FOR RELEASE: January 25, 2013
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State Bond Commission Approves Millions for DOT Projects

          The State Bond Commission today approved $170 million for DOT projects – ranging from the Stamford Transportation Center to road repaving and a freight-rail improvement project.

          Some $40 million was approved for the project to transform the Stamford Transportation Center (STC), the busiest Connecticut station on the New Haven Line, into a multi-modal commuter complex designed for customer service and satisfaction. The project has three objectives:  replace the aging 727-space original parking garage with convenient, low maintenance, long service life facilities with a minimum of 1,000 new spaces; improve multimodal traffic and pedestrian flow around the facility; and promote transit-oriented development (TOD).

      The $40 million total includes $35 million for construction and $5 million for staff and consultant services for through project completion.

      The Bond Commission also approved $50 million for the replacement of the Metro-North Rail Bridge over Atlantic Street in Stamford – a bridge originally built in 1896. In addition to the bridge replacement, the project will: improve vehicular accessibility from the South End of Stamford to the STC, the Central Business District & I-95, including the reconstruction of the northbound off-ramp to Atlantic Street; increase the vertical clearance under the bridge from 12 feet, 7 inches to 14 feet, 6 inches; add 4 new travel lanes (bringing the total to 6) under the bridge to improve traffic operations; and provide a continuous sidewalk along South State Street connecting Atlantic Street with the STC, improving pedestrian safety and accessibility to the site.

      Also on today’s agenda was $57 million for the resurfacing of some 209.7 two-lane miles of roads around the state. This is the DOT’s annual “VIP” paving program and will begin in the spring.

      Nine million dollars was added by the Bond Commission to $1 million already in place for an economic development program designed to rebuild Connecticut’s freight rail system, called “Fixing Freight First.”  Under this program, rail companies can apply for the $10 million to repair and modernize rail, rail beds, crossings, culverts and related facilities.

      There are now 10 companies that annually move some 8.5 million tons of freight through Connecticut on more than 625 miles of tracks, including some passenger rail lines. Through the Fixing Freight First program, each company may submit an application to the DOT to upgrade facilities.

      “Freight rail is an important piece of our economy – not only does it speed commerce, it helps to reduce the number of trucks on our congested highways,” said Commissioner Redeker. “Furthermore, projects that qualify for this funding will require the purchase of materials and directly provide construction jobs, further stimulating our economy.”

      In other Bond Commission action, $14 million was approved to finance pavement preservation on I-395 in Lisbon, Montville and Norwich.