Senators Joseph Lieberman and Richard Blumenthal along with Representatives Larson, DeLauro, and Himes today announced the awarding of over $2.6 million in competitive transportation grants to be distributed throughout Connecticut.
Hartford will receive $1,692,107 to make pedestrian improvements along a 1,620-foot route on Asylum and Farmington avenues, improving pedestrian connections to Union Station and creating safe, convenient and attractive routes to the station from surrounding residential, shopping and employment districts.
New Haven will receive $760,000 to conduct a study on a proposal to develop a modern streetcar line, stitching together three growing districts: Downtown, Yale-New Haven Medical District, and Union Station. The study will also look at bus, light rail, and streetcar alternatives that will help connect communities through more transportation choices.
Bridgeport will receive $180,000 to conduct a study on transit-oriented development benefiting the three municipalities of Bridgeport, Fairfield, and Stratford. The municipalities are served by commuter rail service and are pursuing policies that would support development around transit stations.
"During these difficult economic times, funding sound investments in our infrastructure is a critical step to jumpstarting our economy and creating jobs," Lieberman said. "By strengthening our roadways, rail lines, and pedestrian paths, we improve the quality of life for our residents, and our community benefits from a positive ripple effect throughout our economy."
"This kind of significant investment in roads and infrastructure is vital to economic growth," Blumenthal said. "Such resources benefit three important urban centers by making public transportation and pedestrian routes more accessible to residents. I look forward seeing the exciting developments these grants will bring to Connecticut's ongoing mission to advance innovative transportation solutions."
"The key to Hartford's future are these types of infrastructure improvements that will link the city together and make Union Station a true transportation hub," Larson said. "This funding will provide a more seamless link between Union Station and neighborhoods to the West, which will help economic development, enhance pedestrian safety, and increase access to the city's transportation network for residents and commuters alike. As we continue to explore ways to make Hartford a more sustainable place to live and to work, federal grants like these are a huge win for the city."
"The downtown New Haven area is in need of transportation services to connect the various hubs of our community and transit--and a streetcar project could be the solution. I have long-supported such a concept to fill this void for area residents, and am very pleased that the Department of Transportation has signaled its support as well with these funds," DeLauro said. "With gas prices still high, and critical overcrowding of our highways, a streetcar line through New Haven would help to alleviate traffic congestion, reduce pollution, and help local residents save money on transit. This is a project with great potential for the City, and look forward to the results of this study."
"Inadequate transportation networks keep far more vehicles than necessary on I-95 and cost each commuter hundreds of lost hours every year," Himes said. "These studies will help improve access to time- and cost-saving transportation alternatives for workers, families, and businesses alike."