Amtrak Shares Plans for New Connecticut River Bridge

Written by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor
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Amtrak recently presented its plans for a new Connecticut River Bridge that will have a longer movable span and enhance navigational clearances for boaters.

The new bridge will also open and close more quickly than the current bridge. The presentation detailed a new two-track electrified rail bridge, which will be erected to the south of the current two-track electrified rail bridge. Amtrak expects the new structure to bolster service reliability and allow trains to travel at speeds of up to 70 mph.

At a virtual information session on Feb. 15, Amtrak displayed a preliminary rendering and went into detail about the construction timeframe, the necessity of replacing the bridge, the background of the project, and construction impacts, according to a local news report

Work on the new bridge connecting Old Lyme and Old Saybrook is scheduled to begin in 2024 and be finished in 2029, including the demolition of the current bridge, Amtrak said. 

According to a representative of engineering firm Hardesty & Hanover, the new bridge design has a 204-foot-long moveable portion—an increase of 44 feet—that is intended to be kept in the open position during the busiest boating season.

The steel and concrete bridge will be built with easy maintenance and inspection in mind, the firm said. The Connecticut River Bridge typically handles 38 Amtrak trains, 12 Shore Line East trains, and six Providence & Worcester freight trains each day.

Stakeholders and the public will have additional chances to comment on the project as Amtrak works with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Coast Guard to develop permit applications and seek authorizations under the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbor Act, the report said. Additional information on the project is available here