Connecticut River Bridge
The new bridge will improve the bridge’s functionality and serviceability to a useful life of 150 years, a far greater period than the current bridge’s 100-year useful life.
The Connecticut River Bridge Replacement Project is scheduled to replace the existing 107-year-old bridge between Old Saybrook and Old Lyme, CT. The existing bridge was opened in 1907, it is the oldest rolling lift bascule span bridge between New Haven, CT, and Boston, MA, which is on the North End of the Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC).
The bridge spans the Connecticut River 3.4 miles north of the mouth of the Long Island Sound and is utilized by Amtrak’s Acela and Northeast Regional service; by the P&W (Providence and Worcester Railroad), a Class II freight railroad; and by the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s (CTDOT) Shore Line East (SLE) service. Approximately 38 Amtrak trains, 12 CTDOT (SLE) trains, and six P&W trains travel across the bridge each weekday, a total of 56 trains per day.
The bridge has a movable span that is raised up to allow boats to pass. The CONN River Bridge fails to open and close properly, which has led to cascading delays to rail and maritime traffic. Due to its age and deteriorated condition, the operational reliability of the existing bridge is at high risk. A full replacement of Amtrak’s existing Connecticut River Bridge will have two-track, electrified railroad movable bridge, steel through-truss trunnion bascule span; a ballasted, steel pan on steel beams deck span; nine ballasted, reinforced concrete deck on steel girder approach spans; and at-grade approaches that tie into the existing railroad. The new bridge will be built along a new southern alignment, with an offset of 52 feet from centerline of the existing bridge to the centerline of the new bridge. The most notable potential improvement is on the lift span itself, where the existing miter rails limit speeds to 45 mph. The improvement to 70 mph afforded by a more modern miter rail design will be a marked improvement: however, speed restrictions on the curves on either side of Connecticut River Bridge must be optimized where practicable to attain the most benefit possible from the bridge speed improvements.
Amtrak hired a 3rd Party Consultant to design the new bridge. The design is currently at 90% design level. An Environmental Assessment (EA) and Preliminary Design has been completed, awaiting Federal Railroad Administration and several pre-permitting approvals.
- Improved reliability
- Higher speeds
- Improved rail and maritime operations
- Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT)
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