State to spend more on big highway projects

From the Hartford Courant:

The elimination of some federal aid for transit funding means Connecticut will be spending more on highways and less on trains and buses, according to a draft of a transportation department four-year plan.

The plan also shows the state Department of Transportation intends to start several big-ticket highway and bridge projects between now and 2021, including repairs to about a dozen sections of the Mixmaster interchange in Waterbury, overhaul of the I-95 bridge between New London and Groton and a redesign of Route 9 in Middletown to do away with traffic lights.

On the mass transit side, no new systems are in the works, but more than $1 billion is planned for upgrading Metro-North Railroad’s New Haven Line tracks, installing costly crash-prevention systems on Metro-North trains, and replacing part of the CT Transit bus fleet.

Those are among 280 major transportation jobs listed in the draft of a four-year Statewide Transportation Improvement Program. The DOT recently released the plan and will hear public comments during July 11 forums at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at DOT headquarters in Newington.

The plan appears to sharply shift funding away from transit and toward highways.

See the full story from the Hartford Courant online.