State approves finances for new rail stations, forest preserve

The State Bond Commission approved $7.8 million in borrowing Monday to design six new rail stations on the Hartford and New Haven lines and to acquire a major forest preserve in south-central Connecticut.

The commission approved $5.75 million that will be used, along with $4 million endorsed earlier, to design new stations in Enfield, West Hartford, Newington and North Haven along the north-south route known as the Hartford line and in Orange and Bridgeport along the New Haven line, which runs east-west along the shoreline.

Those funds also will help design renovations to existing stations in Danbury, Windsor and in Windsor Locks.

The state is expanding passenger service along the 62-mile corridor between New Haven and Springfield.

“Creating a commuter rail line along the I-91 corridor is part of our transformative transportation vision for Connecticut,” said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who chairs the bond commission.  “This bond authorization will give this important project needed momentum.  Completing environmental work and design is what will propel the projects toward reality.”

Another $2 million approved Monday by the commission will be used, along with funds raised by the Trust for Public Land, to acquire a major parcel known as “The Preserve:” 924 acres in Old Saybrook and four acres in Westbrook.