By JAY FERREYKOPublished Nov 15, 2017 11:08:52The groundbreaking ceremony on the construction site for the proposed new Bridgeport-based train station in Bridgepool, Conn., will be the largest public event in Connecticut history.
The station, to be built at a cost of $7.8 million, will replace a train station that was closed for more than three decades because of asbestos contamination.
It will replace the station that is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The project is a $2.8 billion partnership between the state and private entities including construction firms Hynes Construction and the local government.
The state Department of Transportation and the Connecticut Historic Preservation Commission are also involved.
Construction is set to begin in mid-November, and the station will open to the public in 2021.
The groundbreaking for the train terminal, scheduled for Oct. 17, 2017, will be followed by a ceremony in the new station.
The opening ceremony will include a performance by the band The Raconteurs.
The new train station will replace an obsolete train station on the former site of the former Amtrak station at 5 Mile Road in Bridgetown.
The former Amtrak train station closed in 1983 because of the contamination of asbestos and lead in the linings of the rail cars.
The asbestos contamination caused by the building of the train depot led to asbestos-contaminated train cars being installed on the tracks and the building collapsed.
The site was abandoned for years, and only recently was reopened to the general public.
The railroad was the only major commuter rail system in Connecticut until the state acquired it in 2014.
It operates over 4,400 trains and provides a service to more than 2.2 million passengers per day.
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