Governor Unveils $21 Billion Transportation Plan
Gov. Ned Lamont unveiled a detailed $21 billion, 10-year transportation plan Nov. 7 that invests in trains and buses, improves roads and bridges, and upgrades airports.
The CT2030 program would be financed through a combination of bonds, low-interest federal loans, and revenue from tolls on 14 bridges along eight highways throughout the state.
CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan noted the Lamont administration’s plan appeared to address many of the concerns raised in reaction to earlier funding proposals.
“There’s no question that a modern, safe transportation infrastructure is a key component of a thriving economy,” Brennan said.
“Connecticut’s infrastructure has suffered through lack of investment that has contributed to slower economic growth here than in many other states.
“State government needs to address this issue in a bipartisan manner that draws on the best ideas from all stakeholders. We thank Governor Lamont for listening to the concerns raised during the last legislative session and addressing many of those concerns.
“CBIA will review the plan in detail and consult with our board of directors and our broader membership over the coming days to assess the viability of the proposal.”
Legislators could be called into special session later this year to act on the Lamont administration’s proposals for addressing the state’s aging transportation infrastructure.
The plan, according to its summary, “doesn’t promise the kitchen sink” but “prioritizes and pays for the most vital improvements for Connecticut residents.“
The administration also said the plan would produce 26,000 jobs in every year of the 10 years.
The plan includes around $2 billion for train improvements and new cars for Metro-North to improve rail travel to New York City by 15 to 20 minutes.
It also has $475 million for traffic signal upgrades statewide and $134 million to replace CTtransit buses.
And it funds a study on increasing commercial air services at either Tweed Airport in New Haven or Sikorsky in Stratford, and seeks to connect Bradley Airport to a regional rail system.
The CT2030 plan includes $599 million to widen a stretch of I-95 from Bridgeport south to cut travel times by 35%, $276 million to reconfigure the I-91/I-691/Route 15 interchange in Meriden, and $175 million for three projects to ease congestion along the Wilbur Cross Parkway.
In addition, the governor’s blueprint calls for improving the I-84/I-91 exchange in Hartford and repairing the I-84/Route 8 interchange in Waterbury.
The plan calls for tolls on bridges on I-95 in Stamford, Norwalk, Westport, West Haven, East Lyme, New London and Groton, and on I-84 in Newtown, Waterbury, and West Hartford.
Additional locations include I-91 in Hartford, I-395 in Plainfield, Route 8 in Waterbury, Route 9 in Middletown, Route 15 in Norwalk, as well as a bridge on I-684 in Greenwich.
The total cost of those 14 projects is estimated at $1.4 billion to $1.8 billion.
The state would take a low-interest loans from the federal government and repay them with toll revenue.
Tolling would begin in 2023 and is expected to generate around $320 million a year.
The administration estimates that roughly 40% of toll revenue would come from out-of-state drivers, and that 61% of revenue would come from cars.
Toll charges would be 50 cents to $1 for cars, $1.25 to $2.50 for medium-sized trucks, and $3.50 to $7 for heavy trucks.
Drivers with a Connecticut E-ZPass get a 20% discount, plus any vehicle with the state E-ZPass would not pay more than one round-trip fee per gantry in a 24-hour period.
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