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Amtrak sets quarterly ridership record, awards Connecticut bridge contract


In the first quarter of fiscal-year 2010, Amtrak set a ridership record of 7.2 million passengers, up 1.4 percent from the previous record of 7.1 million passengers set in FY2008. The first fiscal quarter covers the period from October to December 2009. Amtrak’s ridership totaled 7 million passengers in FY2009’s first quarter.

A record number of Thanksgiving travelers and strong December ridership fueled the fiscal quarter gain, according to Amtrak. In December, the railroad registered 2.39 million passengers vs. 2.28 million in December 2008 and 2.31 million in December 2007.

Amtrak also announced it awarded a $104.7 million contract to Cianbro/Middlesex VII to replace the 102-year-old movable bridge over the Niantic River in East Lyme, Conn. Scheduled to begin in April, the three-year project is being funded by $47.1 million from Amtrak’s annual capital program and $57.6 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The project calls for building a new two-track bridge south of the current alignment, expanding the navigation channel beneath the bridge, realigning the east and west track approaches, and relocating the Niantic Bay Overlook, including beach restoration. The existing bridge will remain in operation during construction.

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More News from 1/14/2010