Rell Announces Meeting on New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Rail Project

Jul 17th, 2010 | By | Category: High Speed Rail, New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Line, Transportation

Gov. M. Jodi Rell has announced that a public informational meeting is scheduled for July 29 in Hartford to discuss environmental issues surrounding the planned New Haven-Hartford-Springfield, Mass., high-speed rail line.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Union Station, located at One Union Place in downtown Hartford.

“The plans for a high-speed rail line serving commuters and businesses throughout the central ‘spine’ of our state – and eventually connecting with the rest of New England and Canada – are moving full-speed ahead,” Governor Rell said. “This project has tremendous economic development potential for Connecticut and will go a long way to ease congestion on heavily traveled Interstate 91. We want the public to be up-to-date on each step of our progress, which is why these meetings are so important.

“This session will deal with a draft assessment of the project’s environmental impact as well as a more detailed discussion of the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield (NHHS) segment of the plan to link New York City, New Haven, Vermont and Montreal,” the Governor said. “In addition to our own Department of Transportation, representatives from the Vermont and Massachusetts DOTs will also be on hand.”

In April, Governor Rell hosted U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for a ride along the NHHS route and a meeting in her office with U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd, U.S. Reps. John B. Larson and Rosa DeLauro, DOT officials and state legislative leaders. After the meeting, Secretary LaHood said he was impressed with Connecticut’s plans and vision.

“When a state has its act together, it’s going to do well,” he said at a news conference outside the Governor’s Office. “Connecticut has its act together.”

Transportation officials from Connecticut and the other states are working with Amtrak – which owns the trackage – and federal officials to do the preliminary work needed for the NHHS project. President Obama recently announced $40 million in federal stimulus funding for the project, to begin the construction of double tracking from Newington to New Britain. Connecticut has designated $26 million in state bond funds as its share of the double-tracking project and is finalizing its application for a new round of federal high-speed rail funding.

Plans for the line call for bidirectional service between New Haven and Springfield running Monday-through-Friday on a 30-minute peak period schedule. The current proposal would also add several new stations and enhance the Windsor Locks station with a bus connection to Bradley International Airport.

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