Transportation & Infrastructure
More on Transportation & Infrastructure
July 12, 2017 Press Release
“The welcome demise of the misguided and poorly conceived plan to realign railway tracks through communities across the southeastern Connecticut shoreline is a testament to the grass roots effort and perseverance of local residents and town leaders,” said Courtney. “From the start, the creation of a new bypass was a proposal untethered from reality. Whether it was the plan’s exorbitant cost without a funding source, the disruption ‘Kenyon Bypass’ would cause from Old Lyme to New London to Stonington, the mere existence of this map cast a cloud of uncertainty and doubt across a region with a history and environment as rich and valuable as any place in our nation. Throughout the FRA’s process of developing this plan, I have been clear that no proposal should move forward without the advice and consent of the state of Connecticut and of our shoreline communities."
April 19, 2017 Press Release
“The vote to approve the final plan to redevelop the Norwich Hospital site is a strong affirmation of years of hard work by the Town of Preston,” said Courtney. “The collaboration to redevelop this site will provide an enormous boost not just for Preston but for the larger southeastern Connecticut region. First Selectman Bob Congdon deserves recognition for his steady leadership throughout this process and for getting the project to this point. The decision to collaborate with the Mohegan Tribe, whose roots in the area go back centuries, shows an enduring commitment to working with regional partners. I am also proud that my office was part of the team that obtained federal brownfields grant funding from the EPA in 2012 and 2014 to help pay for the environmental cleanup necessary to lay the groundwork for development at this site.”
April 6, 2017 Press Release
“This legislation will finally provide state governments with the option to enter into public-private partnerships to pay for the maintenance and upkeep of highway rest stops while providing improved amenities to the public,” said Courtney. “The 1956 law that currently blocks the creation of full-service rest stops creates a difficult financial situation for already cash-strapped states. Our bill will allow for public-private partnerships that will cover the cost of providing public restrooms while giving travelers options for food services and convenience shops. I look forward to working with Rep. Banks to build bipartisan support for his common sense alternative.”
February 10, 2017 Press Release
“The letter I received from House appropriations today makes it perfectly clear that there is simply no money being provided to FRA for implementation of their NEC FUTURE plan, including the so-called Kenyon Bypass,” said Courtney. “My office has confirmed with both majority and minority appropriations staff that there is no funding under current law, or under the transportation bill already passed in the House for FY 2017 for FRA to implement the NEC FUTURE rail plan. I will continue to work with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to ensure that no funding is made available now or in the future for FRA to implement any upgrades which harms communities here in southeastern Connecticut.”
December 16, 2016 Press Release
"The FRA's report released today continues to ignore strong and consistent concerns expressed by the State of Connecticut and local citizens about the eastern shoreline realignment plans... we will continue to do all we can to remove this bypass from the final FRA plan in order to provide our communities with the certainty they deserve. Should the FRA continue in its pursuit of its proposed alignment, we will work to ensure that Connecticut exercises every tool at its disposal at the state and federal levels to stop any effort to move forward with this misguided plan."
“I am very pleased that EPA has finalized its rule establishing a new Eastern Long Island Sound dredging disposal site,” said Courtney “This eagerly awaited step is the result of years of intensive scientific study, robust public engagement and advocacy by a wide range of interests in the region, and I firmly believe that the final product reflects the balanced approach that we all know is needed. The need for this site could not be any clearer, with activities ranging from small marinas to commercial maritime transportation and military facilities like Submarine Base New London all relying on access to a long term placement site for dredged materials. The final plan also moved the site to avoid obstructing the route used by Naval submarines while traveling to and from the Port of New London. The new site is also now located entirely within Connecticut waters demonstrating that the hearing and comment period which included hundreds of letters and testimony from the public on both sides of the Sound was incorporated. Completion of this process is absolutely vital to eastern Connecticut’s economy, and I thank the EPA for its diligent work for getting this site done.”
“The federal TIGER funding I helped secure proved critical in the effort to leverage matching funds from private industry in order to get this project underway,” said Courtney. “After the rail line upgrades are completed, it will greatly expand the freight capacity of the eastern Connecticut rail network. That is an enormous increase from the current capacity and will allow the Port of New London to greatly expand the amount of freight cargo that can be shipped in and sent out by rail across the region. This development is bound to expand industry and create new jobs across eastern Connecticut as shipping expands. I want to thank the U.S. Department of Transportation, ConnDOT and the New England Central Rail for their continuing commitment to getting this done.“
September 29, 2016 Press Release
“The Old Stonington Wharf is an historic treasure and the town deserves the chance to restore it for future generations to enjoy,” said Courtney. “Unfortunately, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has allowed this historic landmark to deteriorate over the years without regular maintenance and repairs. I applaud the hard working local officials including Task Force Chair Peter Tacy, Stonington First Selectman Rob Simmons and retiring State-Senator Andy Maynard, for putting a plan of action in place to get the work done. I was pleased that the House passed my amendment today, and I will continue to press my colleagues in the House and Senate to make sure it is included in the final version after the bills have been conferenced."
“The final rule issued yesterday establishing new restrictions on the use of the Central and Western Long Island Sound Dredged Material Disposal Sites goes a long way toward protecting the environment while advancing Connecticut’s maritime economic interests. Long Island Sound waterways contribute more than $9 billion annually to our economic output in the region and maintaining navigable shipping channels is critical to the long-term health of our state’s economy. From the submarine base in Groton to family-owned marinas up and down our coast, thousands of residents across our state depend on reliable access to local waterways for their livelihoods. We are pleased that the amended restrictions announced yesterday prioritize disposing of dredged materials on land to mitigate any harm to the environment and the region’s fish and shellfish stocks. EPA was able to strike the right balance between ensuring our maritime economy continues to thrive while protecting both the scenic beauty and biological diversity of the Sound.”
March 10, 2016 Press Release
“This was a great opportunity to speak directly with local selectmen, fire chiefs, nonprofits, and other community leaders from across the district about the benefits of working with the USDA-Rural Development program,” said Courtney. “All too often, rural communities do not have access to the credit necessary to begin long-term projects like bridges, schools, or municipal complexes, and these loans and grants provided through the USDA ensure eastern Connecticut towns do not get left behind. During the reauthorization of the Farm Bill in 2014, I worked hard to maintain rural development eligibility in Connecticut by ensuring the definition of rural included small communities in Eastern Connecticut. I want to thank all of our local leaders who came out to learn more about the grant program, and I look forward to working with them to obtain additional grant funding for our district this year.”