As Connecticut struggles to pass a budget, the governor is vowing to move forward with several transportation projects, including an upgrade of what’s known as the Heroes Tunnel in New Haven.
Governor Dannel Malloy stood outside the West Rock tunnel -- which sees an average of 71,000 cars a day, and is rated in poor condition -- to highlight needed upgrades and applaud legislators for setting into motion a transportation lockbox.
If it’s passed by a referendum, the lockbox would guarantee that revenue earmarked for transportation could not be used for anything else.
Malloy said the lockbox is a step in the right direction and that now is the time to have a serious discussion about how to raise additional income. He did not close the door to tolls.
“Our state bird is not the ostrich,” Malloy said. “We should take our head out of the sand, and be having a discussion about how to raise the appropriate amounts of money to maintain our roads. I was finding it hard to advocate about how we raise that money until we got a lockbox on the ballot. We have it on the ballot. Let’s have a mature discussion about how we do this.”
Malloy said that 47 percent of state maintained roadways are in less than good condition. More than 250 bridges are rated as structurally deficient.