Since Christmas, there has been much concern over planning for future rail service in Southeastern Connecticut and Southwestern Rhode Island. Near final plans have been released for the construction of a new and controversial rail bypass between Old Saybrook and Kenyon, RI. Additionally, the Connect...
Michael Vincent Buchanannever going to get a grade rail line on the route without upsetting property owners , history towns and tribal lands...when i take amtrak or metro north from NY to boston I think... no room for expansion of this, unless we do eminent domain..
Ana Radelat, as usual, has the must-read this morning...
What I can say, right now, is that when asked, CT DOT and FRA are mum on the nature of the private meeting and the possibility of changes to the document... there is also a public meeting in Darien this morning aimed to address significant concerns about the new track planned in Fairfield.
The plan released in December identified the Fairfield route, and the Kenyon to Saybrook Bypass, as two of the four most impactful routes along the entire corridor. In Darien and Riverside, that could mean block-wide takings through eminent domain, and 5 miles of bridge and viaduct.
Interestingly, Senators Reed and Whitehouse of Rhode Island, the two key proponents of the plan at the federal level, backed away from their support of the Bypass, requesting changes if legal, in a recent letter to the FRA. It was an odd phrasing that has everyone wondering the exact intentions of their request, but in our view, it is a very welcome and significant development which may provide a way forward for both Rhode Island and Connecticut. Reed and Whitehouse offer the outlines of a possible deal, requesting in turn assurances that Providence will not be bypassed via New Haven to Springfield to Boston. Given my own conversations with the leadership at the CT DOT, and my reading of the Massachusetts delegation, I don't think Springfield to Boston will be a sticking point.
In private conversations at the rally on Saturday in Mystic, and in communications on Friday to the CT DOT, we tried to underline the potential of such a deal, offer assurances that we would not oppose electrification on the New Haven to Springfield corridor - a concern expressed by CT DOT at the recent FRA meeting in Springfield - and that while we were adamantly opposed to the Kenyon to Old Saybrook Bypass, we are at least open to further study of the Fairfield route, if it is dropped from the record of decision.
What am I wondering right now? How flexible the FRA intends to be... I don't think Radelat knows. I don't know. We'll see... ... See MoreSee Less
WASHINGTON — In the staredown between the Federal Railroad Administration and opponents of a part of its plan in Connecticut to bring high-speed rail to the Northeast Corridor, the federal government has blinked. It has agreed to consider additional input from those concerned about the route the pla...
Dennis-Michael UnsworthWhen you say "the potential for such a deal" in regard to your conversationsations in Mystic, what exactly is "the deal" in your view? Are they considering a different option? Thanks for the updates... Much appreciated!
Speakers at the Rally included: Connecticut’s US Senator Richard Blumenthal; CT’s US Congressman Joe Courtney; Loren Spears with other Narragansett Tribal members; CT State Senators Paul Formica and Heather Somers; Rhode Island State Senator Dennis Algiere; CT State Representatives Joe De la Cruz, Chris Conley and Devin Carney; CT First Selectmen Rob Simmons of Stonington, Daniel M. Steward of...
Great crowd in Mystic this morning opposing the high-speed rail bypass... thank you Senator Richard Blumenthal, Congressman Joe Courtney, State Sen. Paul Formica, State Sen. Dennis Algiere, State Sen. Heather Somers, State Rep. Devin Carney, CT Trust executive director Daniel Mackay, Virginia Lee President of the Town Council of Charlestown, Julie Carroccia Vice President of the Town Council of Charlestown, Jamie Silvestri Town Council President of Westerly, Loren Spears from the Narragansett Tribe, First Selectman Rob Simmons of Stonington, First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder of Old Lyme, Mayor Michael Passero of New London, and our hosts and organizers Stephen Bessette, Annie Hettick, Chris Regan, and many others... ... See MoreSee Less
"This rally will be absolutely critical in galvanizing a community that is very well-founded in its opposition to a misguided proposal," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., an outspoken opponent of the FRA plan. "I've called this proposal harebrained and half-baked and that remains true. I'm hoping the new administration will heed this message."
