Report: State Lacks Needed Funding for Road Improvements

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Connecticut roads and bridges are in dire need of an upgrade but the state does not have the money to make the changes, according to a report a national transportation research group released on Thursday.

The Road Information Program report says 45 percent of the state's major roadways are in poor or mediocre condition and 34 percent of state bridges have been deemed deficient or obsolete.

The report breaks down costs to motorists and figures that state roads are becoming too crowded and road conditions have cost Connecticut drivers $2.7 billion a year in traffic crashes, additional vehicle operating costs and congestion delays.

The cost to average motorists in Bridgeport and Stamford was $1,270 a year, the cost to Hartford area drivers is $1,119 and the average cost to New haven drivers is $1,074 per year.

Last year’s federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided about $302 million in stimulus funding for highway and bridge improvements and $137 million for public transit improvements in Connecticut, but it’s not enough for the state to proceed with several projects needed to modernize the surface transportation system, the report says.

The Washington, D.C.-based research group says the state needs a significant boost in funding for its transportation infrastructure to make the necessary improvements.

Project identified as in need of “significant federal funding to proceed” include reconstruction of Route 15 from Fairfield to Trumbull, bridge replacements, improving interchanges and ramps on Interstate 95 in Norwalk from U.S. 7 to Exit 14, replacing the bridges and approach on Interstate 95 in New Haven over the Quinnipiac River and New Haven Harbor, reconstructing and widening Interstate 84 in Waterbury from Silver Street to Pierpont Road, and improvements to the New Britain – Hartford Busway.

You can find the whole list here.

A message left with the Department of Transportation Thursday was not immediately returned.

WEIGH IN: What roads need the most help? Comment below.

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Copyright AP - Associated Press
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