The state is moving ahead with plans to see a new north side platform and a kiss and ride drop-off at the Branford train station.

The improvements continue after a new parking lot was created last year. 272 additional parking spaces were officially made available at the Branford train station in June of 2011 that raised the overall size of the lot to just under 500 spaces.

Bidding for a new north side platform and additional work will begin this summer. The project will include a “kiss and ride,” a circular area that makes it convenient to drop off travelers. The parking lot that currently is in disrepair on Meadow and Rogers streets will be refinished, and a walkway will be created connecting it to the station.  

The project will include an elevator and new pedestrian overpass.

Work is scheduled to start November 5, 2012.

The project is part of an effort to improve the railways between New Haven and New London, and the project is expected to run concurrently with improvements to the Guilford station as well.

The bonding approval took place in February 2011 and includes over 60 million dollars. In addition to the $16.5 million for Branford, $7.3 million will go toward Guilford platform extensions, and $11 million for the electrification of railway sidings between Guilford and Old Saybrook. 

The high level platform construction on the north sides of the train stations is a critical next step toward the ultimate goal of providing regular bi-directional service between New Haven and New London.   Ridership on the Shoreline East line has increased 4.6% in 2010 compared to 2009.

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(16) comments

Anonymous

Why do we need a pedestrian walkway when Maple Street is right there? What a useless waste of money.

apaecht

Additional parking from the other side of maple. It makes complete sense because they cannot build more parking spaces on the other side. I have been saying this for so many years. It's going to work great

Anonymous

Or we could've built an single island platform between the tracks serving both sides from the start and solved all these problems.

Still, I support improving our rail service, but someone should've figured this out earlier.

Anonymous

to Anonymous who posted at 11:13 am on Wed, Aug 1, 2012:

To have built a center platform would have required moving tracks that had been in place for decades, except that there are wetlands immediately adjacent to the tracks. good idea in theory perhaps, but just not practical given the configuration of the space.

It's ironic, there used to be parking on Maple Street years ago, back when the platform was there.

A station on the north side of the tracks will help by allowing trains running in either direction to stop in Branford.

Anonymous

what a waste of money.

Anonymous

The north side platform makes sense, we could really use it.

However, the kiss-n-ride does not make much sense (it will be on the wrong side of the tracks for most commuters, both in mornings and in evenings, unless they re-route the trains).

Building an overpass when the Maple Street bridge is already right there?

Did the people who drew up the plans even visit the site?

Anonymous

When will construction begin?!! It's almost June 2013 and I have not seen any movement since this artcile came out, July 2012. What is the town of Branford doing-sitting on their thumbs!

Anonymous

There is a construction trailer headquarters in the parking lot that was placed there about six weeks ago.

One of the regular passengers on SLE said that he had heard that the station construction projects were following Amtrak timetable and that they were starting work at the east end of the line and moving west from there.

Anonymous

anyone have any idea of the timetable on the construction? I've tried searching online, but no one has written about it yet...

Anonymous

It's September 2015-when is this project going to be completed? I never see construction workers out there. wasn't it supposed to be done by the end of Spring 2015??! Is there a new timeline on this? All the articles I've seen in the papers are from September 2014. Is end of summer 2016 the new target completion date?

Anonymous

Typical State Job, takes twice as long and cost twice as much as estimated.

Asiseeit

The train station and the Stony Creek Brewery started construction at approximately the same time. The Brewery which appears to be a much larger project in scope than the railroad station was completed a year ago and is now open for business with tens of thousands of happy beer guzzling patrons. On the other hand, commuters still await for the new platform to open after three years and counting. I am hoping that it will open within the next several years. At that time... we will get a chance to see all of our politicians in actions for their photo op and taking credit for such a boondoggled project.

Anonymous

asiseeit: You have hit the nail on the head with that comment! Political projects are commonly stretched out for years to slowly suck out as much money as possible. The bridge on Schoolground Road took two years and put some businesses out of business. Just watch the scaffolding on our nation's capital to see how long a government roof job takes!

Peter Black

If you count planning time, the School Ground Road bridge took 2 years, or more. Actual construction took about eight months, as expected, from about April to about October. It was under budget as well. Yes, a few businesses in the area struggled, but they were warned well in advance. Grace's Kitchen publicized its problems, but also the fact that it knew before signing its lease that the road would be closed.

Anonymous

Stony Creek Brewery was supposed to be operational last fall, but also had delays until its opening in March. I'm sure this brutal winter past had a lot to do with it. However, that has nothing to do with the snail's pace of the station expansion. It seems as though the guys are working mornings only, on the few days they work at all.

Anonymous

People are not commenting upon delays during the planning phase. The actual construction phase is well behind schedule, they have already missed two targeted deadlines for completion and are nowhere near done. The harsh winter weather is only a minor factor.

For example, when they first erected the temporary ramp, it took four days (!!) to put the railings on: one day to lay out the railings, and then three days to fasten the railings to the posts. Three people with power screwdrivers could easily have fastened all the railings in one day.

On days when the construction crew does show up, they start work around 8 and are done for the day around 2. It is a standing joke among regular riders that "work" on this station is a long-term career opportunity; it is almost like they are deliberately dragging it out to make it last as long as they can!

It is possible that the crew is spending time on several stations rather than this one, but trying to find ANY information about this project seems difficult.

This station does not need water, sewer, nor natural gas. Yet it is taking far longer than the brewery.

One wonders what kind of oversight is being exercised, and how many "no-show" jobs are guaranteed to political supporters. It is not uncommon for state employees to be paid by the state for work that they do for their union, for example; state employees routinely spend time during their "working" day on political campaign activity.

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