Amtrak begins procurement for construction of new Connecticut River bridge

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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Amtrak Connecticut River bridge to be replaced.

Part of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor is finally getting some attention.

Amtrak announced it will be entering into the procurement phase in early 2023 to select a contractor for the construction of a new Connecticut River Bridge, which will be delivered via design-bid-build delivery method. The bridge replacement will allow for better reliability and decreased delays for travelers due to trains traveling on more modern infrastructure. As part of a more than $500 million investment from Amtrak, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Amtrak intends to award the contract in late 2023. Construction is expected to start in early 2024.

“Building a new Connecticut River Bridge is one of several projects Amtrak is advancing that signifies we’re in a new era for rail,” said Amtrak Executive Vice President, Capital Delivery, Laura Mason. “We thank our partners for their support, and we look forward to awarding the contract so we can get shovels in the ground for a project that will improve reliability of the NEC and train travel in Connecticut and beyond.”

“Necessary improvements to Connecticut’s rail infrastructure are on the way,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) “The Connecticut River Bridge is an essential part of the Northeast Corridor’s busy rail line, and in dire need of repairs. I have proudly fought for federal support of Connecticut’s rail to make these types of upgrades possible and to improve rail service for the traveling public.”

“Connecticut’s proximity to New York and Boston is one of our state’s economic strengths, but these benefits are in jeopardy after years of under investment in our transportation system. Finally, this is changing. A new Connecticut River Bridge will fix what’s been a major choke point on the Northeast Corridor, improving services and reliability while cutting down on commute times,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)

The Connecticut River Bridge, first built in 1907, is located on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) between the towns of Old Saybrook and Old Lyme and is used by Amtrak, CTRail’s Shore Line East, and freight trains. The project will involve building a two-track, electrified, and resilient movable bridge structure equipped with new track, signal, catenary, power, communication, controls, and security features. The new bridge structure is expected to have a useful life of 150 years. As part of the project, the selected contractor will also perform any environmental mitigation required by the permitting/NEPA process.

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