WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) and local leaders announced two transportation grants today totaling $1.25 million for communities in Southwest Connecticut. Stamford will receive $850,000 to replace the closed West Main Street Bridge with a pedestrian bridge to enhance access to Downtown Stamford and the Stamford Transportation Center. Weston will receive $400,000 to accelerate reconstruction of the Route 57 Bridge over the Saugatuck River.

“With bridges in disrepair and thousands of construction workers out of jobs, this is the right funding at the right time to both put people back to work and keep travelers and pedestrians safe,” Himes said. “As we work to reorder federal spending, we need to prioritize investment like this that creates jobs in the short term while fulfilling our long-term transportation and infrastructure needs.”

Weston’s grant was awarded through the Department of Transportation’s Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment Program, which provides funding for innovative designs, materials, and construction methods for bridge repairs. Weston’s project will use a new bridge replacement technology known as “Bridge in Backpack,” a lightweight system of arch tubes that are easily transportable and do not require the heavy equipment needed to handle the weight of traditional construction materials. This will improve safety and minimize traffic congestion during the shortened construction period.

“Weston residents are eager to see investments in our town that will make a long-term impact, and this funding will accelerate much needed bridge repair, reduce the burden of construction during the project, and keep travelers safe in the long run,” said Weston First Selectwoman Gayle Weinstein. “I want to thank Congressman Himes for his work on transportation issues and his efforts to bring funding to every town he represents.”

Stamford’s grant was awarded through the Department of Transportation’s Transportation, Community and System Preservation Program, which provides funding for improving the efficiency of the U.S. transportation system to reduce the environmental impact and enhance access to jobs. Construction of the new West Main Street Bridge will connect the West Side Neighborhood with employment, educational, recreational, and transit opportunities in the downtown area.