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Author Topic: Connecticut News  (Read 565363 times)

PHLBOS

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2800 on: June 25, 2018, 10:09:19 AM »

It feels kind of odd I-95 having service plazas not being a toll road. Bringing the tolls back would make sense. Sure the 1983 tragedy was very unfortunate but it's like saying we will never build any more skyscrapers becasue of 911.
Two things:

1.  I-95 in CT isn't the only free highway that has service plazas: other examples include I-95/MA 128 in Newton & Lexington, MA 128 in Beverly and MA 24 Bridgewater/Raynham.

2.  Which CT Turnpike tragedy are you referring to... the Mianus River Bridge collapse or the toll plaza crash (both occurred circa 1983)?  It was the former (federal funding to repair the collapsed bridge) that triggered the removal of the tolls along the Turnpike; such was a condition to receive federal funds.  The latter (toll plaza crash/pile-up) triggered the removal of tolls along CT's other tolled facilities.

As previously stated further back on this thread; that 1983 bridge collapse effectively debunked the notion (at least in CT) that tolled roads = better conditioned roads.  The notion then as it is now is that if a toll road agency couldn't be trusted to properly manage/use toll revenue then; why would they be trusted with such now?

As far as revenue is concerned: change how the gas tax revenue is allocated first (i.e. place revenue in a transportation/highway fund rather than a vague general fund) and see what happens.  Such would be a good-faith effort to restore some trust in government officials.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 10:11:24 AM by PHLBOS »
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2801 on: June 25, 2018, 03:38:30 PM »

As previously stated further back on this thread; that 1983 bridge collapse effectively debunked the notion (at least in CT) that tolled roads = better conditioned roads.  The notion then as it is now is that if a toll road agency couldn't be trusted to properly manage/use toll revenue then; why would they be trusted with such now?


The big problem with the way tolls were collected on the Connecticut Turnpike is that unlike in neighboring states that established (through legislation or constitutional amendments) a quasi-public agency to use the toll revenues collected to pay off a road's debt and maintain the road, Connecticut assigned owner/operator responsibility of the Turnpike to the Connecticut Highway Department (later the Connecticut Department of Transportation), which also had oversight of all of Connecticut's non-tolled roads.  Add to this problem, toll revenues collected from the Connecticut Turnpike went to the state's General Fund, meaning that toll money was used to pay for non-highway expenditures, let alone Turnpike expenses.  The Special Transportation Fund that currently exists was established during the administration of William O'Neill only after the collapse of the Mianus River Bridge in 1983. 

The only way tolls will work in Connecticut is if the voters pass the transportation "lock-box" amendment to the state constitution, so that money remains dedicated to transportation investment and sustainment, and not subject to being raided by the State Legislature to pay for non-transportation expenditures and pet projects.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 10:51:31 PM by abqtraveler »
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RobbieL2415

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2802 on: June 25, 2018, 05:45:48 PM »

Merrit/WC Parkways also have service plazas and no tolls. MA 24 has one service plaza just north of the I-495 interchange.  You could also count ye olde Shenandoah rest stop on the TSP.  The Sloatsburg Plaza on the NYS Thruway can technically be accessed without paying a toll but you would still have to pay one to exit the freeway proper.
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AMLNet49

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2803 on: June 25, 2018, 06:12:36 PM »

Merrit/WC Parkways also have service plazas and no tolls. MA 24 has one service plaza just north of the I-495 interchange.  You could also count ye olde Shenandoah rest stop on the TSP.  The Sloatsburg Plaza on the NYS Thruway can technically be accessed without paying a toll but you would still have to pay one to exit the freeway proper.

Actually many free highways in Mass have at least one service plaza including I-95/128, MA-24, MA-2 (sort of, it’s really just a gas station), MA-3, US-6, and Standalone MA-128. I may be missing some as well.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2804 on: June 25, 2018, 06:42:09 PM »

Perhaps the notion of "toll road=better maintained roads" is referred to most states which have toll roads/bridges are operated as an agency separate from the state DOT.  NY has the Thruway Authority, the Bridge Authority;  Maine has the Maine Turnpike Authority;  even RI has the "Turnpike & Bridge Authority".  CT has never had any of that... just the highway department (now DOT).  So money just went into a giant pot at DOT (or worse, the general fund) to be spent on what seemed fit at the time. 

