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Transportation

The United States used to have the best highways, railways and airports in the world. Year after year, we have watched them deteriorate, at the expense of passenger safety and efficiency.  It’s time to rebuild our transportation infrastructure and instill a renewed culture of safety. 

Rebuilding our deteriorating rail and highway system will put people to work and alleviate the congestion that plagues Fairfield County. That’s why I’m proud to have voted for the FAST Act, a robust, 5-year bill to fund our roads, bridges and rail. This will mean millions of dollars for our area and will provide stability for our future planning.

Securing long-term transportation funding is absolutely essential for the continued economic security of families in Southwestern Connecticut and for our sustained growth as a state and country.

Metro North Railroad 

Perhaps nowhere in the Northeast has the lack of infrastructure investment been more apparent than along the Metro North Railroad lines.  The past years have been fraught with deadly derailments and accidents and constant service delays. The railroad needs to regain the confidence of the people who depend on it to get safely and efficiently between work and home. 

Investing in Local Transportation and Infrastructure Projects

A safe and efficient transportation infrastructure is the cornerstone of the region’s economic development:  By innovating and implementing a long-term regional vision, we can move people between work and home faster, get products to market more efficiently, provide ideal conditions for economic growth, and create jobs at the same time.

I supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act because it put Americans back to work improving the roads we use every day.  As a result of Recovery Act funds, the Merritt Parkway underwent significant improvements and can now handle more volume through Fairfield and Trumbull.  The Recovery Act also funded improvements to Metro North’s Danbury Line and upgrades to stations along the New Haven Line.  It helped Connecticut put new, cleaner buses into service for mass transit, and roads in nearly every town have been repaved and rebuilt as well.

One of the most exciting, large-scale projects in the district is the revitalization of the Steelepointe Peninsula in Bridgeport.  Thanks to an $11 million TIGER Grant from the Department of Transportation, construction for the transit-oriented mixed-use development is now well underway.  The TIGER funds are being used to construct and improve roads that are within walking distance of many forms of public transit in Bridgeport.  This sort of transit-friendly development will attract new residents, businesses and visitors to Bridgeport – not to mention a thousand new jobs.

To really kickstart job growth, our cities need to increase mass transit capacity.  I was proud to help Stamford win a multi-million dollar TIGER grant to improve access to the Stamford train station and increase its capacity.  I also helped assemble funding from the local, state and federal governments to make Norwalk’s Pulse Point bus project a reality and to give mass transit in Bridgeport a boost.  The transit hubs in both cities are expanding capacity while polluting less, and that’s good for everyone. 

Other very important projects include the replacement of the Walk Bridge in Norwalk. After several failures delaying rail traffic on the extremely busy Northeast Corridor, it became clear that the bridge’s days were numbered. I was instrumental in securing $161 million dollars for the replacement of the bridge. Senators Blumenthal, Murphy and I also worked together with state agencies to secure a $10 million TIGER grant to begin the development of an additional rail station in Bridgeport to allow more commuting options and spur economic development.

Supporting the Infrastructure Bank 

Our infrastructure investment needs are significant.  I believe that the best way to jumpstart that investment is through the public-private partnership of an infrastructure bank.  I strongly support the National Infrastructure Bank.  By providing low-cost financing, the bank will encourage badly needed investment in transportation, environmental, energy and telecommunications projects.

Envisioning the Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel

Next time you’re stuck in traffic on the interstate highway, imagine how quickly traffic would flow if half the trucks were suddenly removed from the road.  Imagine replacing them with freight trains, moving safely along the rails, making it cheaper to move goods and reducing the carbon footprint of all that freight.  

The Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel would help us accomplish just that.  At present, the only place a freight train can cross the Hudson River and pass into New England is near Albany, NY.  But a Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel through New York Harbor would help us move goods more cost-effectively and reduce highway congestion. 

I have joined other Members of Congress, mostly from the Northeast, to push for this tunnel to be built.  It’s a bold vision, but it’s a vision I embrace, as it will benefit the people of our district immeasurably.

Meet Jim

Congressman Jim Himes is a tireless voice for common-sense, independent solutions to the challenges facing Connecticut. He's looking out for the middle class, fighting for affordable health care for all, taking on special interests like the NRA to end gun violence, and working to create economic opportunity for working families.

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