LT. GOV. WYMAN: RAIL MODERNIZATION KEY TO INCREASING RIDERSHIP, FACILITATING COMMERCE, STRENGTHENING ECONOMY
(HARTFORD, CT) - Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman joined Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker and state and local officials at the Guilford rail station today to highlight the importance of Connecticut's investment in Shore Line East and rail service throughout the state.
"Expanding rail service and capacity is key to building a stronger Connecticut," said Lt. Governor Wyman. "Shore Line East carries over a half a million riders each year, and that number continues to grow. Governor Malloy has proposed plans for a best-in-class transportation system-one that builds on the work underway to modernize rail and bus service, reduce highway gridlock, and strengthen commerce. We truly appreciate the work all of the state and local officials, residents, and business leaders have done in support of these efforts."
On Shore Line East, the Guilford and Branford Stations are currently undergoing upgrades. In Guilford, construction is underway on 100 additional parking spaces, lengthening the platform from 40 feet to 200 feet, and other improvements to accessibility and ease of use. A new platform and pedestrian bridge in Branford are also expected to be completed this year.
"These investments ensure we can more effectively serve travelers," said Commissioner Redeker. "Additional stations and parking, a focus on transit-oriented development, and connecting transportation modes are critical to building a 21 st century system. I applaud the Governor and the Lt. Governor for putting forth a plan that will transform Connecticut."
Ridership on Shore Line East has grown 6.75 percent every year for the past decade. In 2015, construction will begin to add capacity in Clinton with a new passenger platform, and Old Saybrook is expected to add 200 parking spots and electric vehicle charging stations. These are important first steps in supporting state and local efforts to ease traffic congestion and facilitate commerce.
"Reliable transportation infrastructure is the backbone of Connecticut's economy," said Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr. (Branford). "Rail stations are a critical part of this system, particularly here in Guilford where commuters take advantage of this rail line every day to travel along the shoreline and into New York for work. The enhancements being approved today will allow for even greater usage of this important stop on the Shoreline East rail network."
The Department of Transportation will also expand Shore Line East's Madison station platform and is engaged in a feasibility study for a new station in Niantic.
"A train station in Niantic will bring even greater vitality to an already rejuvenated and bustling downtown, while enhancing smart development and taking more cars off of I-95," said State Representative Ed Jutila (East Lyme, Salem). "I thank Governor Malloy and Lieutenant Governor Wyman for their vision and leadership in modernizing our transportation infrastructure."
"The completion of this project will have a great local impact that our cities and towns need as our state moves through past this fiscal hurdle and into recovery," said State Representative Vincent Candelora (Guilford, North Branford). "This will help revitalize our transportation grid."
"I am thrilled to see Governor Malloy has made strengthening and expanding Shore Line East a priority in this year's budget and I look forward to assisting the administration in any way I can to support this vital, reliable, and affordable service that has made such a positive impact on the lives of my constituents for the last 25 years," said State Representative Sean Scanlon (Guilford, Branford).
Shore Line East upgrades are part of the overall transportation strategy bolstered by the administration's 30-year transportation proposal, Let's Go CT , unveiled during Governor Malloy's budget speech on Wednesday.
Other highlights of Let's Go CT include:
Highways, Bridges, and Roads
Replacing the I-84 Viaduct in Hartford, which costs millions of dollars annually in maintenance
Building new ramps to Hartford's Charter Oak Bridge to reduce accidents and delays
Upgrading Route 9 in Middletown to reduce accidents and reduce unnecessary congestion
Replacing the aging interchange of Route 8 and I-84 in Waterbury, known as the "Mixmaster"
Widening the five-mile stretch of I-84 in Danbury between Exits 3 and 8 to alleviate congestion
Widening I-95 between Bridgeport and Greenwich
Completing the Merritt Parkway interchange on Route 7 in Norwalk
Widening I-95 from Old Saybrook to New London, including the interchange with I-395, to mitigate congestion and improve safety
Completing Route 11
Upgrading the Gold Star Bridge on I-95 between Groton and New London
Boosting funding to municipalities by doubling the Local Transportation Improvement Program, increasing local bridge funding, and creating a new state-funded traffic signalization program.
Rail and Buses
Significantly expanding the capacity and improving the infrastructure of the New Haven Line to allow for subway-like frequency as well as fast and reliable intercity service
Building train stations along the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Line (the "Hartford Line"), bringing commuter rail service to Enfield, West Hartford, Newington, North Haven and Hamden
Double-tracking the entire Hartford Line from New Haven to Springfield, allowing for more efficient and increased service
Constructing new stations along the New Haven Line, including the new Barnum Station in Bridgeport, reconstruction of the Merritt 7 station in Norwalk on the Danbury Branch, and a new station in Orange
Completing a new parking garage at Union station in New Haven to expand ridership and further encourage transit-oriented development in the area
Replacing the Walk Bridge in Norwalk, as well as rehabilitating or replacing the Devon, SAGA and Cos Cob moveable bridges on the New Haven Line
Making improvements to the Waterbury Branch, including a new signal system, sidings and equipment to allow for increased capacity and more frequent service
Expanding local and express bus service as well as paratransit across the state to reach unserved urban areas and markets
Walkways and Bikeways
Creating a new program to help cities and towns install bike and pedestrian safety improvements in urban areas and town centers
Repairing existing trails that have fallen into disrepair
Completing new bike and pedestrian trails across the state
Office of Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman