$14.4 Million Flows Into The WATER Project

An artist rendition of a revitalized Freight Street with a Greenway trail on the right.

   United States Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced that the City of Waterbury has been selected as a recipient of a $14.4 million TIGER VI (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

   The TIGER VI grant will fund the Waterbury Active Transportation and Economic Resurgence (WATER) Project, an integrated system of active transportation improvements that includes a downtown riverfront trail, a reconstructed and expanded network of local streets, and a comprehensive array of pedestrian/ bicycle improvements and linkages all designed to better connect downtown to the city’s train station and riverfront.

   “I am ecstatic. This is an absolute game changer for the city of Waterbury,” said Mayor Neil O’Leary. “It puts us firmly on track to implement a transformational vision for our future. On behalf of the citizens of this entire region I am so deeply grateful to Governor Malloy, Congresswomen Esty and DeLauro, and Senators Murphy and Blumenthal. They were absolutely incredible in their efforts to make this possible.”

   Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty said, “As a Member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I am proud to have helped Waterbury secure the 5th District’s first ever TIGER grant to support their WATER Project, This grant will assist Waterbury in a major redevelopment project, connecting downtown with the waterfront, creating jobs, and facilitating economic activity. I wish to thank all of the local leaders and community organizations that helped develop this important community-wide initiative. It’s important to improve our quality of life.”

   Governor Malloy said, "Working with municipal partners, we are supporting important capital projects across Connecticut that will boost local economies, strengthen transportation infrastructure, improve the quality of life for residents and increase our overall competiveness as a state,” said Governor Malloy. “With the help of this federal grant, we are making a long-overdue, strategic investment in the Waterbury train station that will support regional transit-oriented development and help the city and surrounding communities become more walkable, more accessible, and more attractive to residents and employers alike. I thank Secretary Foxx, the U.S. Department of Transportation, Representative Esty and our state’s entire Congressional delegation for their support of this project.”

   U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said, “This powerful investment will transform 60 acres of underused land near Waterbury’s train station, reconnecting and revitalizing downtown, nearby neighborhoods and the Naugatuck River Greenway, uniquely advancing regional environmental and economic development opportunities,” said Blumenthal. “The Greenway project has reclaimed 44 miles of riverfront land, reviving vacant industrial sites and providing new, needed access to healthy recreation for the whole region. Natural, open space, as well as safe and reliable transportation—including rail, bus, bicycle and pedestrian access—is vital to the economic growth and success of our cities. I will continue to champion Waterbury’s vision.”

   U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said, “I’m thrilled to celebrate over $14 million for the Brass City. This money will revolutionize the West Side of downtown, making sense of a dizzying network of roads, mass transit routes, and waterways,” said Murphy. “Downtown Waterbury will be infinitely more attractive to businesses after this work is done. I’ve been fighting tooth and nail alongside Congresswoman Esty, Governor Malloy, Congresswoman DeLauro and Senator Blumenthal to bring this funding to Waterbury, and I can’t wait to see new progress in the Brass City.”

   The Waterbury Active Transportation and Economic Resurgence (WATER) Project is a multi-faceted mobility enhancement project that is part of a larger ongoing initiative to reform and revitalize the city’s landscape. The project will catalyze redevelopment of 60 acres of under-utilized downtown land around the city’s train station and establish active transportation connections between downtown and the waterfront. According to the U.S. DOT, TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grants are a nationally competitive grant program where applications must demonstrate five long-term outcomes: safety, economic competitiveness, state of good repair, livability, and environmental sustainability.

   The WATER Project is a multi-faceted mobility enhancement project that is part of a larger ongoing initiative to reform and revitalize the city’s landscape. The project will catalyze redevelopment of 60 acres of under-utilized downtown land around the city’s train station, revitalize historically blighted river corridor neighborhoods and reshape the downtown into a vibrant, livable pedestrian-friendly community. It complements the Downtown NEXT initiative, and together, all three initiatives represent the most comprehensive and far-reaching plan to stimulate the city’s economy and position Waterbury to capture a greater proportion of the region’s future economic growth.

   According to the U.S. DOT, TIGER grants are a nationally competitive grant program where applications must demonstrate five long-term outcomes: safety, economic competitiveness, state of good repair, livability, and environmental sustainability.

   Requests for 2014 TIGER grants totaled $9.5 billion, 15 times the $600 million set aside for the program, demonstrating the continued need for transportation investment nationwide.