CT will build a station in Enfield, using nearly $32 million in federal and state funds

ENFIELD — For the first time in more than 35 years, trains are scheduled to stop at Enfield, with construction of a new station due to begin in less than two years.

The designs will be completed in the summer of 2023, with plans to tender for the project this fall, Garrett Eucalitto, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, said during an announcement of the project on Thursday.

“Construction is expected to begin in early 2024,” Eucalitto said. “ConnDOT has been working on the design in hopes that we will get the federal funds and be ready to start construction in about a year and a half after that.”

The new Enfield station will cost around $32 million. The project is funded by a nearly equal split of state bonds and federal grants, DOT Commissioner Joe Giulietti said.

The state bond will provide $15.86 million, according to a DOT statement. Under the federal Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements grant program, the project received $13.86 million.

Enfield will be the newest stop on the CTrail Hartford line, connecting Amtrak and Metro-North passengers.

“We had to assure Amtrak that everything we were doing fit into their new plans with the number of trains they intended to fund on this line in the future,” Giulietti said. “A new accessible station with an elevated platform will be built here. Riders can board and head north to Springfield — or south to New Haven and New York.

The project is part of an effort by the state to improve rail service and the city of Enfield to advance its transit-focused district plans.

They were joined in the announcement by several other officials, including Gov. Ned Lamont, U.S. Representative Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, and U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both D-Conn.

No airport connection

Direct train transportation from Enfield, or anywhere in the state, to Bradley International Airport is always a dream, Giulietti said.

“I would love nothing more than to come here and say, ‘Yeah, we’re putting a rail line right into this airport,’ because that’s what modern cities do. That’s one of the things about which we will be working on for the future. But in the meantime we are building direct connections both from Hartford to the airport and also from Windsor Locks to the airport,” he said.

“We can have a regular service with a bus that will make a direct connection by entering directly to provide the fastest possible service at this time whether we opt for a rapid transit bus or rail connection in the future. “

The return of Enfield station is one step in that process of increasing connectivity and reducing the need for cars in the state, Giulietti said.

Enfield station will be intermodal, with passengers able to transfer to other rail services as well as the state bus system, Courtney said. An additional $2.5 million has been provided through a federal allotment and will help make the project intermodal, he said.

“It will be an intermodal project, not just a station. People literally won’t have to get into an automobile to experience the benefits of this service,” Courtney said. “This is a competitive grant. It’s almost ruthless because there are so many candidates across the country looking for a limited pot of money. For each award, there were five nominations from across the country.

While the $32 million will all go to Enfield station, officials hope to secure funds to build four more stations across the state: at Windsor, Windsor Locks, West Hartford and North Haven, as well as Enfield. , Blumenthal said.

“They’re going to be on a rail transport map in a much bigger way, allowing for the kind of development you see here,” he said.

The increase in federal funds received for transportation in Connecticut is partly due to the state’s investment in improving its transportation and infrastructure, Murphy said.

“We’re able to win federal grants at a pretty dizzying rate for transportation projects in Connecticut because the DOT and the White House know that money will be well spent in Connecticut and will be matched by dollars. of the state,” Murphy said.

[email protected]

This story and title are updated to correct that the new Enfield station is budgeted at $32 million, with four more new stations in the planning stages.

Source link

James H. Wright