The Connecticut Department of Transportation unveiled its $9.7 billion five-year capital plan, covering fiscal years 2021 through 2025, on January 19: a plan that aims to make upgrades and state-of-good-repair investments across all modes of transportation, from highways and bridges to public transportation, bicycle, and pedestrian infrastructure.
[Above photo by the Connecticut DOT.]
“Ongoing maintenance and up-keep of our existing infrastructure, combined with strategic, thoughtful investment in projects that reduce congestion, improve mobility and efficiency, and minimize our environmental impacts are critical to keep Connecticut moving forward and competitive in the future,” explained Joe Giulietti, Connecticut DOT commissioner, in a statement.
“Our five-year plan demonstrates our commitment to responsible stewardship of our existing transportation network, while targeting much needed upgrades to our roads and bridges, our growing transit system, and healthier, eco-friendly, non-motorized options,” he added. “As we roll out our program, we will remain focused on delivering projects on time and on budget. But we cannot lose sight of the fact that long-term funding for continued critical investments in our transportation infrastructure is very much uncertain.”
The agency noted that, over its five-year plan, some $5.9 billion of overall investment would go towards highway and bridge projects, with $3.5 billion going towards public transportation needs.
Meanwhile, the Connecticut DOT awarded $5 million in funding to 10 towns and cities as part of a statewide competitive grant program for projects supporting improved mobility, accessibility, and safety.
The Community Connectivity Grant Program provides construction funding for local initiatives that will improve safety and accessibility for bicyclists and pedestrians in and around community centers, the agency said – encouraging more people to use these healthy and environmentally sustainable modes of travel. The grant program also facilitates social and economic opportunities for underserved communities by providing equitable levels of access to safe and affordable transportation.
“Improving our transportation infrastructure with projects like these is important to ensuring that all of our residents have equitable and safe access to get to their schools, their work, and can support our state’s small businesses,” noted Governor Ned Lamont (D) in a separate statement.
“That is why it is critical that we continue to make smart investments that will further enhance our state’s quality of life,” he said. “These projects will not only make our neighborhoods safer, but will support the growth of the economy while also becoming more pedestrian-friendly and more environmentally-conscious.”
“Improvements made under this program not only make Connecticut’s community centers more attractive and vibrant places to live and work, but they also help improve our environment and air quality while promoting equitable access to transportation” added Connecticut DOT’s Giulietti.
The agency added that municipal projects selected to receive grants via this program need to complete them within three years. The Connecticut DOT also noted that more than $30 million in state funding has been invested in Connecticut’s towns and cities via this program during the past three years.