If Connecticut had a "Turnpike Authority" or something similar, perhaps the money could be kept for just upkeep of that road in particular.  Perhaps the bridges would have been better maintained (avoiding a Mianus disaster).  Perhaps the turnpike would be widened east of New Haven out to (at least) East Lyme.

Or, perhaps not. 

A resumption of tolls in CT would most likely just put the $$$ into the general fund.  Maybe that's why they want tolls not just on I-95. 
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RobbieL2415

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2805 on: June 25, 2018, 07:20:38 PM »

Perhaps the notion of "toll road=better maintained roads" is referred to most states which have toll roads/bridges are operated as an agency separate from the state DOT.  NY has the Thruway Authority, the Bridge Authority;  Maine has the Maine Turnpike Authority;  even RI has the "Turnpike & Bridge Authority".  CT has never had any of that... just the highway department (now DOT).  So money just went into a giant pot at DOT (or worse, the general fund) to be spent on what seemed fit at the time. 

If Connecticut had a "Turnpike Authority" or something similar, perhaps the money could be kept for just upkeep of that road in particular.  Perhaps the bridges would have been better maintained (avoiding a Mianus disaster).  Perhaps the turnpike would be widened east of New Haven out to (at least) East Lyme.

Or, perhaps not. 

A resumption of tolls in CT would most likely just put the $$$ into the general fund.  Maybe that's why they want tolls not just on I-95.
The Greater Hartford Bridge Authority maintained and tolled the Putnam, Charter Oak and Bissell Bridges for some time.
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abqtraveler

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2806 on: June 25, 2018, 11:03:54 PM »

Perhaps the notion of "toll road=better maintained roads" is referred to most states which have toll roads/bridges are operated as an agency separate from the state DOT.  NY has the Thruway Authority, the Bridge Authority;  Maine has the Maine Turnpike Authority;  even RI has the "Turnpike & Bridge Authority".  CT has never had any of that... just the highway department (now DOT).  So money just went into a giant pot at DOT (or worse, the general fund) to be spent on what seemed fit at the time. 

If Connecticut had a "Turnpike Authority" or something similar, perhaps the money could be kept for just upkeep of that road in particular.  Perhaps the bridges would have been better maintained (avoiding a Mianus disaster).  Perhaps the turnpike would be widened east of New Haven out to (at least) East Lyme.

Or, perhaps not. 

A resumption of tolls in CT would most likely just put the $$$ into the general fund.  Maybe that's why they want tolls not just on I-95.

I can remember on multiple occasions the Connecticut General Assembly raided the Special Transportation Fund to balance massive deficits in the General Fund, thanks to unchecked and unsustainable cost growth in the state's pension, health care, and welfare programs. It's now estimated that Connecticut has more than $50 billion (with a B) just in unfunded pension liabilities. Yet year after year they raise taxes or impose new taxes, and it seems like the deficits get bigger and bigger. Still, the pols in Conmecticut won't tell anyone where the money's going. It was called Corrupticut then, and it called Corrupticut now.
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jp the roadgeek

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2807 on: June 26, 2018, 03:54:53 AM »

Apologize for the double post, but it looks like tolls are dead in CT for this legislative session.

https://patch.com/connecticut/greenwich/fate-tolls-ct-grows-clearer
Don't be fooled they are coming. Just not right now. I am sure the bill will be back in 2019. The state is broke the tolls are coming back the only question is when.

