Backed By Major Assist From State, Ganim Announces New Congress Street Bridge Construction

Mayor Joe Ganim, Congressman Jim Himes and State Rep. Ezequiel Santiago, left, on site of old Congress Street Bridge.

Mayor Joe Ganim on Thursday announced the Connecticut Department of Transportation has committed funds to cover 50 percent of the cost to build a new Congress Street Bridge that has an approximate $24 million price tag.

Ganim says this approval of state funds matches the City Council’s previously approved $12 million of city capital allocated for the construction project.

Ganim wants to move forward with the process to build a new bridge in a 2019 election year.

“We are thrilled to receive the matching funds for the $24 million project that will have a huge impact on Bridgeport’s infrastructure and rejoin our communities,” said Ganim in a prepared statement. “Rebuilding the Congress Street Bridge will have a tremendous and positive economic impact on the downtown and East Side in addition to improving safety response. It’s great to make this announcement on Governor Lamont’s first day in office. We appreciate all the work that our state legislators have done to champion this project. I’d like also to thank our federal delegation for all their support in getting legislation passed that made this state funding opportunity possible.”

The bridge that fell into disrepair decades ago and was eventually removed was located next to city Fire Headquarters. It has choked off quick public safety access to the East Side as well as curtailed business for merchants.

Federal officials last year with an assist from Congressman Jim Himes declared the Pequonnock River north of the bridge a non-navigable waterway for commercial boat traffic. As a result a new bridge can be a fixed span reducing the cost of bridge reconstruction.

A formal announcement about a timeline to build the new bridge is expected late next week.

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25 comments

  1. The Ganim Fog machine is in high gear. Heyyy..Joe Ganim…how about the Exact Capital/ Majestic Theater Development, Did I miss it or did we really have a groundbreaking. Wait a minute I just remembered . We are on a 30 day OPED treadmill where OPED will continuously “re-certify-or whatever you wan’t to call it” the Exact Capital $400 million dollar dream. That entire project needs to go back to the drawing boards and have plans that are reasonable,functionable and can be FINANCED. Also,that two-ice rink monster is DOA and should be buried. That was a bunch of nonsense.

    1. Himes hadsbeen here the last three years. Santiago was here the last three years We had a Democratic Governor for the last three years. The missing component is Joe Ganim.

  2. The bridge was closed in 1997 while Joe Ganim was Mayor. It was left stuck in the open position for over a decade.

    The lower east side has been cut-off from downtown for over two decades under Ganim one, Fabrizi, Finch and now Ganim two. I wonder if it was Black Rock that was cut-off from downtown if it would have been allowed to continue for over two decades. I think we all know the answer.

  3. No matter how you see it or what side of the political aisle you are on, This is fantastic news. Congratulations to Mayor Ganim , Congressmen Himes and State Rep. Eziquiel Santiago. The ramifications of the re-connection of the Downtown to the the Eastside are enormous. Economic Development will happen. Great marketing possibilities. Though Ganim continues to be criticized for doing a fine job, the reality speaks for itself. This is not the first project to take decades, however, it is becoming a reality. Everyone should rejoice. I expect developers will be more willing to invest in the Eastside and that shot in the arm can only benefit those Bridgeport residents. Kudos to all involved.

      1. And you Derik Brown- Keep yourself in your small deluded, miserable world of negativity and sad comments. Begging anyone to run against Joe Ganim. We have Moore, Stallworth ,Ganim and Lopez. Maybe Bob Walsh can help you get off your lazy do nothing ass and start walking and knocking on doors.

        Your constant whining on this blog is like nails on a chalkboard. I am certain my constant, optimistic, Pro- administration Pro- Bridgeport Pro- delegation is equally abhorrent to you. Maybe you can get together with all of the malcontents on this blog and put up a malcontent candidate. All of the malcontents can knock on doors and discuss how the city sucks and how you can keep it that way. Marilyn Moore and Judge Lopez would be so lucky to have your support. Charlie Stallworth another fine man to look at. Life is a series of choices. Every moment of every day we are faced with choices. I chose to write a response to your asinine comment which of court makes me an ass.

        In other news- A bridge shall be repaired and that is great news for those that can look at the bigger picture. Small minded individuals are just stuck!. Honest to G-d, I could not imagine waking up everyday so miserable and hating my life so much that I had to take a shit on any progress happening in the city.

        This is my time- My day today ended at 3 pm and I just wanted to say that I do not find finger sandwiches satisfying and I have never had Kool- aide. Seriously. 🙂 Everybody have a fantastic weekend. The best is yet to come!

        1. Quack-quack-quack, Stevie. I don’t whine, you do, among other non verbal pitched mouth noises: “I chose to write a response to your asinine comment which of court makes me an ass.” Really, Stevie? REALLY? You’re an ass to begin with. Don’t blame it on anyone else.

  4. Considering we got $25Million earmarked to do the Congress Street Bridge back in 2009. I guess this is good. IT didn’t get done in 2009 because the though process was that opening up Downtown to be accessible by the east side folks would hamper “Downtown North” development. SMH.

