Gov. M. Jodi Rell has signed into law a 10-year,
$1.3billion plan to combat gridlock on Connecticut’s roads and improve rail
service in the state.
The transportation improvement plan won nearly
unanimous support in the Legislature late last month during a special session
to hammer out a deal.
The bill, SB2000, includes $187 million for improvements
on congested stretches of Interstate 95 and $150 million to help upgrade I-94
and I-84. It also includes $667 million to purchase 342 new passenger rail cars
in the next decade – an effort to improve service and entice commuters out of
their vehicles and off congested highways.
Another $300 million is included for new rail
maintenance facilities. There is $7.5 million for new transit buses.
Financing for the plan will come from special tax
obligation bonds, a $1 surcharge on the New Haven line from January 2008
through June 2015 and an increased gross earning tax on companies distributing
petroleum products, The Stamford Advocate reported.
Those products include gasoline, diesel and aviation
fuel, kerosene, benzol, distillate fuels and crude oil.
roads are more than a headache for commuters; they can be a serious detriment
to economic development and our ability to attract new companies to
Connecticut,” Rell said in a written statement. “This legislation will keep
Connecticut going and growing.”