Governor Lamont, Senators Blumenthal and Murphy, Representatives Himes and Courtney Announce Over $144 Million in Federal Funding for Connecticut Rail Bridges
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Senator Chris Murphy, Representative Jim Himes, and Representative Joe Courtney today announced that Connecticut has been awarded more than $144 million from the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Grant Program to help fund the replacement of the Walk Bridge in Norwalk and the Connecticut River Bridge between Old Lyme and Old Saybrook.
“One of Connecticut’s many strengths is the state’s access to rail and the major cities to our East and South,” Governor Lamont said. “Fixing our aging bridges is about public safety and speeding up our transportation system. Our Department of Transportation will do a great job in making these improvements for our rail passengers. Thank you to the Connecticut Congressional delegation for their support of the state’s applications.”
“This $145 million grant will provide Connecticut with the urgently needed funding to replace both the Walk Bridge and Connecticut River Bridge – vital structures that have long outlived their intended lifespans,” Senator Blumenthal said. “Rail passengers along the Northeast Corridor deserve speedy and reliable service on Amtrak, New Haven Line, and Shoreline East. I will continue to fight for every federal dollar for Connecticut’s rail and transportation infrastructure to help grow our state’s economy.”
“The U.S. Department of Transportation funding we secured today is big deal for Connecticut,” Senator Murphy said. “The Walk Bridge and the Connecticut River Bridge are both over a century old, and they are major chokepoints on the Northeast Corridor – affecting travel within our state and well beyond our borders. Connecticut’s economic competitiveness depends in large part on its connection to Boston and New York. This funding represents a big step towards modernizing the Northeast Corridor, and I will continue to work to protect and enhance Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure.”
“The Walk Bridge is a critical juncture for commerce traveling along the East Coast,” Representative Himes said. “But, for too long, we’ve been trying to accommodate a 21st Century economy with 19th Century technology. Securing these funds has been a top priority of ours because we need critical infrastructure investment to keep Connecticut thriving and competitive for years to come.”
“Today’s announcement of a long overdue modernization of the Old Saybrook bridge is critical to ensure passenger safety and faster transit of rail service.” Representative Courtney said. “As the region knows, the existing structure has long outlived its life span. The upgrade will also provide a shot in the arm to the building trades and I look forward to working with Federal Rail to target local contractors and skilled workers when the time comes to award this sizable contract.”
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), in partnership with Amtrak, was awarded $79.7 million in federal funds to assist with replacing the existing movable Norwalk (Walk) River Bridge, built in 1896, with two independent two-track vertical lift rail bridges in Norwalk, including supporting rehabilitation work on the bridge approach embankments and retaining walls, installation of new catenary structures, and signal system upgrades.
Amtrak, in partnership with CTDOT, was awarded $65.2 million in federal funds to assist with replacing the existing, 113-year-old Connecticut River Bridge with a modern and resilient new moveable bridge immediately to the south of the existing structure. The replacement bridge will maintain the two-track configuration and existing channel location, and provide a bascule moveable span with additional vertical clearance for maritime traffic.