Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said Wednesday that if the state's General Assembly does not quickly appropriate more money, $4.3 billion in state multiyear transportation projects will be postponed indefinitely. Malloy said routine maintenance and transportation funds for local municipalities would be affected as well.
In November, the state's DOT put eight projects on hold and another $277 million in rail and highway projects are scheduled to be shut in April if no additional funding is approved by Connecticut lawmakers. Another 16 projects worth $395 million in state spending would be postponed in June if no money is found, according to DOT commissioner James Redeker.
Postponed projects include construction and maintenance in Canterbury, Colchester, Franklin, Killingly, Norwich, Putnam, Sterling and several others. Many projects on the list include maintenance of state facilities and bridge replacements to the tune of millions of dollars. Other line items cut state aid to local projects.
At issue is new revenue for the Special Transportation Fund which is expected to fall into deficit in July. Connecticut's budget woes are predicted to show a $1.88 billion deficit by fiscal year 2020.
The DOT is already proposing a 10 percent rail fare increase and a 25-cent boost in bus fares to take effect in July. The DOT is also proposing rail service cutbacks unless the legislature moves to bring in more transportation revenue.
“If Connecticut does not take the necessary action to allow us to restart these vital projects, not only will it put the state’s infrastructure into a further state of disrepair, it will hurt our economy,” Malloy said. “If we want to compete in the 21st century economy, we need a transportation system that works for people and businesses, and we need to invest in transit-oriented development to build the communities where people and businesses want to be. I want to be very clear — this is preventable, but it requires immediate action. The legislature must act this year to avoid potentially devastating setbacks to our transportation system.”