It’s all based on the outcome of the 2018 elections.  Right now the Legislature is 79-72 Democrats while the State Senate is 18-18 (Democrat Lieutenant Gov breaks ties).  If Lamont aka Malloy 2.0 is elected, it’s a foregone conclusion unless the house is flipped for the first time in many years.
I hate to get too political here but all I keep hearing is this year there is a blue wave coming. Also factor Connecticut is one of the bluest states in the nation. I find it interesting though the law makers put it on hold until after the election are they really afraid of losing? I don't see any other solution at this point. It feels kind of odd I-95 having service plazas not being a toll road. Bringing the tolls back would make sense. Sure the 1983 tragedy was very unfortunate but it's like saying we will never build any more skyscrapers becasue of 911.

While there is (depending on which media outlet you listen to) talk of  a blue wave (which some dingbats that shall remain nameless are helping it fall on its own sword), there is sentiment here for a Red Revolt outside the big cities.  Personally, I can’t stand Malloy and Murphy, not just politically, but they both come across as pompous and full of themselves.  And with the tax burden in this state reaching beyond managable levels, people are jumping ship and moving, which means less revenue and having to raise taxes even higher on those that remain.  For people that commute, tolls are an added tax on income that has already been taxed at the federal and state level.  For someone who makes $60k a year ($45k after taxes and deductions) and commutes to a job, an extra $2000 in tolls is almost a 4% pay cut on after tax income.  Not to mention gas taxes are among the highest in the country.  Three words: CUT FRIVOLOUS SPENDING

Switching gears to a more positive note, I did notice the piers going up for the new overhead signage (including a corrected FARMINGTON sign I saw in the Plainville storage area) near the I-84/CT 72 area.

UPDATE: 2 new overhead signs on single gantries for the EB Slater Rd left exit that will replace the BGS’s mounted on the 84W/72E and North Mountain Rd overpasses left are now up.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 04:53:56 PM by jp the roadgeek »
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Rothman

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2808 on: June 26, 2018, 07:56:41 AM »

A Red revolt.  Commies in Connecticut. :D
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PHLBOS

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2809 on: June 26, 2018, 08:52:27 AM »

Perhaps the notion of "toll road=better maintained roads" is referred to most states which have toll roads/bridges are operated as an agency separate from the state DOT.  NY has the Thruway Authority, the Bridge Authority;  Maine has the Maine Turnpike Authority;  even RI has the "Turnpike & Bridge Authority".  CT has never had any of that... just the highway department (now DOT).  So money just went into a giant pot at DOT (or worse, the general fund) to be spent on what seemed fit at the time. 

If Connecticut had a "Turnpike Authority" or something similar, perhaps the money could be kept for just upkeep of that road in particular.  Perhaps the bridges would have been better maintained (avoiding a Mianus disaster).  Perhaps the turnpike would be widened east of New Haven out to (at least) East Lyme.

Or, perhaps not.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) blows that particular theory right out the window.  Even before Act 44 became law, the PA Turnpike had a long-standing reputation of being one of the most expensive toll roads in the country but in the worst overall condition.

Edit due to additional info. provided by Roadman in a subsequent post:
The 2006 I-90/Big Dig Connector Tunnel ceiling tile collapse angered then-Gov. Romney enough to fire then-Turnpike Authority Chairman Matt Amorello & call for the consolidation of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (that controlled the Turnpike & harbor tunnels) with then-MassHighway agency; though the merger of the two agencies into the current MassDOT wouldn't occur until the Patrick Administration... mainly due to pressure from the local media (mainly talk-show host & Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr who advocated the abolition of the Turnpike Authority (& its tolls) since the 1980s).
« Last Edit: June 27, 2018, 10:18:13 AM by PHLBOS »
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ipeters61

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2810 on: June 26, 2018, 08:51:58 PM »

Perhaps the notion of "toll road=better maintained roads" is referred to most states which have toll roads/bridges are operated as an agency separate from the state DOT.  NY has the Thruway Authority, the Bridge Authority;  Maine has the Maine Turnpike Authority;  even RI has the "Turnpike & Bridge Authority".  CT has never had any of that... just the highway department (now DOT).  So money just went into a giant pot at DOT (or worse, the general fund) to be spent on what seemed fit at the time. 

