Amtrak fence replacement plan stalls amid talks in Niantic

A plan to replace the fencing along railroad tracks in Niantic has been pushed off by Amtrak due to concerns raised by residents, business owners and politicians that the proposed design doesn’t do enough to preserve Main Street’s unique views. Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams said the project, initially slated to begin in late February, won’t happen until later this year. First Selectman Kevin Seery said Amtrak’s northeast region senior manager for government affairs told him the replacement won’t happen until this summer or possibly the fall. Blumenthal noted safety is a key priority and said any instances of unauthorized access to the tracks are too many. East Lyme police Chief Mike Finkelstein said officers responded to two calls in 2020, two in 2021 and one so far this year for reports of trespassing on the track. The most recent case involved three teenage girls who made their way onto the tracks in the area of McCook Point Park, which is outside the fence replacement area.

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