Connecticut’s Congressional delegation today announced that Connecticut has been awarded two grants totaling more than $85.2 million from the Federal Railroad Administration for major infrastructure improvement projects on the Northeast Corridor.
The funds will be used for two significant capital projects that improve safety and reliability along the Connecticut-owned New Haven Line and the Amtrak-owned Shore Line East, ensuring no disruptions occur along the Northeast Corridor. They are being awarded under the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Grant Program.
The first grant, in the amount of $65.2 million, will support the replacement of the existing Amtrak-owned Connecticut River Bridge between Old Saybrook and Old Lyme with a modern and resilient new moveable bridge. The project will improve safety, reliability, and trip time. Maximum speeds will increase from 45 miles per hour on the current span up to 70 miles per hour. The existing 115-year-old Connecticut River Bridge poses a significant risk of long-term disruption to the Northeast Corridor due to its age and condition. The bridge serves the Northeast Corridor main line and is used by Amtrak’s intercity service, Shore Line East commuter rail service, and freight operators. The replacement bridge will maintain the two-track configuration and existing channel location and provide a moveable span with additional vertical clearance for maritime traffic. Delays from bridge openings will be significantly reduced, and Amtrak will realize maintenance savings from the new structure. Today’s grant marks the second Federal-State Partnership program contribution toward the project, with an additional $65.2 million being awarded in fiscal year 2020. The Connecticut Department of Transportation and Amtrak will provide a 38% match.
The second grant, in the amount of $20 million, will support phase one of the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s overall plan to replace the seven power substations along the New Haven Line, beginning with the replacement of the first two. These substations have not been repaired or renovated since the 1980s. The upgraded substations will be more reliable, more energy efficient, and less costly to maintain. The aging power infrastructure poses a significant risk of rail service disruption, and maintaining the assets is essential to ensuring reliable train service for passengers.
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