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June 28, 2024

Amtrak Awards Contract to Build New Connecticut River Bridge

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Project will advance Amtrak’s new era of rail by replacing the existing 116-year-old bridge

OLD SAYBROOK/OLD LYME, Conn. – Amtrak will soon begin construction of a new, modern Connecticut River Bridge to replace the existing bridge following the award of a construction contract to O&G/Tutor Perini, a Joint Venture. This milestone comes on the heels of recent permit approvals from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

The new Connecticut River Bridge will improve reliability and reduce delays for Amtrak’s intercity services, Connecticut Shore Line East commuter service and freight operators along the Northeast Corridor (NEC), America’s busiest rail corridor. This is one of several passenger rail improvement projects in the State of Connecticut, including the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Devon Bridge and Walk Bridge replacement projects, among others.

🎙️ Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner

“Today’s milestone brings us one step closer to putting shovels in the ground and kicking off construction for this major project. We appreciate the Biden-Harris Administration and FRA for the historic funding that has enabled this project and others along the NEC to advance from planning to construction, as well as Senator Blumenthal, Senator Murphy, Governor Lamont and the Connecticut Department of Transportation for their continued support and partnership.”

🎙️ FRA Administrator Amit Bose

“Under the Biden-Harris Administration, FRA is investing billions in the Northeast Corridor and Connecticut with Fed State-NEC grants supporting nine projects in the State, including the Connecticut River Bridge replacement project, which will reduce disruptions, allow for increased speeds and improve travel times for riders. Today’s milestone is a step forward in delivering the modern and resilient infrastructure Americans deserve.”

🎙️ Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont

“Maintaining infrastructure that is capable of safely and efficiently transporting people and goods throughout our region is critical for the economic growth of our state. This new bridge will ensure that rail service can continue in Connecticut for many years to come.”

🎙️ U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal

“The Connecticut River Bridge is an essential part of the busy Northeast Corridor rail line, but in dire need of repair. I am thrilled the work to replace this century-old bridge is moving forward — ensuring improved rail service is on the way — and I will keep fighting for federal resources to improve Connecticut’s aging infrastructure.”

🎙️ U.S. Senator Chris Murphy

“Investing in the future of rail in Connecticut is a no-brainer – it makes life easier for travelers and commuters, boosts economic growth, creates good-paying jobs, and helps fight the climate crisis. Thanks to funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, this $1.3 billion investment to replace the aging Connecticut River Bridge will keep our railways safe, cut travel times, and improve Amtrak’s rail service for Connecticut riders.”

🎙️ Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto

“The new Connecticut River Bridge will serve the entire Northeast Corridor. It will help realize Governor Ned Lamont’s goal of improved rail connectivity north to Boston and south to Washington, D.C. The new structure, built by Connecticut’s building trades, will improve safety, reliability, and increase operating speeds along the line. CTDOT is grateful for the continued support of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration, the advocacy of our Congressional Delegation, and collaboration of our partners at Amtrak.”

👷🏽‍ About the project: Amtrak will construct a new two-track bridge to replace the existing two-track Connecticut River Bridge between Old Saybrook and Old Lyme, CT – roughly midway between New York City and Providence, RI.

  • The new moveable bridge will be located immediately south of the existing moveable bridge, featuring modern track, signal, catenary, power, communication and other supporting rail infrastructure.
  • It is designed with a maximum operating speed of 70 mph, a 55% increase from today’s maximum speed of 45 mph.
  • Maritime navigation and safety will also improve due to additional vertical clearance compared with the existing bridge.

🌉 About the existing bridge: The 1,500-foot-long Connecticut River Bridge opened in 1907 and is one of several moveable rail bridges along the NEC. Today, it serves more than 50 daily Amtrak Northeast Regional and Acela trains, CTrail Shore Line East service and various freight trains. The unreliability of the aging bridge, due to its failure to open and close consistently, results in cascading delays to rail and maritime traffic.

☑️ Contract details: This project is being delivered through a Design-Bid-Build contract. Design is 100% complete and construction is set to begin in late summer/early fall 2024.

  • Amtrak also previously awarded a construction management (CM) contract to AECOM, who will assist Amtrak with management of the construction contractor, document control, schedule and budget oversight, and community outreach support. This team will be fully integrated with Amtrak’s in-house Capital Delivery department and the construction contractor.

💲 How it’s paid for: The approximately $1.3 billion project is primarily funded by the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA), thanks to a $826.64 million federal grant awarded by FRA. The remaining portion will be funded by Amtrak and the State of Connecticut.

📅 What’s next: Amtrak will continue public outreach for this project with an open house event to be scheduled before construction begins.

🗺️ The big picture: This project is key to Amtrak’s new era of passenger rail, which includes investments into modern trains, stations, tunnels, bridges and other critical infrastructure upgrades to enhance the customer experience, improve safety and reliability, and expand capacity to serve more future customers.

For More Information

W. Kyle Anderson
MediaRelations@Amtrak.com
Amtrak Contact
202 906.3860

About Amtrak®

For more than 50 years, Amtrak has connected America and modernized train travel. Offering a safe, environmentally efficient way to reach more than 500 destinations across 46 states and parts of Canada, Amtrak provides travelers with an experience that sets a new standard. Book travel, check train status, access your eTicket and more through the Amtrak app. Learn more at Amtrak.com and connect with us on X, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About Amtrak’s Historic Infrastructure Investments

Amtrak is leading a new era of passenger rail, investing in modern trains, enhanced stations, new tunnels and bridges, and other critical infrastructure upgrades. We’re enhancing the customer experience across the country, improving safety and reliability, driving economic development, reducing trip times, expanding capacity, advancing accessibility and promoting a more sustainable future.

Traditionally known as a passenger rail operator, today Amtrak is now a major construction company executing the largest capital program in Amtrak’s history. With over $50 billion of capital investments in planning and development, these historic investments are made possible by the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) enacted in 2021.