US national rail company Amtrak will soon begin work on a new Connecticut River Bridge for its Northeast Corridor (NEC) after awarding the construction contract to a joint venture between O&G Industries and Tutor Perini

The $1.3bn project will see the erection of a new two-track bridge to replace the existing 1,500ft (450 metre) structure between Old Saybrook and Old Lyme in Connecticut built in 1907 and reaching the end of its service life. 

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said: “Maintaining infrastructure that is capable of safely and efficiently transporting people and goods throughout our region is critical for the economic growth of our state. 

“This new bridge will ensure that rail service can continue in Connecticut for many years to come.” 

Work on the bridge is part of Amtrak’s wider refurbishment and modernisation of the NEC, and is primarily funded by a federal grant of $826.64m from the $10bn package awarded to Amtrak for the NEC project. 

Following the awarding of contracts, construction on the moveable bridge is now set to begin later this year in the US’s late summer to early autumn with the design stage for the bridge now 100% complete. 

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The new bridge will allow trains to run faster across the river with a speed limit of 70mph, compared to the 45mph limit on the current bridge, and has been designed with additional vertical clearance to improve maritime navigation through the river. 

Federal Railroad Administrator (FRA) Amit Bose said: “The FRA is investing billions in the Northeast Corridor and Connecticut with Fed State-NEC grants supporting nine projects in the State, including the Connecticut River Bridge replacement project, which will reduce disruptions, allow for increased speeds and improve travel times for riders.”

Other NEC projects that received federal funding in the recent package include the multi-billion dollar Frederick Douglass tunnel and the Susquehanna River Rail Bridge in Maryland.