If Connecticut had a "Turnpike Authority" or something similar, perhaps the money could be kept for just upkeep of that road in particular.  Perhaps the bridges would have been better maintained (avoiding a Mianus disaster).  Perhaps the turnpike would be widened east of New Haven out to (at least) East Lyme.

Or, perhaps not.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) blows that particular theory right out the window.  Even before Act 44 became law, the PA Turnpike had a long-standing reputation of being one of the most expensive toll roads in the country but in the worst overall condition.

The 2006 I-90/Big Dig Connector Tunnel ceiling tile collapse was the main reason why then-Gov. Romney decided to consolidate the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (that controlled the Turnpike & harbor tunnels) with then-MassHighway agency into the current MassDOT.

As far as I know, the tolled portion of the DE-1 expressway is owned and maintained by DelDOT.  I find it to be in very good condition overall, but it also helps that it's a road that's less than 30 years old.
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roadman

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2811 on: June 27, 2018, 09:23:50 AM »

The 2006 I-90/Big Dig Connector Tunnel ceiling tile collapse was the main reason why then-Gov. Romney decided to consolidate the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (that controlled the Turnpike & harbor tunnels) with then-MassHighway agency into the current MassDOT.

The MassDOT consolidation was the result of legislation submitted by Governor Patrick, and not Governor Romney.  And the continual criticism of the Turnpike Authority by Howie Carr and others in the media had far more to do with the decision to eliminate that agency that the ceiling collapse did.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2812 on: June 27, 2018, 09:32:55 AM »

It was Romney that definitely got the ball rolling though, even though the legislation was not signed until Patrick was in office.
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PHLBOS

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2813 on: June 27, 2018, 10:24:53 AM »

I've since modified my earlier post; however, one can not tell me for one nanosecond that the tunnel ceiling collapse was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back regarding the future of the Turnpike Authority.  As stated in my previous post edit, the media criticism (I remember when the late-Jerry Williams was talking about it during the late 1980s) of the Authority existed well before the tunnel ceiling collapse; the incident itself was the proverbial match that lit the gasoline on that media fire.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2814 on: June 27, 2018, 04:02:38 PM »

I-84 signing project update:

Courtesy of the ConnDOT traffic cameras, looks like we have a new 4-chord cantilever just installed for LEFT Exit 36/Slater Rd, I-84 EB:
https://cttravelsmart.org/cctv?start=30&length=10&filters%5B0%5D%5Bi%5D=2&filters%5B0%5D%5Bs%5D=I-84&order%5Bi%5D=0&order%5Bdir%5D=asc
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2815 on: June 28, 2018, 04:16:36 AM »

I-84 signing project update:

Courtesy of the ConnDOT traffic cameras, looks like we have a new 4-chord cantilever just installed for LEFT Exit 36/Slater Rd, I-84 EB:
https://cttravelsmart.org/cctv?start=30&length=10&filters%5B0%5D%5Bi%5D=2&filters%5B0%5D%5Bs%5D=I-84&order%5Bi%5D=0&order%5Bdir%5D=asc

Drove the stretch from Southington to Hartford this evening and got a couple shots of them.  There’s a half mile and a quarter mile advance one.  Also there are new cantilever 3/4 and 1/4 mile advance signs for Exit 39A EB.  No new signage WB yet, except the white WEST shields are corrected to blue.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2816 on: June 28, 2018, 02:29:18 PM »

Noticed studs were installed on I-84 W in the vicinity of exit 70/69.  It's either for a new gantry or a new VMS.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2817 on: July 03, 2018, 02:47:46 PM »

I found this home video of Connecticut on YouTube from 1987.  Most of it appears to have been shot in Fairfield County, and it includes footage driving down the Merritt Parkway (about 12:48 into the video).  Nice to see the old state outline route shields!

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2818 on: July 04, 2018, 07:20:14 PM »

I found this home video of Connecticut on YouTube from 1987.  Most of it appears to have been shot in Fairfield County, and it includes footage driving down the Merritt Parkway (about 12:48 into the video).  Nice to see the old state outline route shields!



