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US-based Amtrak plans to begin the procurement phase early next year for building a new Connecticut River Bridge.

The company aims to recruit a contractor to construct the new bridge, which will be delivered through the design-bid-build delivery method.

Plans are on to award the contract by the end of next year for the project, which is part of an over $500m investment from Amtrak, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

The chosen contractor will also be responsible for any environmental mitigation needed by the permitting/NEPA process.

This bridge replacement will help lower delays for travellers as trains will operate on more modern infrastructure.

First constructed in 1907, the Connecticut River Bridge is situated on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) between the towns of Old Saybrook and Old Lyme.

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This bridge is used by Amtrak, CTRail’s Shore Line East, and freight trains.

The scope of the project includes the construction of a two-track, electrified, and movable bridge structure fitted with a new track, signal, catenary, power, communication, controls, and security features.

This new bridge is anticipated to have a useful life of 150 years, said the company.

Construction on the project is scheduled to begin in early 2024.

Amtrak capital delivery executive vice president Laura Mason said: “Building a new Connecticut River Bridge is one of several projects Amtrak is advancing that signifies we’re in a new era for rail.

“We thank our partners for their support, and we look forward to awarding the contract so we can get shovels in the ground for a project that will improve reliability of the NEC and train travel in Connecticut and beyond.”