The 1.2 trillion federal Infrastructure bill before the United States House of Representatives could bring billions of dollars to Connecticut for roads, bridges, airports, transit, rail systems, ports and waterways. Local officials and federal officials will hold a news conference this morning on the impact it could have for the state.
On Wednesday morning, Gov. Ned Lamont will hold a news conference in Hartford with U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, Connecticut Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti, and representatives of construction workers about the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which passed in the Senate.
The plan that cleared the Senate includes more than $5.38 billion for state transportation projects over the next five years.
Connecticut will also be eligible to seek some of the more than $100 billion in competitive, federal transportation grants. The state must provide matching funds, money that will be generated by Connecticut’s new highway user fees on heavy trucks.
Those grants cover a wide range of projects, from reducing crashes and fatalities, especially for cyclists and pedestrians, to eliminating railway-highway crossing hazards. Connecticut officials have said the state is in a good position to receive federal grant funding for climate change and other initiatives, given the fact there are projects and plans already in the works.
The massive infrastructure bill also includes $30 billion in competitive grants for the Northeast Corridor Commission for rail projects throughout the Northeast, including in Connecticut. The Senate’s approval comes nearly two months after the Lamont administration unveiled an $8 billion to $10 billion “Time for Connecticut” plan that aims to reduce commuter rail times from Connecticut to New York City by as much as 25 minutes by 2035.
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While some of the funding in the infrastructure bill is for new initiatives, existing grant programs are also beefed up. Murphy said much of the massive package will be paid for with higher taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations.
The news conference will be held at 10 am.