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Amtrak Bridge Project Received Stimulus Funds

State officials said they didn't know if the project in Branford could have gone forward without the federal funding.

Where was the economic stimulus money that came to Connecticut spent? One place was , where it helped fund a $70 million Amtrak bridge project .

According to an NBC Connecticut report this week, state officials said the project might not have happened without the economic stimulus funding.

The news report quotes Democrats and Republicans who disagreed over the effectiveness of the 2009 economic stimulus measure.

Bill Fasula March 02, 2012 at 07:04 PM
It would be nice to know how many jobs 70 million dollars created.
Anthony Paecht March 02, 2012 at 08:06 PM
$70 Million? I would love to see the books on that expense report.
Nicole Ball March 02, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Hey Bill, I checked out the NBC story that Fred Musante, the writer here, is referencing. Looks like Tim Cooney of JFY Contracting notes that bridge project has created 80 to 100 jobs. Think that's enough? Anthony, I don't think you're alone. Anyone have more details on this project?
Bill Horne March 03, 2012 at 12:47 PM
The importance of the bridge reconstruction goes beyond the construction jobs that were supported. It will improve traffic flow in an area with one of the highest number of vehicle trips per day along the entire shoreline and it will upgrade the rail system used for both local and regional rail travel, the most efficient mode of transportation. As for jobs, commercial redevelopment of the area between Wal-Mart and West Main St. received its approval several years ago with the condition that it not be built until the needed work on the rail bridge over West Main St. was completed. Once the bridge reconstruction is done, development of the new commercial area will support more construction jobs for a while and the new businesses will also create longer term staff jobs.
Nicole Ball March 03, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Thanks for the valuable insight Bill. I think that's helpful for those (like me) who don't know the whole background and scope of the project.
Wayne Cooke March 03, 2012 at 04:20 PM
What Mr. Horne fails to mention, is that Exit 53 was approved--once the bridge was completed--for a 200,000 square foot home improvement store ONLY. In reality, however, the first selectman intends to put 700,000 square feet of stores at this two-way interchange--about five big boxes--as Exit 56, a five-way interchange, sits stagnant. All to force even more traffic onto the already-congested west side of town and keep DaRos' elitist political supporters in Stony Creek (like Bill Horne) happy. Believe about half of what Mr. Horne and other administration supporters tell you, and be skeptical of even that.
Dr. Alfred C. Whitehead March 03, 2012 at 05:50 PM
...Let's do the math: $70,000,000 dollars divided by 100 jobs = $700,000 dollars per job. One might be inclined to ask why the government is paying for a bridge that Amtrak uses. Hmmmm????? Oh yeah, I remember now, it's because Amtrak is broke and the governmnent also subsidizes Amtrak. Priceless!
Bill Fasula March 03, 2012 at 06:19 PM
I fail to see how widening the road will improve the rail system. It's projects like this, that demonstrate why the stimulus failed to make a dent in unemployment.
Dominick Onofrio July 09, 2012 at 12:52 AM
I'm sorry but you can tell it is a Government project. The Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge is being completed faster. I can't remember the last time I went by there and saw anyone working on it. Get some guys from the PHM bridge to go there for a week or two then the job will be done.

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