Washington, DC – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4), Stamford Mayor Mike Pavia, and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch announced today that the U.S. House Appropriations Committee has approved $1 million for completion of the Stamford Urban Transitway and $450,000 for the construction of Bridgeport’s Congress Street Bridge.

“Even in tough economic times, investing in our local infrastructure is absolutely critical,” said Himes. “Both of these projects improve access to the cities’ downtowns, which will help local businesses thrive and create jobs.”

The Stamford Urban Transitway is the centerpiece of Stamford’s effort to connect the Stamford Transportation Center with its Amtrak, regional rail, and commuter bus facilities. Himes and Pavia recently announced a $16 million grant for the second phase of the Stamford Urban Transitway. Along with local funding, this $1 million is likely to provide the necessary funds to complete the project.

“Congressman Himes’ critical leadership in securing what we see as the final dollars to complete the Stamford Urban Transitway strengthens the future of Stamford’s economic growth,” said Pavia. “The Transitway is a key component of Stamford’s expanding transit-oriented development.”

Once completed, the Transitway will increase access to public transportation, improve deteriorated air quality, and open the south waterfront to a $4 billion brownfields revitalization and mixed-use redevelopment now underway. The Transitway will connect several regional transportation facilities with bus, high occupancy vehicle, vehicle, and bicycle and pedestrian lanes. Improvements will also be made to sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and surrounding roads.

The Congress Street Bridge once connected Bridgeport’s east side with downtown, but over a decade ago, the drawbridge became unsafe to operate and was left in the upward position. During his first year in Congress, Himes secured funding to demolish the bridge, the first step toward reconnecting the east side with the rest of the city. This appropriation is the first federal funding secured to rebuild the bridge.

“I applaud Congressman Himes’ continued efforts to secure funds for the rebuilding of the Congress Street Bridge,” said Finch. “There is still much to be done, but thanks to the Congressman we are closer to achieving this goal than ever before.”