WNPR

Fairfield County Leaders Share Concerns Over Railroad's Future

Aug 16, 2017
Originally published on August 16, 2017 1:47 pm

Elected officials from Fairfield County met with U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., on Tuesday to share concerns about the future of high speed rail in the Northeast.

Representatives from Greenwich, Norwalk, Darien, Westport and Stamford met in that city to talk about the Federal Railroad Administration’s proposal to build a faster rail line that could cut through their towns from Westchester, New York, to Westport, Connecticut.

James Redeker, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation,  told officials that the towns have nothing to worry about because the bypass is just a proposal. He says the state would have to start a project.

“Nobody’s building anything. Nobody plans to build anything. And the federal government doesn’t do that. So they may have an idea. A vision of a future. But they don’t build projects.”

Redeker says the federal plan prioritizes funding projects to fix the existing railroads, over building new tracks. He says as long as he is commissioner, the State Department of Transportation has no plans to authorize a Fairfield County bypass project.

Blumenthal noted that he will share residents’ concerns in D.C., because Redeker is employed under Governor Dannel Malloy’s administration. Malloy will not run for re-election next fall.

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