Governor Dannel Malloy announced Thursday he’d like to widen Interstate 84 in Danbury, one of many initiatives he's proposed this month.
Already in place in the state’s transportation overhaul is an expansion of the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter rail -- slated for completion in 2016 -- as well as the opening of CTfastrak, a Hartford-New Britain rapid busway that will launch in March.
Meanwhile, Connecticut Department of Transportation research and public discussion surrounding the eventual replacement of the I-84 viaduct in Hartford is underway.
With multiple state transportation projects announced on an almost-weekly basis this month, below is a list of new initiatives announced to help you keep track of the governor's transportation overhaul.
1. Widening I-84 between Exits 3 and 8 northbound and southbound.
The I-84 western corridor carries more than 125,000 vehicles on an average weekday, resulting in significant “choke points” in busy morning and evening peak hours along the five-mile section of highway.
2. Repairing the 70-year-old, one-mile-long Gold Star Bridge and its northbound counterpart on Interstate 95 in New London.
Alongside the separate bridge for northbound traffic, the Gold Star Bridge (the longest in Connecticut, at 5,900 feet) carries about 100,000 vehicles per day. While it is still safe for travel, the bridge has been deemed “structurally deficient.”
Repairs needed for both bridges include rehabilitation or replacement of the existing bridge deck, structural steel repairs, spot painting, replacement or rehabilitation of the existing bearings, replacement of the bituminous surface, and the replacement of existing sign supports.
3. Adding a new lane in each direction of I-95 through southeastern Connecticut, including the junction of I-95 and I-395.
This is part of the governor’s long-term vision to widen lanes on I-95 from New York to Rhode Island. I-95 is currently being widened between Exit 14 and Exit 15 northbound in Norwalk, part of a $42.3 million project that will also add a connector exit lane to I-95 south.
4. Improving state bike paths.
Earlier this month, Malloy touted the New Haven Route 34 Downtown Crossing Project as a model for making Connecticut bike and pedestrian-friendly. The 2013 phase of the project widened New Haven streets, created new bike lanes, traffic lights, and intersections. Malloy also indicated support for a cross-state bike path through Connecticut, part of a national effort to connect Florida to Maine for non-motorized transportation users, the project will allow bicyclists to cross the state.
Malloy wants to enable his initiatives with “lockbox” legislation, which would guarantee that state transportation revenue would be permanently directed to transportation spending.
The governor thus far has not proposed a specific way to fund the initiatives, nor has he announced the overall cost of the overhaul. Malloy will present the details of his transportation plan when he delivers his budget to the General Assembly on February 18.
Ryan King is an intern at WNPR.