Cross Sound Ferry gets $500,000 DOT grant for infrastructure improvements

New London — The U.S. Department of Transportation is providing $503,250 in funding for infrastructure improvements for the Cross Sound Ferry.

U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both D-Conn., announced the funding, which is through DOT's Marine Highway Grant program, in a news release Thursday.

"This grant will fund much-needed infrastructure improvements to the Cross Sound Ferry — moving people and goods that drive local economies and create jobs," Blumenthal and Murphy said. "We'll continue to support investments in Connecticut's infrastructure to help grow our economy and make our state a great place to live, work, and visit."

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, also announced the funding in a separate news release, saying it comes at a "crucial" time when there's an uptick in ferry passengers, and it shows the DOT recognizes that Cross Sound Ferry "has become an integral part of our regional transportation network."

"As we transport more vehicles and passengers, projects such as this to improve the flow of commerce at our terminal are important. This grant will provide a tremendous assist in seeing this project come to fruition," Cross Sound Ferry President John P. Wronowski said in a statement.

The grant will fund several infrastructure improvements, including installing a new ferry ramp to improve the flow of vehicular and passenger traffic at the Cross Sound Ferry terminal and maintain and improve operational safety, new bulk heading and mooring dolphins to assist the ferries in docking, a restoration of the existing high-speed ferry slip and maintenance dredging.

The funding request was a collaboration between the Cross Sound Ferry, the Connecticut Port Authority and the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments.

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