Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) joined with Governor Dannel Malloy, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Congressmen John Larson and Chris Murphy and other federal, state and local officials today to celebrate the next step in the long awaited New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail line. Today's event marked the release of a $121 million federal grant that will help build the next phase of the line.
DeLauro, a longtime supporter of improving our transportation systems, has fought for the federal aid that helps fund the rail line. Her legislation to create a federal infrastructure bank would encourage projects like this in Connecticut and across the country.
The following remarks are as prepared for delivery:
This line has been a work in progress for years -- I believe it was first discussed seriously way back in 1994, and it has been a top priority for our congressional delegation, and for the State.
Today's funding builds on two previous Federal grants providing $70 million, as well as the $260 million the state has committed to this project through the State Bond Commission.
Our area needs high-speed rail. New England is the most heavily trafficked commuter region in the US. Traffic has increased two to three times faster than the population since 1990.
And when 80 percent of Connecticut commuters drive to work by themselves, we have to provide a better, more attractive, alternative.
So it is great to see the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield line take a huge step forward today with the release of this funding for Phase 2.
With these funds, we'll be able to double track and upgrade the line, increase speeds, reduce delays, and add capacity much needed capacity.
When completed, this high speed rail line is expected to significantly reduce the number of vehicles on the road by greatly increasing the number of intercity trains that run per day and adding commuter trains.
As a result, we will save fossil fuel costs and reduce carbon emissions.
And, just as important, this new line means opportunities for economic development and expansion, all up and down the line.
The New Haven-Hartford-Springfield line is expected to generate over 8,000 new jobs, especially around the existing and planned stations.
I understand that right here in Meriden there are plans for a robust Transit Oriented Development and I look forward to similar projects in Wallingford and by the Exit 10 Connector.
Upon completion our communities will be better connected, to each other and to places like Bradley Airport.
So I want to thank Governor Malloy, the General Assembly, and my fellow members of the delegation for working hard in tandem with members from Massachusetts and Vermont to make this happen.
If we are going to create jobs and produce long-term economic growth, investments like these are critical for our state.
We start investing in our transportation infrastructure again, and we can put our men and women in construction back to work.
So I will continue to push for high-speed rail in our state, and for the other vital infrastructure investments that restore long-term prosperity
That includes an infrastructure bank, something I have long fought for, to help leverage private capital towards public investment.
Thank you again. I cannot wait to see the next phase of the project.