Stam­ford train sta­tion gets $22.9M for im­prove­ments

Greenwich Time - - NEWS - By Barry Lyt­ton barry.lyt­[email protected]­for­dad­vo­cate.com; 203-964-2263; @bg­lyt­ton

STAM­FORD — A com­bined $22.9 mil­lion will be put to work next year im­prov­ing the Stam­ford Trans­porta­tion Cen­ter’s el­e­va­tors, es­ca­la­tors how peo­ple nav­i­gate the sta­tion.

The money, from a $9.2 mil­lion fed­eral grant and a match­ing state grant of $13.7 mil­lion, is an­other part­ing gift to The City that Works from Gov. Dan­nel P. Mal­loy, a long­time mayor who will be leav­ing the Gover­nor’s Man­sion next month.

The state in re­cent months put in mo­tion two other large long-term im­prove­ments around the sta­tion.

The state Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion plans to build a new $100 mil­lion park­ing garage nearby on South State Street and will re­place the rail­road’s over­pass on At­lantic Street for an­other $75 mil­lion, ad­ding a lane for lo­cal trains.

The new grant is wel­come news to Con­necti­cut Com­muter Rail Coun­cil Vice Chair­man Jef­frey Maron, who said he of­ten sees lost train riders wan­der­ing the sta­tion in search of the right line.

“We’re glad to take it,” he said. “I’d love it if they spend even $5 on sig­nage.”

Maron said “sig­nage is prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant.”

It is un­clear, how­ever, what ex­actly up­grades to the “in­ter­nal cir­cu­la­tion sys­tem” means, and what the grant will fund. DOT spokesman Judd Ever­hart said in an email that “the up­grades are de­signed to im­prove flow within the fa­cil­ity through faster and more re­li­able peo­ple-mov­ing equip­ment.

“Other en­hance­ments to the Stam­ford Trans­porta­tion Cen­ter are be­ing ex­plored as part of a multi-phased pro­gram, but we do not have specifics at this time.”

Al­though the state is pick­ing up most of the bill on the up­grades, Mal­loy shared a good deal of credit in a news re­lease with the state’s fed­eral del­e­ga­tion and its abil­ity to de­liver a grant of nearly $10 mil­lion.

“I’ve been on a cru­sade to trans­form our trans­porta­tion sys­tem in Con­necti­cut,” said Sen. Chris Mur­phy, D-Conn. “The Stam­ford sta­tion is the sec­ond-busiest sta­tion on the New Haven line.

“Up­grad­ing the sta­tion to serve even more com­muters is a big deal for Fair­field County. I’ll keep fight­ing to make our rail lines faster and more re­li­able.”

Sen. Richard Blu­men­thal, DConn., said “re­li­able es­ca­la­tors, el­e­va­tors and light­ing will trans­form this key trans­porta­tion hub for trav­el­ers re­gion-wide. It will spur eco­nomic growth and new jobs and re­duce traf­fic con­ges­tion and pol­lu­tion.”

The money will fund up­grades to 17 es­ca­la­tors and sev­eral el­e­va­tors, which will en­sure the sta­tion can op­er­ate in a state of good re­pair for the next 25 years and be­yond, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease.

The DOT will ad­min­is­ter the grant, and con­struc­tion on the im­prove­ments is ex­pected to be­gin next year.

In ad­di­tion, and in­de­pen­dent of this project, the DOT launched a multi-year im­prove­ment ini­tia­tive that in­cludes canopy, light­ing, re­stroom and com­mu­ni­ca­tions up­grades, the re­lease said.

“Taken to­gether, the up­grades will im­prove the re­li­a­bil­ity and speed of move­ment in the sta­tion, re­duce the risk of se­vere de­lays, ac­cess im­ped­i­ments, and in­juries to trav­el­ers,” it added.

Matthew Brown / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Gov. Dan­nel P. Mal­loy an­nounced Fri­day a $9.2 mil­lion fed­eral grant and a match­ing state grant of $13.7 mil­lion will help fund im­prove­ments at the Stam­ford train sta­tion.

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