10 a.m. this Saturday, Olde Mystick Village. We will have a heated tent and plenty of room! ... See MoreSee Less
Kim Coulter of the Stoney Hill Cattle Co. and Virginia Lee, President of the Town Council of Charlestown, RI, do a very good job of laying out the stakes. I have been working through the planning documents at my job at the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, working with lawyers from the National Trust, and while it is true that in theory some flexibility remains if this plan is approved in a few weeks, the reality is that the plan has been crafted to drop the mechanisms and legal defenses which would force such changes as this moves forward. ... See MoreSee Less
Thanks to New London Mayor Michael Passero for prepared remarks, which he presented well to the transportation committee yesterday in Hartford.
February 6, 2017
Testimony by Mayor Michael Passero on Proposed Joint House Resolution 54
On behalf of the City of New London, I submit the following testimony regarding the Northeast East Corridor (NEC) Future Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), specifically regarding the proposed Kenyon By-pass.
The City of New London clearly understands and appreciates the purpose and need for the NEC FUTURE program, and while my City fully supports improved rail service and performance throughout the Northeast Corridor and affirms that the Northeast Corridor is critical to the future economic growth of this part of the Country, we are concerned that the Kenyon By-pass alternative will have greater adverse impacts upon the City of New London than the predicted economic growth opportunities.
The FRA election to include the so-called Kenyon By-pass will disrupt existing land uses, have an adverse impact on environmental resources, and potentially reduce the number of intercity and regional trains having stops in New London and along the existing shoreline route.
The proposed section of new rail bed that cuts through New London would be especially devastating to my city. The City of New London has approximately 5.67 square miles of land and, of that small area, nearly 50% of the land is non-taxable. New London’s commercially developed land area comprises only 270 acres, approximately 7.3% of its total land. The City is one of the most densely populated cities in the State of Connecticut and provides all the municipal services of much larger cities. As such, the City struggles to maintain vital municipal services while keeping the tax burden to its property owners from being uncompetitively high. The proposed Kenyon By-pass would create a new rail corridor through New London that would wipe out a significant portion of existing tax generating property. New London simply cannot afford to lose any more taxable land.
Additionally, the Kenyon By-pass proposal circumvents the current Union Train Station in downtown New London. This train station stop is vital to our existing transportation needs, the needs of the region, and our Transit Oriented Development initiatives. It is also hugely important to the successful development and sustainability of the future $100 million National Coast Guard Museum to be located directly adjacent to and connected to Union Station. Any significant reduction in the number of passengers and train stops at this station will assuredly impact the City’s growth.
New London has begun to rebound economically with the government’s renewed investment in submarine construction and the State’s commitment to developing the City’s deep-water commercial port. Investors and developers are finally beginning to grow the City’s limited tax base. Having an ill-conceived federal proposal like the Kenyon By-pass looming over the City will negatively impact future development. New London is hopeful that the FRA will work more closely with the municipalities in Southeastern Connecticut to develop an alternative proposal that would protect New London and the other communities impacted by the Kenyon By-pass while still meeting the infrastructure improvements needed for the Northeast Corridor. Proposed Joint House Resolution 54 will greatly help our efforts to influence the FRA in this matter. ... See MoreSee Less
Warning that the proposed high-speed Amtrak line through their towns would hurt everything from tourism to water quality, local leaders from southeastern Connecticut called on state lawmakers Monday to oppose the idea.
Join Senator Blumenthal, Representative Courtney, State Sen. Heather Somers, State Sen. Paul Formica, State Rep. Devin Carney, Stonington First Selectman Rob Simmons, Greg Stroud of SECoast and CT Trust, and others as we RALLY THIS SATURDAY To Help Stop the Kenyon to Old Saybrook Bypass!
