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12/4/2018 - Mayor Ganim, Bridgeport State Representatives Announce Nearly $12 Million of Bridgeport Infrastructure and Economic Development Projects on State Bond Commission Agenda

Mayor Joseph P. Ganim
Bridgeport, CT

For Immediate Release 
December 4, 2018

For More information:
Av Harris (203) 814-7992

Press Release

Mayor Ganim, Bridgeport State Representatives Announce Nearly $12 Million of Bridgeport Infrastructure and Economic Development Projects on State Bond Commission Agenda
Agenda Items Include Nearly $4 Million for Reconstruction of Congress Street Bridge, $1 Million for Demolition of Former Remington Industrial Site, and $7 Million for Improvements to Sikorsky Airport

Bridgeport, CT – Mayor Joe Ganim and Bridgeport State Representatives are announcing that the state bond commission agenda released today includes a total of $11.7 Million in key infrastructure and economic development projects for the city of Bridgeport. Items on the agenda include $3,700,000 for reconstruction of the Congress Street Bridge, $1,000,000 to assist the demolition of the former Remington Arms industrial site, and $7,000,000 for needed infrastructure improvements to the city-owned Sikorsky airport, matching an anticipated private investment in the regional facility. The state bond commission is expected to vote on these items at its next meeting Tuesday December 11, 2018.

“I want to praise the administration of Governor Malloy for working with the city of Bridgeport to place these critical items on the bond commission agenda, sharing our vision for much needed economic progress that will benefit our entire region for years,” said Mayor Ganim. “Bridgeport has a significant opportunity to leverage these state investments with private dollars to create a new regional transportation hub, get eyesores demolished to clear land for development, and rebuild a bridge to improve public safety and reconnect the East Side of Bridgeport with our rapidly developing downtown. I also want to thank the hard work of Congressman Jim Himes and Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy for their efforts on the federal level to finally make it possible to replace a bridge that has sat broken for decades with one that will significantly ease the flow of commercial, residential and emergency traffic in the center of our city.”

Bridgeport State Representatives Ezequiel Santiago (D-130), Jack Hennessy (D-127), Steve Stafstrom (D-129), Chris Rosario (D-128), Andre Baker (D-124), and Charlie Stallworth (D-126) released the following statement regarding the items’ placement on the bond commission agenda:

“For far too long, Bridgeport’s potential as an economic driver went ignored. With the release of today’s Bond Commission agenda, we take another big step in reversing that trend. With major state investments in our airport, reconnecting the city across the Congress Street Bridge, making the city resilient from the next coastal storm, cleaning blighted property and improving technology infrastructure, we are making sure Bridgeport is ready to compete for jobs and economic opportunity. We want to thank Governor Malloy for his leadership and support in rebuilding Bridgeport over these past eight years.”

As a candidate for Mayor in 2015, Ganim pledged to rebuild the Congress Street bridge that has sat broken since the existing drawbridge got stuck in the upright position in 1997. Following a federal designation this year with the leadership of Senators Blumenthal and Murphy and 4th District Congressman Jim Himes, Congress declared the river north of the bridge a non-
Congress Street Bridge, Bridgeport
navigable waterway for commercial boat traffic. As such, the new bridge can be a fixed span and does not need to open, greatly reducing the anticipated cost of bridge reconstruction. The Bridgeport City Council has approved $12 million in the city capital budget for the Congress Street bridge in each of the last two years, and the city has also applied for a federal BUILD grant for that purpose as well.

The $1,000,000 bond agenda item to aid the demolition of the iconic, blighted former Remington Arms industrial complex on Barnum Avenue will help clear the way for environmental remediation of the contaminated former munitions factory. DuPont Chemical Corporation is legally obligated to fund environmental cleanup at the former factory site once demolition is complete. This decontamination will make it possible for significant new economic development and regional job creation, breathing new life into the now defunct Remington factory space.

If the state bond commission approves investing $7,000,000 for improvements at the regional Sikorsky airport, these funds will be used to make improvements to runways and upgrade fire safety at the facility, in addition to other needed repairs. Sikorsky airport is owned by the city of Bridgeport and located just over the city line in Stratford. This state investment is expected to be matched by significant private, commercial funds in the near future that will open the door to regional passenger air service using new quiet jets that can take off and land on the existing runways without the need for any expansion. It is supported by regional city administrations in both Bridgeport and Stratford and by area lawmakers as a new convenient travel option for regional commuters and travelers.