Mitigating flood risk to protect a crucial railroad junction, connecting millions of Americans and economic impact.
New Haven, Connecticut: $25.09 Million
This is a Justice40 project.
New Haven is a mid-size city along Connecticut’s coastline and Interstate 95 corridor. A historically Black, Irish and Italian immigrant town, the city today boasts a diverse population, including a growing number of Latino immigrants.
The city suffered economic loss during the industrial decline of the northeast. Now the city is primarily a service economy with Yale University being its largest employer. Despite the shift in economic drivers over the past few decades, the city has always been a major railroad hub, as it connects the New York to Boston lines, while also serving as the starting point for trains headed North for Hartford, Springfield and Vermont.
The city of New Haven’s largest storm sewershed covers over 800 acres in an area that encompasses downtown and its surrounding neighborhoods. This area has experienced repeated flooding in recent years, disturbing the city’s residents and key facilities including New Haven’s Union Station and rail yard. Union Station plays a vital role in the Northeast Corridor rail network, serving more than 1.7 million customers a year on both Metro North and Amtrak. In addition, New Haven serves as the sole regional rail connector between Boston and New York City, one of the nation’s most popular rail routes for both business and leisure.
The area’s flooding is due to a low storm sewer capacity underneath Union Station. The combination of sea level rise and increased storm frequency makes this area extremely vulnerable to repeated flooding, posing a logistical and financial risk to the region’s economic output and communal accessibility. The storm sewer capacity expansion is part of the city’s larger project which consists of additional drainage solutions and nature-based coastline protection. While the city of New Haven’s Engineering Department is leading the effort on this project, the city is working closely with multiple partners such as the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation, and non-profit organizations.