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Malloy: CT's $4.3B of roadwork on hold

BY

1/10/2018
PHOTO | HBJ File
PHOTO | HBJ File
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy
The governor says Connecticut is postponing indefinitely $4.3 billion worth of transportation projects until lawmakers come up with new revenue to pay for them.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner James P. Redeker released the full list of projects Wednesday that are dependent on funding from DOT's Special Transportation Fund (STF).

Malloy says his administration will announce detailed proposals this month that, if adopted by the General Assembly, would bring the projects back online.

State senate Republican President Pro Tem Len Fasano (R-North Haven) immediately questioned Malloy's motives.

"Governor Malloy continues to act as if the state's transportation funding problems came out of nowhere,'' Fasano said in a statement apart from Malloy's. "But this is not a surprise."

The STF finances the state's transportation system, including the operating costs of the CTDOT and all of the services it provides. Last month, Malloy reiterated and increased his warnings on the solvency of the fund following the release of a report showing that without prompt action, the STF will be in deficit by fiscal year 2019, which begins July 1.

Critical improvements to the I-91/Route 15 interchange on the Charter Oak Bridge, the replacement of the Waterbury Mixmaster, and the widening of I-95 from Bridgeport to Stamford, are postponed until resources are identified to allow projects to continue, state officials said.

Other postponed projects include some $11 million for design and right of way for the Hartford rail line as well as nearly $400 million for future construction of it; $3 million in 2018 and 2019 for Union Station improvements and more than $550 million for rail fleets. Postponements also include the scheduled removal of traffic signals on Route 9 and a variety of road reconstruction and trail improvements and connections.

"If Connecticut does not take the necessary action to allow us to restart these vital projects, not only will it put the state's infrastructure into a further state of disrepair, it will hurt our economy," Malloy said. "If we want to compete in the 21st century economy, we need a transportation system that works for people and businesses, and we need to invest in transit-oriented development to build the communities where people and businesses want to be.

"I want to be very clear – this is preventable, but it requires immediate action. The legislature must act this year to avoid potentially devastating setbacks to our transportation system."

"This isn't a problem that can be punted until future years," Redeker added.

Malloy says he will release his recommendations to ensure the solvency of the STF in advance of the 2018 legislative session.