Bridgeport, CT – Mayor Joe Ganim attended the state bond commission meeting as they approved $14.6 million for key infrastructure and economic development projects for the City of Bridgeport. Funding for approved projects include $7 million for infrastructure improvements to the city-owned Sikorsky airport, $3.7 million for the reconstruction of the Congress Street Bridge, and $2.28 million to support Bridgeport’s coastal resiliency.
“We are excited for the approved funding that will have a positive impact on Bridgeport’s infrastructure and economic development potential,” said Mayor Ganim. “I want to thank Governor Malloy and the bond commission for their approval in securing the financial aid for these projects. I would also like to thank our Bridgeport State legislative delegation for their continued support.”
Total approved bonding also includes $1 million to assist the demolition of the former Remington Arms industrial site, $353,654 grant-in-aid to the McGivney Community Center, Inc. to finance demolition of the adjacent former Saint Charles Church School for parking and outdoor recreation space and $262,840 to finance alterations, improvements and technology equipment at Bullard-Havens Technical High School in Bridgeport. Lastly, the state bond commission approved $100,000 grant-in-aid to match private funding in communities where Martin Luther King, Jr. corridors are established. The funds will be available for streetscape improvements, signage and wayfinding enhancements and façade improvements.
The $7,000,000 in investment approved by the state bond commission for the regional Sikorsky airport will be used to make improvements to runways and upgrade fire safety at the facility, in addition to other needed repairs. Sikorsky airport is owned by the city of Bridgeport and located just over the city line in Stratford. This state investment is expected to be matched by significant private, commercial funds in the near future that will open the door to regional passenger air service using new quiet jets that can take off and land on the existing runways without the need for any expansion. It is supported by regional city administrations in both Bridgeport and Stratford and by area lawmakers as a new convenient travel option for regional commuters and travelers.
As a candidate for Mayor in 2015, Ganim pledged to rebuild the Congress Street bridge that has sat broken since the existing drawbridge got stuck in the upright position in 1997. Following a federal designation this year with the leadership of Senators Blumenthal and Murphy and 4th District Congressman Jim Himes, Congress declared the river north of the bridge a non-
Congress Street Bridge, Bridgeport
navigable waterway for commercial boat traffic. As such, the new bridge can be a fixed span and does not need to open, greatly reducing the anticipated cost of bridge reconstruction. The Bridgeport City Council has approved $12 million in the city capital budget for the Congress Street Bridge in each of the last two years, and the city has also applied for a federal BUILD grant for that purpose as well.
The $1,000,000 bond approved to aid the demolition of the iconic, blighted former Remington Arms industrial complex on Barnum Avenue will help clear the way for environmental remediation of the contaminated former munitions factory. DuPont Chemical Corporation is legally obligated to fund environmental cleanup at the former factory site once demolition is complete. This decontamination will make it possible for significant new economic development and regional job creation, breathing new life into the now-defunct Remington factory space.