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Author Topic: Letter to lawmakers regarding highways  (Read 3235 times)


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Letter to lawmakers regarding highways
« on: October 06, 2009, 09:28:28 PM »

Below is my letter I will send to CT lawmakers about the need for new revenue streams for our state's highways.  Please read & let me kno wwhat you think.  Comments? additions? As I understand it from our DOT, lawmakers have to pass laws to allow new ways for highway funding.

Connecticut needs to find new ways to fund its transportation projects.  The state also needs to make sure all current transportation monies raised goes towards transportation and for other uses.

   Connecticut has some great highway projects in development and it would be a shame for those projects to be shelved because of lack of funds.
   The projects are but not limited to:
1)   Widening of I-95 from Branford to Rhode Island.
2)   Widening of I-84 from Waterbury to New York.
3)   Rebuild of the I-84/Route 8 Interchange (Mixmaster) in Waterbury.
4)   Completion of the Route 7/Route 15 Interchange.
5)   Completion of the Route 11 Expressway.

Current Funding

   Without out some new source of revenue aimed solely for transportation and highway projects, the proposals mentioned above have little chance of being completed.  That has also been echoed by the Transportation Strategy Board. 

   As of right now, the DOT has halted some major projects around the state because it has to prioritize its projects because there isn’t enough money. 

   The DOT may have more funds if all of the money raised by the gas tax and gross receipts tax, which are components of Special Transportation Fund, are actually used for transportation. 

   State Rep. Steven Mikutel (D)-Griswold was quoted in “The Day” newspaper as saying half of the money in the Special Transportation Fund goes into the general fund and NOT for transportation uses.  I think this is an outrage.  While the DOT is halting projects, there is money that could and should be used for transportation that isn’t!

   “The Day” newspaper also reported in August 2008, that 41% of the $680 million in additional wholesale transportation revenues raised since 2005 have been spent on projects other than transportation. 

Future Funding

   The state should look at other funding sources such as:

1) Tolls.  I know there was a study recently done about bringing back tolls in CT.  If all of our neighbors have them, why can’t we?   A report by the state’s Office of Legislative Research determined MA Turnpike system & East Boston Tunnels raised $257 million in 2004.  The NJ Turnpike earned over $506 million that same year, the report concluded.

2) Public-Private Partnerships. Under this idea, the state would lease roads or sections of roads to private companies, who in turn pay for maintenance or the cost of building it.  Illinois leased the Chicago Skyway and Indiana leased the Indiana Toll Road. Check out: www.chicagoskyway.org

3) Our DOT should consider Design-Build method of construction.  The design-build delivery method is a way to save time and money. Compared to the more "traditional" design-bid-build method where the design work is completed in its entirety before contractors bid on the job and then order materials and perform the work, the design-build method streamlines the process by enabling construction to begin before design work is complete. This helps minimize price escalation from rising material and labor costs, and facilitates faster project completion.

   The longer these projects are delayed the more they will cost.  I compare it to paying off a credit card with a high interest rate.  You have to pay it anyway.  Might as well pay for it now because the longer you wait the more money it will cost you.

   I urge lawmakers to pass laws that will enable Connecticut to receive more funding for transporation projects so some important future projects are completed for the traveling public in a timely manner.
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