Malloy postpones $4.3 billion in transportation projects

From Hartford Courant.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Wednesday that $4.3 billion in state transportation projects will need to be postponed indefinitely if the General Assembly fails to quickly appropriate more money.

The transportation projects at risk include replacing the Hartford I-84 viaduct, widening of I-95 from Bridgeport to Stamford, and revamping the Waterbury I-84 “mix-master,” the governor warned. Routine maintenance and transportation funds for municipalities would also be affected, Malloy said.

Malloy said he will offer his own proposal for new transportation funding before the General Assembly begins its 2018 session next month, and did not rule out highway tolls or increases in gasoline or sales taxes as potential options.

Malloy said that, in deciding what new revenue plans to propose, he is “trying to gauge the legislature’s appetite to do the right thing.”

Connecticut lawmakers have repeatedly rejected tolls and major tax increases as solutions to the fiscal crisis faced by the state’s Special Transportation Fund. This is a legislative election year, which is likely to make it even more difficult for legislators to approve politically unpopular revenue increases in 2018.

The state Department of Transportation is already proposing a 10 percent rail fare increase and a 25-cent boost in bus fares to take effect in July. The DOT is also proposing rail service cutbacks unless the legislature moves to bring in more transportation revenue.

See full story from Hartford Courant online.