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Jobs Will Be Created As Connecticut Spends $1 Billion On Roads, Bridges

Work continues to widen the roadway on I-95 near Route 7 in Norwalk. The state is increasing its spending on road and bridge projects.
Work continues to widen the roadway on I-95 near Route 7 in Norwalk. The state is increasing its spending on road and bridge projects. Photo Credit: File Photo

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- More than $1 billion in state and federal funds will be spent in Fairfield County and Connecticut to make improvements on highways and bridges, the state has announced.

The money will pay for 250 miles of state highway resurfacing and more than 40 bridge restoration projects, among other things. One of the projects will be reconstruction at Interstate 84 Exits 5 and 6 and Route 37 in Danbury.

“With this funding, we are investing in jobs for Connecticut residents, strengthening and updating our aging roadways and bridges, making travel safer and, in the long-run, improving our transportation infrastructure to encourage economic development and attract new business to the state,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement.

More than $537 million for road construction and repairs was approved Friday by the State Bond Commission, Malloy said. That will pay for a series of construction and maintenance projects through the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s capital infrastructure program.

Much of the funding will be used to leverage $600 million in federal transportation aid to update, strengthen and improve the safety of Connecticut’s highways, bridges, rail and transit systems. Combined, the more than $1 billion in state and federal funding is expected to create or retain nearly 20,000 construction-related jobs.

“We are taking the smart approach by tackling these maintenance projects now, so we aren’t paying more out-of-pocket down the road when our highways and bridges reach the end of their design life," the governor said. "I am committed to bringing our transportation system into the 21st century and, with the help of federal dollars, the funding allocated in this bond package is a large step toward that goal.”

Malloy highlighted an allocation of $113 million for DOT’s Interstate Highway Program to construct, resurface or restore several major interstate highway segments, including Pavement Preservation Projects on I-95 in Groton and I-84 in Vernon, widening I-84 in Waterbury between Exits 22 and 25A, reconstruction at Interstate 84 Exits 5 and 6 and Route 37 in Danbury, and funds for the continuation of the Q Bridge I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing Corridor Improvement Program. The state funding will be supplemented by nearly $300 million in federal transportation aid.

DOT’s State Bridge Program will be allocated $33 million to rehabilitate or replace more than 30 bridges. About $50 million in federal aid will be leveraged from the use of the requested State Bridge bond funds.

The Bond Commission also allocated more than $115 million for the Fix-it-First State Bridges and Roads program to rehabilitate and reconstruct several roadways and bridges on the state highway system. The “fix-it-first” approach ensures that preventive maintenance and repair of existing roads are the highest priority for spending.

“Our transportation infrastructure must be constantly maintained and, whenever possible, upgraded,” said DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker. “This funding directly supports our mission and commitment to the people of Connecticut to manage our roads, bridges, rails, buses and waterways and keep them as safe as possible.”

In addition, the Bond Commission allocated $14.2 million for DOT’s Capital Resurfacing and Related Construction Program. The funding will go toward capital resurfacing and expressway upgrades along various state routes, including I-84 in Southington/Cheshire and Route 15 in Stratford/Milford. About $56.9 million in federal aid will be leveraged.