Northeast rail corridor is the busiest railroad in the country, Congress has systematically failed to prioritize investment in its infrastructure or boost its resiliency,” said U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty (CT-5). “Since joining the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Rail, I’ve been a strong advocate for increased investment in upgrading our rail infrastructure, and I’ve gained bipartisan support for increasing resiliency for our critical infrastructure. We simply can’t keep waiting until a bridge falls down or a train derails. I applaud Governor Malloy and Commissioner Redeker for their leadership on this issue, and I look forward to working with federal, state, and local partners to secure this much-needed funding to ensure safe, reliable rail service for Connecticut businesses, commuters, and their families.”


In February, Governor Malloy and ConnDOT announced that the $10 million upgrade of the power supply for the New Haven Line was successfully completed, giving full back-up power redundancy for the east- and westbound lines.

By Alex

Leave a Reply