    On a different note, this administration and OPED dept. are the bumbling idiots who couldn’t get this Census Track where the Congress Street bridge is located as one of the approved “Opportunity zones” in the City. That mean perhaps the largest source of funds for distressed neighborhoods we may have ever seen “CAN NOT” be tapped because of these bumbling fools.

    By the way the $3.7M is not guaranteed and still requires federal approval and the city has to match it. I’m sure we will be it’s not money in hand yet and the feds can say, since they are footing half now, we will not honor the state’s earmark.

    1. Bill Finch didn’t want “those” people in the downtown area. Ganim is indifferent. This is getting done because he is facing an uphill re-election fight.

  5. Just remember the more Joe makes announcements about how some thing is finally getting fixed people are reminded of who’s watch it was broken under and how long it has sat idle since.
    Bring on all of these fancy announcement and remind the public of what hasn’t been done.
    Talk about bridges and remind the about the Pleasue Beach Bridge to nowhere.
    He took the “bridge” out of Bridgeport!

  6. “…Federal officials last year with an assist from Congressman Jim Himes declared the Pequonnock River north of the bridge a non-navigable waterway for commercial boat traffic. As a result a new bridge can be a fixed span reducing the cost of bridge reconstruction…” (And how many Bridgeport residents were made aware of the pre-requisite political machinations and this outcome prior to the bridge announcement last month?!)

    That provides evidence for the claim that it is the intention of the state and federal government to pretty much sideline any kind of development in Bridgeport that might be conducive to the creation of any significant number of local, living wage jobs and lucrative tax-base.

    Limit Bridgeport’s options so that its labor is available to support the lifestyle and tax-base of the Gold Coast… Give them a region-serving, fossil-fuel-burning waterfront power plant (or two or three), a dump, an incinerator, plenty of suburban sewage, a couple of jails, lots of workforce housing for commuting, working-poor laborers (to support the cheap-labor needs of the Gold Coast) — and throw in a shipping-limiting bridge to link their economically-dead downtown with their economically-dead East Side to make them think that they’re important. And there, you have it — a formula to keep the dead-wood in City Hall, Hartford, and DC while maintaining a fat-and-happy Connecticut Oligarchy in a dying, stupefied State of Connecticut…

    And the worst part is that there isn’t any outrage or outcry from any of our local political leadership and representation.
    Apparently, they’re so “dim” — or believe that we are all so dim — that we are going to see this dumb-ass bridge as actually doing something economically-significant for the residents of Bridgeport. (From a public-safety perspective, it would have been cheaper to put another fire station/police station on the East Side than settle for this $24 million, shipping-limiting, fire-station link between the economically-dead downtown and economically-dead East Side…)
    (Need it be mentioned that this is the fourth recycling of this earth-shattering, 2019-mayoral-election-cycle news by City Hall in just the last three weeks?!…)

    No doubt, next week there will be a recycling of major, earth-shattering economic-development news for Bridgeport, per the updating of the 50-years-down-the road paper projects that will grow around the dead casino initiative that is due for recycling by the GA during the upcoming, 2019 legislative session in Hartford…

    But don’t despair — Ned is there!!!

  7. Maybe they can pay some of it with scrap metal money. Just load some more 40 yard containers from the transfer station and bring over to Central Ave. Like you did in the past. No big deal. Easy money on a Saturday morning!

  8. So everyone has to tell a big lie-that the Pequonnock is not navigable?, I.e., now they don’t have to put in a draw bridge?

    Up until recently barges were coming to the Hoffman Brothers Dock on East Washington Avenue

    Yes isn’t this a flagrant lie? Isn’t it?

    Congratulations

    Like the recent “Pequonnock Bike Path Approved by City Council “ headline

    While the Planning Office is consumed with things like getting more liquor stores into Bridgeport!
    Or the Police chief ordering officers to pick up absentees for his machine candidates

    Like the old saying goes: “If you’re not angry, then you’re not paying attention”!

    1. Hi Stephanie… Good to hear from you. Unfortunately, I disagree with your comment. Joe Ganim has been Mayor for 3+ years. Santiago and Himes have been around 3+ years. Connecticut had A Democratic Governor for 3 years plus. This could have been easily worked on in Ganim’s first 1-2 years. However,Joe Ganim had other more important things on his mind. As soon as he was elected Mayor of Bridgeport 3 years ago,Ganim began to work on a gubernatorial campaign so that he could get out of Bridgeport. This ia almost carbon copy of Ganim 1. Joe Ganim has been using the People of Bridgeport for his own ego-driven personal priorities.

  9. Build a bridge. Plant flowers and grass. Make Bridgeport look nice with hundreds of thousands of taxpayers dollars. Meanwhile ,it’s not save to even drive in our city never mind walk anywhere. Drive by’s, hit and runs, robberies everywhere! Give a false sense of security to get re-elected. Put the money into LAW ENFORCEMENT ! Not your reelection campaign. LAW ENFORCEMENT is the answer for Bridgeport! Not flowers,grass and your ego!

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