Governor Dannel Malloy’s office today announced the release of $40 million in federal funding that was previously allocated to Connecticut for high speed rail – just before the federal government closes its doors. Had the funds not been released by April 8, they would have been subject to "recapture" by the Federal Railroad Administration and Connecticut would have forfeited the money.
The money will be used to double-track ten miles of existing track between Newington and Meriden, which is necessary for the full New Haven-to-Springfield rail line to move forward.
Update: According to Senator Blumenthal’s office and the CT Department of Transportation, it took almost a year and a half for Amtrak, the State of Connecticut, and the FRA to finalize an agreement about each party’s obligations under the grant. FRA was never designed to be a grantmaking authority, but to its credit that organization transformed into one almost overnight as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Clarification: This award is unrelated to the high speed rail funding rejected by Florida, a share of which is now sought by Connecticut and 23 other states.
Resource: For maps, more information and updates visit the new site at http://www.nhhsrail.com/
From the Governor’s Press Release:
GOV. MALLOY ANNOUNCES $40 MILLION FOR HIGH SPEED RAIL FUNDS RELEASED TO CONNECTICUT
(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that $40 million in previously allocated stimulus funding was released today to Connecticut. Governor Malloy spoke at length with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood about this when they met last month. While the funding for high speed rail was previously allocated, if not actually released to Connecticut by April 8, the state would have lost the money altogether.
"There was a very clear deadline by which we needed to have these funds released, and I wasn't about to let $40 million in money for our state go somewhere else," said Governor Malloy. "When I spoke with Secretary LaHood, I made our state's case clearly and asked for his help cutting through the red tape to make sure that we got this money released to Connecticut by the deadline. I'd like to thank Secretary LaHood for his help on this matter, and I look forward to working with him closely on high speed rail and other transportation issues of import to the state."
"High-speed rail will open up a new world of economic opportunities for Connecticut," said Secretary LaHood. "The Administration's initial $40 million investment in upgrading the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail line will create jobs now and help ensure that in years to come, Connecticut residents will have access to world class high-speed rail service and economic opportunities throughout New England."
The $40 million in previously allocated funds will be used to double-track ten miles of existing track between Newington and Meriden, which is necessary for the full New Haven-to-Springfield rail line to move forward.