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Connecticut, Vermont roads, bridges get shot in the arm

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Roads and bridges throughout Connecticut will soon get more than $1.1 billion for construction and maintenance. Vermont’s transportation infrastructure will also get money for improvements.

The Connecticut Bond Commission, chaired by Gov. Dannel Malloy, approved more than $537 million in state funds to pay for work on the state’s highways, bridges, rail and transit.

The money will be used to fix 250 lane miles of state highway and more than 40 bridge restoration projects.

Much of the funding will be used to leverage about $600 million in federal transportation aid.

Gov. Malloy said the funding will enable the state to strengthen and update aging roads and bridges, improve safety, and encourage economic development and attract new business to the state.

“We are taking the smart approach by tackling these maintenance projects now, so we aren’t paying more out-of-pocket down the road,” Malloy said in a news release.

More than $110 million will be used to build, resurface or restore several major interstate segments. The list of projects that will get attention include work on Interstate 95 in Groton and I-84 in Vernon, and widening I-84 in Waterbury between exits 22 and 25A. The state funding will be supplemented with nearly $300 million in federal funding.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation’s bridge program will get $33 million to rehabilitate or replace at least 30 bridges, including continuation of New Haven’s Q Bridge along I-95. About $50 million more will come from the feds.

In nearby Vermont, the state sold $10.3 million in transportation infrastructure bonds to leverage more than $64 million in federal funds for road and bridge repairs.

State Treasurer Beth Pearce said the sale will allow the state to secure funds for badly needed repairs.

“Funds raised through the bond sale allow the state to match federal fund requirements for 17 projects, six of the projects associated with Tropical Storm Irene,” Pearce stated.

Some of the projects include replacing bridges damaged by the storm in Brighton, Hancock, Jamaica and Plymouth. Other projects include the replacement of interstate bridges in Brattleboro, Milton and Windsor.

Road projects include the construction of an alternate truck route on Vermont Route 100 in Morristown.

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