CT’s Costly Complex Completes Committee Agenda

The Constitution State is expected to bond $100 million toward the upgrade of the New Haven rail yard complex next week, following a lower-than-expected bid for one major element, and the promise of federal funding, according to an October 24 posting on nhregister.com (serving New Haven, CT).  Republican Governor Matilda Jodi Rell put the item on Friday’s Bond Commission meeting.

The improved complex (which, understandably, became a source of contention after the original price of $300 million ballooned to $1.2 billion) will service the new fleet of 300 M8 rail cars for the Metro-North line, with the first eight cars set to arrive (in CT) over the next 4 months from Japan-based Kawasaki.

Good news for Rell and CT – bids for the 293,000-square-foot “change-out” shop ( a maintenance shop for the trains), came in at $124.8 million, less than half the $261 million estimate made by Hill International.  Additionally, the federal government has agreed to pledge $29.9 million in stimulus money toward the cost. (There were a total of 5 bids submitted for the change-out shop, with the highest coming in at $172.95 million.)

“These new cars, together with the maintenance facilities, are the centerpiece of the unprecedented transportation initiative I proposed in 2005. To keep to our timetable, it is critical that we move forward with work on the ‘change-out’ shop as soon as possible,” Rell said in a statement. Once the low bid is awarded, the work is set to start this winter and completed in late 2012.

Connecticut’s Department of Transportation said construction of the change-out shop will entail a total of 100 jobs created or maintained because of the project.

The complex will include room for 13 cars on 3 tracks with overhead cranes and floor lifts, support shops, parts storage facilities, offices and a security suite.

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