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Transportation Secretary Buttigieg expected to visit New London Wednesday

He's expected to talk about the $158 million to support ongoing repairs and upgrades to the Gold Star Bridge.

NEW LONDON, Conn. — Officials are expecting a visit by U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday to talk about the $158 Million in Federal grants which were awarded for the Gold Star Bridge Rehabilitation project announced last week. 

New London Mayor Mike Passero confirmed Monday evening the city is planning for Buttigieg to be in town Wednesday. 

The federal money will support ongoing repairs and upgrades to the Gold Star Bridge which carries Interstate 95 over the Thames River. The Gold Star is one of the four bridge projects across the country receiving funding. The award is part of the department’s Bridge Investment Program, which is part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. 

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According to Gov. Ned Lamont's office, the bridge’s northbound span is the longest bridge in Connecticut, carrying five lanes of traffic and nearly 60,000 vehicles daily, and has been undergoing the first phase of an overall $407.7 million rehabilitation since 2020. The money will allow future construction phases on the northbound structure to be accelerated with the bridge fully operational at an earlier date.

“[The] announcement by the Federal Highway Administration that Connecticut’s largest passenger and truck bridge—the Thames River Gold Star Bridge—has been awarded $158 million for a long overdue rehabilitation is another example of the 2021 Infrastructure Law’s positive impact on eastern Connecticut,” said U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney. “Preliminary work at Gold Star started last summer by members of the local Ironworkers Union, and this award will ensure that follow-on structural work on the northbound lane will occur. With this upgrade, the bridge will be able to safely tolerate higher-weight vehicles, which is a benefit to all motorists, and will reduce truck traffic on local roads, which are more congested right now due to present weight restrictions. This award is a win-win for good paying jobs in the region, and safer traffic flow.”

Doug Stewart is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at dstewart@fox61.com.


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