Connecticut board OKs $4.8 billion transport package

| Thursday, December 19, 2002

A Connecticut state board has approved a $4.8 billion transportation plan designed to reduce traffic congestion, The New Haven Register reported Dec. 17. While the plan does include some non-highway projects, a number of important road improvements are included.

Increases in diesel prices - at this point - are not part of the plan, which was unveiled Tuesday by the Transportation Strategy Board. Robert Hammersley, a spokesman for the state DOT, said earlier this month that the plan would leave the diesel tax where it is, at 25 cents, since it was raised already during the past six months. However, he warned, the proposal could change at a later date.

Fuel taxes and sales taxes would go up under the plan. And tolls could appear in some areas to pay for specific road work, the newspaper reported, such as the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge - also called the Q Bridge - in the city of New Haven.

The board's recommendations also include:

  • Possibly having a private company run part of a state highway.
  • Completing Route 11 from Salem to I-95.
  • Building a Route 6 expressway from Bolton to Windham.

The plan may also include some improvements to I-95. However, The Register reported that the board made no recommendations on that part of the plan, which the newspaper said was the most contentious item.

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