Out-of-State Busway Contract Angers Local Lawmaker

State Rep. Frank Nicastro is voicing his frustrations after one of the first contracts relating to the New Britain-Hartford Busway was awarded to a Massachusetts company.

Ludlow Construction Co. was awarded a $3.9 million contract to replace a large water main so a new bridge can be erected at Flatbush Avenue in West Hartford, the New Britain Herald reports. The bridge would cross both the busway route and adjacent Amtrak tracks.

Niscastro told the paper, the project "is not going to be creating jobs if we're awarding contracts to companies out of state."

The contract means Connecticut is shipping taxpayer money elsewhere when instead the Busway should be creating jobs. he said.

Kevin Nursick, a state Department of Transportation spokesman, told the paper on Monday that Ludlow was the lowest responsible bidder, so in following state and federal law, there was no choice but to offer it the contract

Nursick said, despite the company being out-of-state, the contract will benefit Connecticut. He said out-of-state companies that win DOT bids often end up hiring locally.

The bridge project is not counted as part of the $567 million that the busway is projected to cost.

The state Department of Transportation will hold a public information meeting to discuss the 9.4 mile Busway at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday in the DiLoreto Multimedia Room at Central Connecticut State University's Frank DiLoreto Hall.

A hearing on the environmental issues related to the project is set for Sept. 7. No time or location has been announced.

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