Road conditions, heavy traffic, extra burden for Connecticut

| 2/11/2003

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.