WETHERSFIELD, CT — Plans to renovate a state maintenance garage in Wethersfield and connect trails to the Putnam Bridge walkway are in limbo following an announcement by Gov. Dannel Malloy this week that Department of Transportation projects may be postponed indefinitely.
Malloy warned Wednesday that $4.3 billion in DOT projects could be postponed indefinitely unless more money is added to the Special Transportation Fund.
The fund is set to be in a deficit by July 1, 2018 if no action is taken. It funds the state's transportation system, including the DOT and all the services it provides.
The Wethersfield project has a cost estimate of $14.04 million.
The trail project has a budget of more than $11 million.
See the full list of affected projects here.
"If Connecticut does not take the necessary action to allow us to restart these vital projects, not only will it put the state's infrastructure into a further state of disrepair, it will hurt our economy," Malloy said.
State Rep. Tony Guerrera, who co-chairs the Transportation Committee, suggested instituting tolls or finding another stable source of revenue to avert the mass project shutdown.
"This isn't a problem that can be punted until future years. Connecticut needs immediate action," DOT Commissioner James Redeker said. "As Gov. Malloy noted last month, the solvency of the Special Transportation Fund is in doubt without new revenues. In real terms, that means we need to postpone indefinitely important projects today."
Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano said that the state's transportation woes didn't come out of nowhere and that Malloy and Democrats took $164 million over the past four years from Special Transportation Fund to balance budgets.
"Now, Gov. Malloy and Democrats are trying to use the problem they created to force the legislature to approve new taxes and more burdens on commuters," Fasano said. "That has been their game plan all along."
Patch Editors Tim Jensen and Rich Scinto contributed to this story.
Photo credit: CT.gov
Source : https://patch.com/connecticut/wethersfield/plans-state-dot-garage-wethersfield-could-be-postponed