Connecticut will issue $200 million in bonds for the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Rail Line in the hopes of winning an equivalent federal high-speed rail grant, the Hartford Courant reported last week. While the article focuses on a communication mixup between the governor and Senate Democrats, the decision to bond is supported by Gov. Rell, House Speaker Chris Donovan, and Senate President Donald Williams — a good sign for the project.
The state’s decision to ante up its own money comes as the August 6 deadline for the second round of high-speed rail grants approaches. Earlier this year, USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood praised the state for “having its act together,” and the federal government has generally rewarded those states which are willing to share the costs of projects. Connecticut received $40 million towards the project in January.
The total cost of the project is roughly $900 million. State officials envision commuter service running between New Haven and Springfield, Mass. every 15-30 minutes during peak hours, and the project is also key to regional intercity rail plans linking Montreal, Boston, and New York City. ConnDOT will hold a public meeting on July 29 at 6 pm at Hartford Union Station to discuss the New England regional rail vision and how the project fits in with that plan.
Image: Via ConnDOT.