Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Disappointed $104.7 Million Niantic River Railroad Bridge Contract Awarded To Out-Of-State Company, Calls On Winner To Hire State Workers

January 21, 2010

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said today he is disappointed Amtrak awarded to a Maine company the $104.7 million contract -- more than half to be paid by federal stimulus funds -- to replace the Niantic River railroad bridge, and called on the winning bidder to employ state workers and subcontractors and ensure critical worker protections and benefits.

Blumenthal said he will urge winning bidder, Cianbro Corporation of Pittsfield, Me., to follow federal guidelines calling for the hiring local workers and payment of fair wages.

"I am deeply disappointed that Amtrak awarded this huge contract -- one of the largest federal stimulus projects in Connecticut -- to an out-of-state company," Blumenthal said. "I will seek assurances that Cianbro will hire Connecticut workers and contractors, and ensure fair wages and equitable working conditions.

"Workers and businesses in Connecticut need and deserve the benefit of jobs and revenue from this massive construction project, which must move forward as quickly as possible. Amtrak's contract award may be final, but its practical effect may be improved by insisting that subcontractors and workers come from Connecticut.

"This federal taxpayer-funded project is designed to benefit Connecticut workers and businesses and kick-start the state's economy. Sending vital stimulus dollars out of state is unacceptable and unconscionable. I urge the company to keep in Connecticut as many stimulus dollars as possible -- as Congress and the President intended."

The contract to replace the bridge is one of the largest Amtrak projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Federal taxpayers will pay $57.6 million of the cost, with Amtrak's annual capital budget covering the remaining $47.1 million. The work is expected to last three years.