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Tunnel Visions During A Week Of Infrastructure

Jun 6, 2017
Ryan King / WNPR

President Donald Trump is announcing a series of plans during what he’s calling Infrastructure Week. One proposal would privatize air traffic controllers. Trump will visit the Ohio River on Wednesday and talk about the value of investing in inland waterway infrastructure.

It just so happens there are big infrastructure plans underway in Hartford, too.

President Trump announced Monday a plan to privatize the nation's air traffic control system — a move that would remove the job of tracking and guiding airplanes from the purview of the Federal Aviation Administration.

"Today we're proposing to take American air travel into the future, finally," Trump said.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Communities along Connecticut’s southeastern shore want faster, reliable train service to Washington, D.C, New York, and Boston -- but not if it skips their local train stations. A proposed federal plan for high speed rail would do just that.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The Federal Railroad Administration is working on plans to bring more high speed rail to the Northeast Corridor. It’s the busiest stretch of passenger rail in the nation that spans from Washington, D.C. to Boston.

The iconic cover art of Radiohead’s album OK Computer shows a heavily distorted picture of an anonymous highway interchange. The band has never said where the picture came from. Now some internet sleuths think they’ve found it – in Hartford, Connecticut.

Washington State Dept. of Transportation/flickr creative commons

With Connecticut’s special transportation fund expected to be scraping bottom by 2020, some lawmakers and advocates have been saying electronic highway tolls are inevitable. But that reality may be here sooner than originally thought.

   The Democratic mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts said he spoke with White House officials Thursday about federal plans for infrastructure projects. 

Lindsay Kinkade / Creative Commons

As Connecticut wrestles with the question of re-introducing highway tolls, Democrats and Republicans are at odds about whether the idea is feasible. A bill which would include tolls as a revenue raising source for transportation has already passed out of committee, and will be debated by the full House and Senate. 

Mrschimpf / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s special transportation fund could be insolvent within four years if lawmakers don’t take action to secure new revenues. That was the message from the governor’s budget team to members of the legislature’s transportation committee Friday. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy has included $125 million in his capital budget as part of an effort to remake the XL Center in downtown Hartford. The state says this is half of what is needed to bring the stadium up to date, but the plan could face Republican opposition. 

FuelCell Energy, Inc.

A fuel cell came online Monday in Connecticut, at Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge.

John H Gray / Creative Commons

Train travel in the Northeast might soon be faster, more accessible and more reliable, but a lot of this relies on the federal government.

This hour — rail in Connecticut. Is it on the right track?

Outgoing Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro's office overlooks a stretch of the Washington, D.C., waterfront where several high-rent apartment buildings are being built, in a city where affordable housing is in short supply and homelessness is a big problem.

These are some of the same issues his successor will have to deal with as head of an agency that provides housing aid to 10 million low-income families.

Officials at the Burlington Electric Department spent much of their holiday weekend cleaning up someone else’s mess.

Connecticut Regional Development Authority

Officials in charge of the state’s XL Center in Hartford have approved a $250 million transformation of the building. But whether it happens and how to pay for it now falls to lawmakers and the governor. 

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