Governor Lamont and Congressional Delegation Announce Connecticut Receives $85.2 Million in Federal Grants for Northeast Corridor Rail Improvements
The funds support infrastructure improvements on the New Haven Line and the East Coast Line
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut’s congressional delegation announced today that Connecticut has been awarded two grants totaling more than $85.2 million from the Federal Railroad Administration for major infrastructure improvement projects in 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 East Line, ensuring no disruptions to the corridor northeast They are being awarded under the Federal-State Partnership for Good Repair State 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 new, modern, heavy-duty mobile bridge. The project will improve safety, reliability and travel time. The maximum speed will increase from 45 miles per hour on the current stretch 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 intercity service, Shore Line East commuter service, and freight operators. The replacement bridge will maintain the existing two-lane configuration and channel location and provide a movable span with additional vertical clearance for marine traffic. Delays in opening the bridges 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 to the project, with an additional $65.2 million to be awarded in fiscal year 2020. The Connecticut Department of Transportation and Amtrak will provide a portion of the 38%
The second grant, in the amount of $20 million, will support the first phase of the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s master plan to replace the seven electrical substations along the New Haven line, beginning with the replacement of the two first These substations have not been repaired or renovated since the 1980s. Upgraded substations will be more reliable, more energy efficient and less expensive to maintain. Aging electrical infrastructure poses a significant risk of rail service disruption, and asset maintenance is essential to ensure reliable rail service for passengers.
Governor Lamont said“We all know how critical the Northeast Corridor is to job creation, economic growth and environmentally friendly transportation. Our administration has a vision for faster, more reliable and greener, and we’re doing everything we can to make that vision a reality. Thanks to these grants, that reality is one step closer. We can’t do it alone as a state, and I’m grateful for the continued support of our federal partners , our congressional delegation, and Amtrak.Together, we continue to bring more trains and service to travelers in Connecticut and throughout the Northeast Corridor.
In a joint statement, members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation said“The Northeast Corridor is one of the busiest rail lines in North America, with more than 144,000 commuters using the New Haven Line and the Shore East Line daily to travel to work or visit family. This funding critical of the Federal Railroad Administration will provide desperately needed improvements to the New Haven Line and the Shore East Line, paving the way for more reliable and faster public transit. This major investment in Connecticut improves the power supply and eliminates a major chokepoint along Shore Line East by replacing the aging and deteriorating Connecticut River Bridge. We will continue to fight for federal funding to improve Connecticut’s infrastructure.”
Connecticut Transportation Commissioner Joe Giulietti said“We appreciate the Federal Railroad Administration’s continued support of Connecticut’s rail infrastructure, which will help improve safety and reliability along the Northeast Corridor. Governor Lamont has challenged us from day one to improve services and speed up trains, and with these grants, we continue to move in that direction. The rails that run through Connecticut are vital to the Northeast Corridor and New England’s transportation network. These investments will ensure that safe, reliable and respectful transportation options with the environment they are maintained and modernized”.
Dennis Newman, Amtrak’s executive vice president of strategy, planning and accessibility, said“Amtrak is grateful to the Federal Railroad Administration for awarding two grants totaling more than $85.2 million to fund critical infrastructure projects in Connecticut’s Northeast Corridor: the Electric Line of New Haven and the Connecticut River Bridge Funding from these grants will help modernize the state’s infrastructure and improve the reliability of commuter and intercity rail services to provide a better travel experience for Connecticut residents and visitors.