After a decade in the making, the West Haven train station has finally become a reality. With gold-plated shovels in tow, a delegation of local, state and federal leaders joined Gov. M. Jodi Rell for a historic groundbreaking Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at Railroad Avenue and Sawmill Road to formally herald the construction phase of the much-anticipated Metro-North Railroad commuter station. Construction on the $103 million project, which began with preliminary site work in early November 2010, is expected to take about two years, said Jeffrey A. Parker, commissioner of the state Department of Transportation, who called the tracks spanning the city’s limits “the busiest stretch of railway in North America.” “Not only will construction of this new station create jobs, the presence of the station just two blocks from the center of West Haven will have major economic implications for miles and miles around the area,” Rell told the crowd of several dozen dignitaries and officials — as well as a throng of newspaper, radio and television reporters — at the future home of the transportation hub. The effort to bring a regional intermodal train station to West Haven was no easy task. It blossomed out of a hard-fought, grass-roots campaign led by an impassioned group of business owners, city officials and community activists that petitioned the state to choose the city over neighboring Orange as the more viable site.
The train station will line the tracks between Hood Terrace and Railroad Avenue near Sawmill Road and Interstate 95’s Exit 42. It will include a surface parking lot with 660 spots and two platforms with a pedestrian overpass, along with retail and condominium opportunities a half-mile from downtown. Plans call for a 3,000-square-foot station building with a waiting room, restrooms and a newsstand. To coincide with the project and the renaissance of the central business district, the area’s ongoing streetscape improvements will link the new hub to downtown. Improvements, financed by the U.S. departments of Housing and Urban Development and Transportation, include new sidewalks, trees, benches and lantern-style streetlamps along Wagner Place and down Main Street to create a pedestrian-friendly pathway.For more information on this project, please visit the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s website.