Lawmakers hear public opinion on rail bypass plan - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lawmakers hear public opinion on rail bypass plan

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Amtrak train (WFSB file photo) Amtrak train (WFSB file photo)

Federal railroad regulators want to replace a bridge over the Connecticut River from Old Saybrook to Old Lyme.

The Federal Rail Administration's controversial plan is to go diagonally over the Connecticut River to Old Lyme, which includes going through some neighborhoods.

'All Aboard Amtrak' is the slogan, but not everybody is so on board. 

The line would run parallel with Interstate 95 northbound in Old Lyme, crossing the Connecticut River, taking out neighborhoods and cutting through the heart of parts of Old Lyme's historic district.

It would also go right through some residential neighborhoods forcing homeowners to relocate. It is targeted for completion in 2040.

On Monday, people spoke out about putting the breaks on the plan altogether or to try to come up with alternative plans as well.

Opponents asked lawmakers to join their fight to keep the trains away.

“The potential negative effects of the Kenyan to Old Saybrook bypass are wide-spanning and potentially devastating in nature,” said Lisa Konicki, of Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce.

One of the issues those who oppose the proposal, they say the lack of transparency by the FRA.

The $120 billion project is expected to make trips faster by upgrading bridges and tunnels, realigning tracks and shifting some of the routes

By saving 30 minutes in travel between Washington D.C. to Boston, but those against the project say, at what cost.

"We'd make sure that you guys are fully aware of what the impact of this FRA is going to do to our state’s economic development and that two-mile stretch where that existing line is,” said Chris Reagan.

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