Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Connecticut bond commission approves millions for state DOT rail projects

The Connecticut State Bond Commission approved $170 million for Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) projects including $59 million for a rail bridge replacement and freight rail projects.

Some $40 million was approved for the project to transform the Stamford Transportation Center the busiest Connecticut station on the New Haven Line, into a multi-modal commuter complex designed for customer service and satisfaction. The project is expected to improve multimodal traffic and pedestrian flow around the facility and promote transit-oriented development.

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 is expected to increase the vertical clearance under the bridge from 12 feet, seven inches to 14 feet, six inches.

Nine million dollars was added by the bond commission to the $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 track, including some passenger rail lines. Through the Fixing Freight First program, each company may submit an application to the ConnDOT to upgrade facilities.

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