Connecticut River Bridge
The Connecticut River Bridge, between Old Saybrook and Old Lyme, CT carries Amtrak and Shore Line East trains. Completed in 1907, it is the oldest movable bridge between New Haven, CT and Boston, MA.
The bridge’s movable span is a Bascule design in which one end is raised up to allow boats to pass. By law, the bridge must remain open from May through September for recreational boats to pass and closes only when trains approach. A century of operation in a marine environment, coupled with age of the structure has taken its toll and speeds are restricted to 45 mph. Many key elements of the bridge have reached the end of their design life and require extensive maintenance to remain in operable condition. The frequent opening and closing of the bridge – over 3,000 times per year – puts high demands on its aging components, increasing maintenance costs for Amtrak and reducing reliability for both railway and marine traffic.
Amtrak currently plans to replace the Connecticut River Bridge. An Environmental Assessment (EA) and Preliminary Design has been completed, awaiting Federal Railroad Administration approval. The new design and configuration of a replacement bridge would aim to improve reliability and offer higher speeds for Amtrak and Shore Line East trains. Amtrak will progress Final Design over the next two years, however, there are no identified funding sources for construction.
- Improved Reliability
- Higher Speeds
- Improved Rail and Maritime Operations
- Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT)