HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Wednesday he is putting off $4.3 billion in transportation projects until state lawmakers approve more money for them.
The Democratic governor said the projects have been postponed indefinitely. He called on the General Assembly to immediately appropriate money to the state's Special Transportation Fund, which finances transportation projects. He said the fund would be in deficit by July.
The projects on hold include the widening of Interstate 95 from Bridgeport to Stamford, improvements to the Interstate 91-Route 15 interchange on the Charter Oak Bridge in Hartford and the replacement of the Interstate 84-Route 8 interchange in Waterbury.
"If we want to compete in the 21st-century economy, we need a transportation system that works for people and businesses, and we need to invest in transit-oriented development to build the communities where people and businesses want to be," Malloy said.
Republican state Senate President Pro Tem Len Fasano blamed Malloy and Democratic lawmakers for the transportation fund deficit, saying they took $164 million from it to balance state budgets.
"Now, Gov. Malloy and Democrats are trying to use the problem they created to force the Legislature to approve new taxes and more burdens on commuters. That has been their game plan all along," Fasano said.
Malloy said the transportation fund has run low because the gas tax is not generating expected revenue and debt payments have increased. Deficits for the fund could soon climb into hundreds of millions of dollars without legislative action, he said. Malloy said he would offer his proposal for new transportation funding before the next legislative session begins next month.
Projects that are essential to public safety or have major federal funding will continue as planned, the governor said.
The projects being postponed include:
Route 202 intersection improvements in Brookfield at various suggested List of Surveillance Study Sites costing $5,840,000
I-84 reconstruction in Danbury between exits 3 and 8 (funded over years 2019, 2020, 2021) costing $57,500,000
Construction of Danbury Repair Facility in 2018 $11,500,000
Route 53 Int. Improvements at Coal Pit Hill and Triangle Street in 2019 costing $9,700,000
Replace salt shed roofs in Bethlehem, Cornwall, Danbury in 2019
Constrution of a new Mainatenance Facility in 2019 and 2020 in New Milford costing $8,580,000 and $643,500
Work on Mud Pond Road over Bull Mountain Brook in New Milford next year costing $235,750
Work on Gaylord Road over Morrissey Brook in New Milford next year costing $381,443
Work on Merryall Road over West Aspetuck River in New Milford next year costing $889,958
I-84 culvert replacement over Pole Bridge Brook in Sandy Hook costing $1,250,000
I-84 Exit 11 intersection improvements at Route 34/SR 490 nex year costing $13,315,000