“We know that transportation and economic growth are bound together. States that make long-term investments in their infrastructure can have vibrant economies for generations. States that don’t will struggle. It’s that simple,” he said. “Transportation connects us – literally – community to community, state to state, nation to nation. It connects us to economic opportunity and it connects us to one another,” he added.
While he specifically mentioned widening I-95, I-84 in Waterbury and the Walk Bridge in Norwalk, as projects he wants to address, he left the full details of his plan to be part of his 2015-2016 Budget Address to the Legislature in February.
To be sure, passenger and freight rail, transit, bicycle and pedestrian projects will be included. In fact, those who have talked to the Governor about his plan, indicate that he says he wants to do just about everything you can think of, including widening I-84 from Danbury to Waterbury, the Aetna Viaduct replacement in Hartford, widening I-95 from Greenwich to Stonington, additional train stations, parking and other upgrades to Metro-North, more bus-ways, the New Haven to Springfield commuter rail and bikeways to everywhere. He has said that his plan will take 30 years to accomplish and cost billions and billions of dollars.
Those lusting for tolls see this year as their best opportunity to tap a lucrative new revenue stream. We have made it very clear that we will strongly oppose the imposition of tolls on the existing highways of this state. In a Courant op-ed this past weekend, we insisted that Connecticut citizens be allowed to amend the State Constitution to protect the Special Transportation fund from the kind of diversions and raids which had been commonplace in the past. It appears that the Governor is amenable to this idea. But, time will tell.