Overview: The Connecticut River Bridge, between Old Saybrook and Old Lyme, CT carries Amtrak and Shore Line East trains. Completed in 1907, it is the oldest movable bridge on this segment. A span in the middle tilts up to allow boats to pass. By law, the bridge must remain open from May through September for recreational boats to pass and close for a limited number of trains each day. The marine environment is corroding the bridge’s steel and, due to these structural conditions, speeds are restricted to 45 mph. Many key elements of the bridge have reached the end of their design life and require extensive maintenance to remain in operable condition. The frequent opening and closing of the bridge – over 3,000 times per year – puts high demands on its aging components, increasing maintenance costs for Amtrak.
Amtrak currently plans to replace the Connecticut River Bridge. Design and configuration of a replacement bridge would aim to improve reliability and offer higher speeds for Amtrak and Shore Line East trains.