GOP aims to fix the existing structure and plan for the future, without raising taxes and without tolls [WTNH]

February 13, 2015

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — The Governor is adding another very big ticket item to his big transportation plan. He says replacing the mammoth highway interchange in Waterbury, known as the Mixmaster, has been put off long enough.

The Governor says he is committed to another multi-billion transportation project in his 30-year plan. He has already committed to widening I-95 from New York to the Rhode Island border, widening I-84, and replacing the huge I-84 Aetna Viaduct through Hartford.

The massive I-84/Route 8 interchange that towers nearly 100 feet over Waterbury and the Naugatuck River was completed in the late 1960’s. The Mixmaster is considered one of the most complex highway interchanges in the country with its multi-tiered, left-side ramps.

Since its opening, the Mixmaster has developed an above average accident rate and is estimated to be at an unacceptable level of service within the next decade. The Governor says past governors have continuously put off big decisions like replacing the Mixmaster, and that’s why so many things need to be done now.

He says he will move the interchange replacement to the front of the line in his plan to be announced next week, with environmental and design phases to begin immediately.

“The Mixmaster itself is a multi-billion dollar project which will eat up a large amount of resources,” said Gov. Malloy.

He also is scoffing at a Republican transportation plan released earlier this week, which would use the existing tax and borrowing structure.

“Our transportation plan is a fiscal plan on how we can fix the existing structure and plan for the future,” said State Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven. “We do that without raising taxes and without tolls.”

“There’s not a single project called for,” said Gov. Malloy in response to the Republican’s plan. “It’s the usual Republican fantasy-world looking to get a talking point and in this case they’ve embarrassed themselves.”

Although he won’t talk about paying for it, many at the Capitol believe the Governor is paving the way for a new tax, highway tolls, or both.