The city is one step closer to having trolleys return to its streets.

Congress will give New Haven $1 million next year to help the city develop an electric trolley system to connect the planned Galleria at Long Wharf mall with downtown and West Haven. The city expects mall construction to begin next year.

The appropriation was part of $7.2 million in transportation-project funding federal legislators secured for the city Friday. In addition to the trolley project, the 2001 spending bill allocates $3.2 million for the replacement of the Q-Bridge and $3 million for a project to expedite the state’s truck inspection process. The 40-year-old Q-Bridge carries Interstate 95 in New Haven and is often congested.

“These projects will not only aid in the effort to reduce traffic congestion, but will also help to promote mass transit alternatives,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said.

Earlier, on Thursday, the city learned it would be getting $2.75 million in federal funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for lead-paint abatement.

The money would be used to eliminate lead-based paint in city homes and to prevent childhood lead poisoning. The grant could be used to make 200 homes lead-free, Mayor John DeStefano Jr. said.

— YDN Staff