Malloy, DOT postpone transportation projects

Exit 33 interchange, Devon Bridge projects included

Hundreds of state transportation projects, totaling $4.3 billion, will be held up indefinitely after Gov. Dannel Malloy said the state’s Special Transportation Fund needs new revenues.

Stratford projects affected include the construction of the Exit 33 interchange off Interstate 95, a replacement bridge at the Stratford Metro-North Railroad station and renovations to the Devon Bridge over the Housatonic River connecting Stratford and Milford.

Malloy said Wednesday that his administration will announce detailed proposals later this month ahead of the next legislative session to get money into the STF and allow projects to go back online.

Other projects planned include improvements to the Interstate 91/Route 15 interchange on the Charter Oak Bridge and a widening of Interstate 95 from Bridgeport to Stamford. Malloy said even routine highway maintenance and transportation aide to cities and towns “are seriously jeopardized.”  

“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 in a statement. “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.”

Connecticut DOT Commissioner James Redeker said the funding problem is not something “that can be punted until future years.”

“As Gov. Malloy noted last month, the solvency of the Special Transportation Fund is in doubt without new revenues. In real terms, that means we need to postpone indefinitely important projects today,” he said.

State Rep. Tony Guerrera, co-chairman of the Legislature’s transportation committee, said the STF needs a “dedicated, stable stream of revenue.” to avoid it continuing to “rot and decay.”

“We sit at the precipice of a transportation tragedy that can be avoided by investing in roads and bridges.  We must act immediately in the 2018 legislative session and institute tolls or another revenue stream to avert the oncoming crisis.”

Mayor Laura Hoydick said Wednesday that she is disappointed in Malloy’s decision, saying that the governor “is freezing hundreds of critical transportation projects across the state, including four within Stratford.”

“At a time when such transportation infrastructure improvements are critical to the economic strength of our region and the state, this is the wrong direction to head in,” said Hoydick, a former 120th District state representative. “We will be exploring all alternatives to facilitate the continued advance all of these projects.”

Stay with The Stratford Star for more information on this story. 

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Editor for the Stratford Star. Former reporter for the Darien Times.

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