The state Bond Commission is expected to authorize $11.9 million on Friday that will be used to resurface 264 miles of Connecticut's roadways.
Ahead of the Bond Commission meeting, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Deputy Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) Commissioner Anna M. Barry held a press conference to highlight the project.
They say the $11.9 million, plus the $57 million in previously approved funding, will help keep the roads safe, especially following the hit they took during "an especially harsh 2013-14 winter season that included record-breaking cold temperatures and 12 snow and ice storms."
The various resurfacing projects are expected to create or retain more than 1,900 construction-related jobs, according to a release from Malloy's office.
“With investments like this, we are putting people to work all across Connecticut,” Malloy said. "Our Department of Transportation is keeping our roads in a state of good repair and hiring Connecticut workers to get the job done.”
This will be the third straight year that Connecticut has increased the amount of road resurfacing on the state's roads.
- A PDF embedded with this article lists the roads that are scheduled be resurfaced this year.
'Smart Investments' Help the State's Economy
In a prepared statement, ConnDOT Deputy Commissioner Barry said that keeping the state's roads in good condition helps keep the economy in good condition.
“Our economy depends on the efficient movement of goods and people, and Connecticut car and truck drivers deserve the best roads we can provide,” he said. “Investments in our transportation infrastructure are smart investments and have a ripple effect throughout our economy."
Earlier this year, 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, according to the release from Malloy's office.
“Maintaining the state’s infrastructure of roads and highways is a basic function of government that most everyone in the legislature supports,” said state Sen. Gary D. LeBeau (D-East Hartford), Senate Chairman of the Commerce Committee and Chairman of the Transportation Bonding Subcommittee of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. “Not only does this state investment put local people to work, time and time again we have heard from Connecticut business leaders that updated and well-maintained highways add to their profitability and to the convenience of their employees. That’s what this state spending helps achieve.”
“Our roads took a serious hit with our long, cold winter. I am glad that the state took notice and is making concentrated investments to improving our roads,” said state Rep. Kim Fawcett (D-Fairfield), Chair of the Finance Committee's Transportation Bonding subcommittee. “I urge the Bond Commission to approve this funding and help to upgrade our transportation infrastructure.”
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 Bond Commission, chaired by Malloy, is expected to approve the funding at its next meeting at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 30, in the Legislative Office Building.