(WATERBURY, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy, joined by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty (CT-5)., Mayor Neil O’Leary, state Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) Commissioner James P. Redeker, state lawmakers, representatives from the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA), and members of the state building trades, today announced several of the state’s investments in major highway, bridge and rail projects as part of ConnDOT’s 2014-2018 Transportation Capital Infrastructure Program. The Governor made the announcement at the site of one of the Capital Program’s major projects, the widening of the I-84 corridor in Waterbury, which is set to begin construction this year.
“We have invested millions in our roads, bridges and railways over the last three years and have an ambitious five-year plan in place to continue upgrading and strengthening our transportation infrastructure well into the future,” said Governor Malloy. “These projects will facilitate commerce, stimulate economic development, improve the daily commutes of countless residents and create thousands of immediate construction jobs.”
Earlier this year, Governor Malloy proposed a state transportation budget for 2015 that represents a 165 percent increase in funding compared to 2010 levels and includes about $1.4 billion to fund the largest transportation capital program in Connecticut’s history. The Governor’s 2015 transportation budget also restores the dedication of the State Transportation Fund solely for transportation purposes. The Governor also noted that his budget – now being considered by the General Assembly – calls for the hiring of 75 ConnDOT engineers to move projects through the design and bid process more quickly.
“Investment in infrastructure create a positive flow of goods, services and job creation – the result is a positive impact on Connecticut and its citizens,” said David Roche, President of the Connecticut State Building Trades. “Our workers look forward to doing their part to upgrading and rebuilding our highways, roads and bridges for a better Connecticut.”
“A modern and efficient transportation infrastructure has long been cited as one of the key components of a competitive business climate,” said John R. Rathgeber, president and chief executive officer of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association. “As Connecticut strives to be one of the best states to do business, these investments are critical to accessing regional, national and global markets.”
“As the investments that have already been made by Governor Malloy come on line, people are returning to work and this is the time to step-up the momentum and take the construction industry’s ability to drive jobs and economic activity to scale,” said Don Shubert, President of the Connecticut Construction Industries Association. “These projects not only provide local jobs, but once the improvements are in place, all of the benefits go to Connecticut residents. These much needed transportation improvements provide opportunities, change lives, and build stronger communities.”
ConnDOT anticipates the availability of approximately $1.8 billion in the total Capital Program funding in Federal Fiscal Year 2014 for all transportation modes. This amount includes approximately $345 million for bus and rail assets and $1.4 billion available for highway and bridge infrastructure. In its 2013 Capital Program, ConnDOT committed approximately $1.6 billion for all transportation modes – road and bridge, railroad and bus and other public transit. The 2.7-mile I-84 widening project will add a third lane in each direction through Waterbury and is one of dozens of projects in ConnDOT’s five-year capital plan. Other major projects include:
- Replacement of the I-84 Hartford viaduct
- Q Bridge replacement (I-95 New Haven)
- Moses Wheeler Bridge replacement (I-95 Stratford)
- Putnam Bridge rehabilitation (Route 3 Glastonbury)
- Rehabilitation of Merritt Parkway in Stamford
- Operational improvements on I-95 in Norwalk
“Jobs and economic growth depend on safe and reliable roads, bridges and railroads– and all transportation– requiring sound, sustained investment,” said Senator Blumenthal. “I applaud the state for this wise and substantial investment. As chair of the Surface Transportation subcommittee, I will continue to fight to ensure that federal transportation investment keeps up with our state’s needs and priorities, particularly with regards to our commuter rail system, which has gone far too long without sorely needed safety upgrades and investments.”
“Our roads, rails, and bridges are the critical arteries we use every hour of every day to move people and goods around our state,” said Senator Murphy. “These investments create jobs now and are crucial to the long-term strength of our economy — I applaud Governor Malloy for making them.”
“Investment in our transportation infrastructure is critical for long-term economic growth and our state’s competitiveness,” said Congresswoman Esty. “As a member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I’ve been working to increase investments to improve our aging roads, bridges, and railroads. The widening of the I-84 corridor, as well as the other construction projects funded through the Capital Program, will reduce traffic on our roads, increase productivity for local businesses, and put people back to work.”
“Governor Malloy has once again stepped up to address issues that are so critical to Waterbury’s future,” said Mayor Neil O’Leary. “This project ultimately will reduce traffic congestion on the highway, making access into and out of Waterbury easier than ever. As the city continues attracting new manufacturing businesses, efficient transportation will be vital.”
DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker said that in addition to highway and bridge improvements, the capital plan calls for millions more in investments in the New Haven commuter rail line – the busiest in the country – and the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail corridor, which will offer enhanced intercity passenger service beginning in 2016. The state invested $10 million to upgrade the power supply for the New Haven Line, which was successfully completed in February, giving full back-up power redundancy for the east- and westbound lines.
Last week, Governor Malloy announced that Connecticut has applied for $600 million in federal transportation funding to help cover the capital costs of three resiliency, or “hardening,” projects central to the Metro-North’s commuter rail infrastructure.