Interesting that the US-7/Main Ave ramps were Exits 39-40 rather than Exit 39 A-B and Exit 40 A-B as they are today. Surprised to see how many more overhead gantries were up as well.  The only one remaining is for Exit 35 SB I believe.

The Merritt never had reflective button copy except for the US-7/Main Ave ramps.  It had non-reflective button copy up until the wood panel recreations.

« Last Edit: July 09, 2018, 03:27:24 PM by Mergingtraffic »
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2819 on: July 05, 2018, 12:06:29 PM »

Interesting that the US-7/Main Ave ramps were Exits 39-40 rather than Exit 39 A-B and Exit 40 A-B as they are today. Surprised to see how many more overhead gantries were up as well.  The only one remaining is for Exit 35 SB I believe.

Yup, there were a few overheads in the "state outline shield" days.  With the state reducing its overhead sign footprint, there will be less and less (except Exit 88 on I-95 which is getting new overheads on its signs). 

I'm guessing Exits 39 and 40 instead of 39N-S was used because this was the first road in CT to have exit numbers and they really didn't know what they were doing/there was no exit numbering standard.  That's why #27 is the first exit, as they're keeping it continuous with the exits on the 'Hutch.  Further up on the WCP, the exits for Route 34 are Exits 57 & 58, where they should be just Exit 57E-W. 

There's a short section before the Merritt section in the video showing I-95 in Norwalk, with the Phase III all reflective button copy.  It must be relatively new, as the old blue turnpike signs were replaced sometime in the early/mid 80s west of New Haven.  Though I doubt the exit for US 7 ever had all-blue signs, since the US 7 expressway in Norwalk opened well after the turnpike did.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2820 on: July 05, 2018, 12:21:01 PM »

I found this home video of Connecticut on YouTube from 1987.  Most of it appears to have been shot in Fairfield County, and it includes footage driving down the Merritt Parkway (about 12:48 into the video).  Nice to see the old state outline route shields!



That is fascinating.  I was living in New Canaan at that time.  They were filming on a Sunday, but I was almost expecting to see myself walking downtown.  We ate at that Baskin Robbins all the time, and my mom was a crossing guard barely a block away from where they were, in front of St. Aloysius.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2821 on: July 06, 2018, 12:20:38 AM »

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.5569998,-72.642563,3a,54.9y,299.94h,79.23t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sG_CwfDdwel5TzPMYi_8fKQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
The remnants of the CT 9 NB metered ramp, the only one CONNDOT has ever installed.  Control box on the left.  The cone marks where the light was mounted.  Cracked pavement is where the cabling was sunk.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2822 on: July 06, 2018, 07:55:48 AM »

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.5569998,-72.642563,3a,54.9y,299.94h,79.23t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sG_CwfDdwel5TzPMYi_8fKQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
The remnants of the CT 9 NB metered ramp, the only one CONNDOT has ever installed.  Control box on the left.  The cone marks where the light was mounted.  Cracked pavement is where the cabling was sunk.
Hm...very interesting.  Do you know when it was in service?  Seems like an appropriate place to have a ramp meter since it's right before the stoplights in Middletown.
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jon daly

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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2823 on: July 06, 2018, 11:55:43 AM »

I recall that ramp meter, but it's been many years since I entered CT-9 from CT-17. I had no idea that it was gone.
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Re: Connecticut News
« Reply #2824 on: July 06, 2018, 04:31:33 PM »

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.5569998,-72.642563,3a,54.9y,299.94h,79.23t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sG_CwfDdwel5TzPMYi_8fKQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
The remnants of the CT 9 NB metered ramp, the only one CONNDOT has ever installed.  Control box on the left.  The cone marks where the light was mounted.  Cracked pavement is where the cabling was sunk.
Hm...very interesting.  Do you know when it was in service?  Seems like an appropriate place to have a ramp meter since it's right before the stoplights in Middletown.
I've looked everywhere for paperwork; studies, engineering diagrams, completed projects, no dice.  Only proof (if you can call it that) is a memory of being in the car when my parents drove past it about 17-18 years ago.
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