Connecticut is struggling
to improve its highways in the face of heavy traffic, high accident counts,
a state funding crisis and a federal report giving the roads low marks, The
Middletown Press reported Feb. 10.
Among the problems the
state faces, as reported by The Press:
- According to a study
by the Federal Highway Administration, 80 percent of Connecticut’s highways
were in "less than good condition" in 2001.
- Truck traffic is
heavy on the state’s main interstate – trucks were 15 percent of traffic
on I-95 – but, according to the state DOT, only about 1 percent of crashes
on the road from 1998 to 2000 involved jackknifed trucks.
- I-95 is carrying
far more traffic than it was designed for. The interstate was set up
for 90,000 or fewer vehicles each day. Up to 150,000 use it daily now.
The Transportation Strategy
Board, a group of state and transportation officials formed in 2000 to
address continuing highway congestion in the state, recently delivered
its final report to deal with some of the problems.
The group’s plan calls
for spending $5.5 billion for a number of transit improvements, including
highway work. However, with the state facing potentially billions in deficits,
the plan’s prospects are uncertain.