Transportation Forum

April 30, 2019

We held a forum in Bristol on investing in the state’s transportation infrastructure. An audience of approximately 50 Bristol residents attended the presentation and question and answer session.

There has been a lot of misinformation. I wanted a fact-based conversation about a realistic plan that relieves Connecticut taxpayers from the full burden of paying for our infrastructure needs.

Republicans and Democrats both believe that the state should dedicate $700-$800 million annually to infrastructure repairs and improvements.

Under the Republican’s “Prioritize Progress” plan transportation projects would be put on the state’s credit card. Current and future taxpayers would foot the entire bill – with interest. According to their proposal, Republicans would bond, or borrow, hundreds of millions of dollars every year for 30 years. Analysts predict their plan would result in an income tax increase, property tax increases and higher costs for borrowing money with a lower bond rating.

The Democratic proposal – which calls for electronic tolls on I-95, I-91, I-84 and the Merritt Parkway – would capture 30% - 40% of toll-generated revenue from out-of-state drivers. Details include:

  • Toll gantries on I-84, I-95, I-91 and the Merritt Pkwy
  • Gantries will be located every 6-7 miles and frequent commuters and CT residents will get discounts
  • Tolls will be less than 5 cents-per-mile
  • No more than 50 gantries in total
  • Revenues from tolls will be exclusively used on transportation projects

A Bristol resident could expect a toll of approximately 66 cents for a one-way commute to Hartford.

Hundreds of roads and bridges across Connecticut have been identified as being in need of repairs, improvements or replacement. According to the Department of Transportation, 57% of Connecticut’s major locally and state-maintained roads and highways are in poor condition and 22 % are in mediocre condition.