FHWA Administrator to Review Progress on Connecticut’s Amtrak/U.S. Route 1 Recovery Act Project

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds are creating a safer and less congested route for New Haven area residents and commuters, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez announced said in reviewing work on the Amtrak/ U.S. Route 1 Bridge project.

The project’s $70.8 million represents the largest Recovery Act investment in Connecticut. The work is scheduled to be completed in 2014.

Mendez was joined by Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Connecticut transportation officials.

The project is reconstructing and lengthening the existing Amtrak Bridge, so that more highway lanes and sidewalks can be added to U.S. Route 1 which runs beneath the rail bridge in Branford. The project will help meet the demand of heavy traffic.

Traffic lanes will be increased from two to five, alleviating a major bottleneck in the region and greatly reducing traffic congestion. Previously, four lanes of traffic were forced to merge into two lanes under the bridge creating a backup in each direction. The operational and safety improvements on this project will prevent that congestion by allowing two-way traffic to flow smoothly under the bridge.

“We are seeing Recovery Act projects like this one in Connecticut create jobs, improve livability and keep Americans moving in communities across the country,” said U.S Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.

“Not only is this project fixing a major problem for U.S. Route 1 drivers, but it is stimulating the local economy to benefit all area residents,” Administrator Mendez said. “Recovery Act funding is helping create jobs, purchase supplies, and keep businesses open.”

Of the $26.6 billion in ARRA highway funds available for highways and bridges nationwide, Connecticut’s share is $299 million. Funding has been obligated for 151 projects in Connecticut – 76 are under way and 56 have been completed.