Start of Malloy’s $100 billion transportation plan hits general assembly [WTNH]

April 28, 2015

Malloy transportation ‘roll out’ leaving the station

Hartford, Conn. (WTNH) The first big part, the ‘ramp up’ to Governor Malloy’s 30 year, $100 billion transportation system rebuild for Connecticut is making its way through the General Assembly. It won’t only widen highways and replace out-dated interchanges there’s also a big plan for the nation’s busiest commuter line; Metro North’s New Haven line.

The big plan includes new train stations on the New Haven line and new train stations on the new New Haven to Hartford to Springfield line.

The D.O.T. announced today that the Metro North New Haven line reached a record level 39.6 million passenger trips last year a 1.6 percent increase over the previous year. The New Haven line and the Long Island Railroad remain the busiest commuter lines in the country.

“The first part of the plan, in year one, is the most comprehensive plan for the future of the New Haven line every conceived,” said CT D.O.T. Commissioner James Redeker today.

In the roll out of the Governor’s big transportation plan is a completed new signaling system replacing the antiquated one still in use that is keeping train speeds down. The new system will help bring speed back to where it should be. Similar new signaling will also come to the Waterbury line. Added Redeker, “It completes the Waterbury signalization and positive train control getting the Waterbury branch into this century with real service in both directions.”

The other part of the ramp up is designs for all of the big highway and bridge projects that the Governor has been highlighting since January so that when the big $100 billion plan is finished up in the legislature work can begin right away.
“This is a ‘ramp up’ so when we say ‘finish up’ what we’re saying is we’ve got to have a plan for that ‘ramp up’ so that we actually have the projects ready do go,” said Governor Malloy.

“We applaud the Governor for coming out and addressing the infrastructure needs of the State of Connecticut,” said Sen. Scott Frantz (R-Greenwich).

There has been almost universal praise from both Democrats and Republicans on the Governor’s big plan to basically rebuild just about everything that’s outdated in the state transportation system with everyone assuming highway tolls are coming and Republicans are battling against them going up at the state borders. Adds Frantz, “That will be the next fight if tolls are going to become a reality, the next fight will be to keep them away from the borders.”

The first meeting of a special panel appointed by the Governor to figure out how to pay for all this is slated for later this week. The Governor says there will be more on all this coming Tuesday.