When: Saturday, February 11, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Where: Olde Mistick Village, 27 Coogan Blvd, Mystic, CT (gather at the Caboose in the north end of the parking lot)
Please voice your support for two bills which will help us oppose the Kenyon to Old Saybrook Bypass, by forcing local referenda
How? Either come to the hearing in Hartford on Monday, or email TRAtestimony@cga.ct.gov Please be sure to state your name and mention "S.B. 253 and 263" and PLEASE SHARE THIS POST!! ... See MoreSee Less
Please support this resolution to oppose the Kenyon to Old Saybrook Bypass! How? Either come to the hearing in Hartford on Monday, or email TRAtestimony@cga.ct.gov Please be sure to state your name and mention "H.J. No. 54" and PLEASE SHARE THIS POST!! ... See MoreSee Less
While he supports enhancing the region’s rail system, Marpe wrote in his letter, he is concerned the high-speed route is not along Westport and area towns’ existing tracks, potentially impacting “coastal resources,” property owners and the Saugatuck neighborhood. “Moreover, it appears that the propo...
The legislature’s Transportation Committee is hosting a public hearing on various transportation issues and State Rep. Devin Carney is encouraging constituents and local elected officials to voice their opinions and concerns. Carney represents the 23
Today I contacted the Acting Chief Counsel at FRA, among others, to clarify the significance of the January 31 deadline. I realize this is a lingering question for many of you.
In particular, I sought to clarify whether there was a legal or functional distinction between submitting comments during the waiting period, ending January 31, or after the waiting period and before the Record of Decision, expected no earlier than March 1.
I spoke with Rebecca Blatnica, one of the key officials on this issue, by phone. She was clear that there was no functional or legal difference, given that this was technically not a comment period. The waiting period was simply statutory, and they reserve the right to issue a ROD at any time after today.
She also confirmed that the FRA intends to reach a Record of Decision "as soon as possible," but does not expect one before March 1. She did not recommend waiting until the last minute. ... See MoreSee Less
This video is from the January 25, 2017 Rally at the Rhode Island State House to Drop the “Old Saybrook to Kenyon Bypass” from the Federal Railroad Administration Tier 1 Final EIS. The Rally began with the announcement by Charlestown Town Council President Virginia Lee that Governor Raimondo had jus...
New London Landmarks adds their voice to the strong stand taken by New London Mayor Michael Passero against the Kenyon to Old Saybrook Bypass. A well-written letter, and an important reminder of the potential impacts to an anchoring community for the southeastern Connecticut coast. ... See MoreSee Less
I have personally heard from hundreds of constituents who oppose the proposed realignment in Washington County, and I want them to know that I have heard their concerns and I support their community,” said Langevin. “I am a strong proponent of high-speed rail, but I believe there must be a solution that modernizes intercity passenger rail in Rhode Island without disturbing ecosystems, impingin...
"The intent of all these efforts is to shout the collective message: “We don’t want it!” The region needs to keep shouting until the FRA abandons this proposal. Thank You, New London Day! ... See MoreSee Less
Jesse Brownthese rails have already taken 40% on conn waterways from residents and
towns and thus removed the possablity of billions in revinue to date
take new london the hottest spot in new london has been affected by rail
niantic 100% affected old lyme and a small amount of saybrook so how
will more govt land grabbing help those areas
3 weeks ago
Jesse Brownoh and lets not forget the thames river both side ruined for residents
3 weeks ago
Jesse Browni would love to see this project offer a itemized list of expences
If you can do one thing for us today, it is to call your representatives in Rhode Island, and tell them that you strongly support Governor Raimondo on dropping the bypass. TODAY. Share this message. Make this call.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: (401) 453-5294 Senator Jack Reed: (401) 528-5200 Congressman Jim Langevin: (401) 732-9400 Congressman David Cicilline: (401) 729-5600 ... See MoreSee Less