It was ironic: A news conference called by state Sen. Bob Duff to address transportation problems was delayed because Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Malloy was stuck in traffic. Duff, state Sen. Donald DeFronzo and state Reps. Chris Perone and Bruce Morris waited for about 20, standing next to I-95's southbound Exit 14, where the traffic was bumper to bumper.
"I apologize for being delayed," Malloy said when he arrived. "There is a backup about a mile and a half, in front of this exit. It's a little unusual when you consider that today is a Sunday. This exit, I think it's the No. 1 chokepoint on 95 in Fairfield County."
The problem is bad design, he said, at exits 14 and 15. Malloy and Duff, vice chair of the General Assembly's Transportation Committee, expressed dissatisfaction with the state Department of Transportation over the issue. "The idea that our DOT cannot get out of its way to address this kind of problem is amazing," Malloy said.
"This actually was supposed to have been addressed after the legislature put money aside for the new railcars and congestion mitigation lanes," Duff said. "This was part of the deal. Then the DOT said, 'We're going to work on the easy ones first. Like the one in Darien.' We said, 'OK, that's fine.' ... They pulled the rug out from under us. Bruce, Chris and I are livid that this project is not on the top of their list."
Malloy promised that as governor, he would make the project a priority. "We're going to move these types of projects along because it's hurting our economy," he said. "It's the loss of jobs and people's time and energy that's wasted on 95 every single day. The endangerment of people is something that particularly concerns me at this location. We need a revolutionized DOT."