Bond Commission Approves $1.3B for Transportation, Small Business
The State Bond Commission approved over $1.3 billion Dec. 21 to fund a variety of projects, including $839 million for transportation and $124 million for small business growth.
The $839 million will be financed through the recently passed federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Major projects include $280 million to replace diesel locomotives with dual-power locomotives, $30 million for local road maintenance, and $51.7 million for local transportation projects.
“We are about to enter a new era of transportation upgrades that supports the needs of businesses and the people who live there.” Gov. Ned Lamont, who chairs the commission, said in a statement.
The transportation system upgrades comes after the announcement of $5.38 billion in federal funding over the next five years from the infrastructure bill, which includes projects like $3.29 billion to repair roads, accelerate projects, and reduce traffic congestion, $1.3 billion to enhance public transportation, and $561 million to repair the state’s aging bridges.
Recent studies show Connecticut is in dire need of a significant infrastructure investments.
The state was given a C- in a White House report card, citing a “systemic lack of investment.”
The Federal Highway Administration ranked Connecticut as having the fourth worst road infrastructure in the country, and rated over one third (34%) of roads as “poor” or “nonacceptable.”
And a study from Inrix ranked roads in Bridgeport and Stamford among the 10 most congested roads in 2021.
Small businesses will see $124 million in investment, including $25 million for brownfield revitalization, $21 million for the Small Business Express finance program, and $4 million for a minority business loan program.
“These investments are aimed at creating thousands of new jobs, improving the vibrancy and quality of life in our communities, and making all corners of the state even more attractive for investment and opportunity,” Lamont said.
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