Gov. Ned Lamont has released a working draft of his transportation investment plan, which includes more details on the tolls proposal and highlights the priorities for improvements on Connecticut’s major highways.
The governor is proposing a special session focused on transportation and economic development, and released his working plan ahead of that session.
The governor is proposing tolls along Interstates 95, 91, and 84 and parts of Route 15. He says the improvements needed to the state's infrastructure can only happen with revenue from tolls.
The rates would be set at 4 and a half cents during peak driving hours and 3 and a half cents during off-peak. He also proposes the creation of a commission controlled by lawmakers that would oversee rates and how toll revenues would be distributed.
That commission would decide on the specific locations for tolls.
The plan also highlights several key projects to be addressed, including improvements to the viaduct on Interstate 84 in Hartford, improvements to the Mixmaster on Interstate 84 in Waterbury, improvements to the interchange between Interstates 84 and 91, improvements to Interstate 95, and improvements to the Hero’s Tunnel in New Haven, among others.
Lamont said getting a balanced budget on time is the most important issue right now, and that the transportation special session will be a chance to come up with a bipartisan plan that works for the state.
“I’ve also met with Republican leadership and I have invited them to the table in our special session,” Lamont said in a statement. “They agree that the current state of our infrastructure system should not be a partisan problem, and I welcome and encourage their participation in this special session.”
“I will speak on behalf of the House Republican Caucus we’re still and will continue to be adamantly against tolls," House Minority Leader Themis Klarides said Tuesday night.
Republicans argue there are better and more responsible ways to find the cash for transportation.
And they believe the idea of a special session is a sign there’s not enough support for tolls right now.
“They still can’t get tolls passed. There’s a reason for that. The people of this state have spoken. They do not want them," she added.
Lawmakers are running out of time, with just two weeks left to pass a budget.