HARTFORD, CT (STL.News) Governor Ned Lamont is applauding President Joe Biden, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Senator Chris Murphy, and a bipartisan coalition of the United States Senate for passing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act today. The historic legislation will make the largest investment in United States infrastructure in decades.
The comprehensive package includes new funding for Connecticut’s roads, bridges, airports, transit, and rail systems – including significant new funding to repair and improve the Northeast Corridor – as well as the state’s ports and inland waterways. In addition, it includes funding to close the digital divide and make high-speed internet access available and affordable for Connecticut families.
The bill addresses climate change and improves the environment by enhancing the reliability of the energy grid, accelerating the transition to cleaner forms of power generation, funding coastal resiliency and flood mitigation projects and buildout of EV charging infrastructure, as well as remediating contaminated brownfield and superfund sites in Connecticut. As the number and severity of cyber and ransomware attacks increase, the bill will provide new resources to defend networks.
Governor Lamont said major infrastructure investments are long overdue and necessary to keep the United States competitive in a 21st century economy.
“Over the coming decade, every person in Connecticut will experience the impact of this transformative investment in our nation’s infrastructure,” Governor Lamont said. “I applaud President Biden for sitting down with Republicans and Democrats in Congress and successfully negotiating an agreement that this country has needed for far too long. I commend and thank Senator Blumenthal and Senator Murphy, for helping make this happen and for their ongoing work to ensure that Connecticut has the federal resources we need to modernize our transportation system, address climate change, and connect our households and schools with affordable, high-speed internet.”
Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti says his agency has planned and prepared for this moment to overhaul the state’s infrastructure through research, public involvement, critical data, and analysis, resulting in a plan steeped in reality and built on three pillars: service, infrastructure, and fleet investment.
Under the bill, Connecticut will receive more than $5.38 billion to improve the state’s transportation system, in addition to being eligible for more than $100 billion in competitive federal transportation grants. In anticipation of a major federal investment in infrastructure and recognizing the need for additional state funds to match new federal funds, Governor Lamont signed into law a fresh revenue stream that will collect highway use fees from heavy trucks that are responsible for the most damage on Connecticut’s highways. This policy is the first effort in a generation to provide more investment in the state’s highway infrastructure, and will ensure Connecticut has the resources to leverage federal dollars and rebuild its roads, bridges, transit, and rail systems.
“The passing of the historic and transformative bipartisan infrastructure bill is a big win for Connecticut,” Commissioner Giulietti said. “We’re ready to put federal transportation dollars to work by advancing Governor Lamont’s vision to improve the region’s rail network, bridges, and roads and put equity, safety, and sustainability at the forefront of our efforts. I want to sincerely thank Connecticut’s Congressional delegation for their unwavering leadership and support in Washington. The Connecticut Department of Transportation is poised and ready to fundamentally transform transportation infrastructure in Connecticut with these valuable federal resources for this generation and the next.”
The funding will allow the Connecticut Department of Transportation to implement its top priorities, which include rebuilding and reducing congestion, reconnecting communities, developing smarter and safer streets, electrifying transit and rail, improving passenger experience, increasing rail reliability and resiliency, transforming transit, and upgrading the state’s urban transit system. It will also help Connecticut increase its ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure pedestrians have safe passageways.
“The bipartisan federal infrastructure bill could not come at a more critical time,” Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “The bill proposes transformative measures to improve the resilience of our grid, our coastal resources, and our natural environment and reduce harmful emissions in our transportation sector. This bill will allow DEEP and the State of Connecticut to make significant progress in addressing climate change and air pollution, while growing jobs and protecting communities. Thanks to Connecticut’s Congressional delegation in Washington, who have made climate action a priority in the infrastructure bill.”
Governor Lamont said the investments will help advance his administration’s Time for CT initiative, which delivers a roadmap to bring faster and more frequent train service between Connecticut and New York, in addition to the Northeast Corridor Commission’s CONNECT NEC 2035 (C35) initiative, which aims to improve rail throughout the Northeast.
The $5.38 billion Connecticut will receive over the next five years is a $1.63 billion increase over the most recent transportation bill enacted in 2015. Its investments include:
- $3.29 billion to tackle major corridor congestion and safety, accelerate construction projects, and crease smarter and safer roads/streets for drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists
- $1.3 billion to enhance public transit (bus and rail)
- $561 million to bring Connecticut’s aging bridges into a state of good repair
- $90 million to make Connecticut’s transportation assets more resilient to weather and natural disasters
- $79 million to reduce transportation carbon emissions
- $52.5 million to build out Connecticut’s publicly accessible electric vehicle charging stations
In addition to $30 billion in competitive grants that will be given to the Northeast Corridor Commission to improve rail performance across the Northeast, a total of $100 billion in national competitive grants will be made available. Those include:
- $5 billion in Safe Streets for All grants for local governments to reduce crashes and fatalities in communities, especially for cyclists and pedestrians
- $500 million in SMART grants for innovative transportation technologies (like drones) or use of data to improve transportation efficiency and safety
- $500 million in Reconnecting Communities grants for planning, design, demolition, and reconstruction of street grids/parks divided by transportation infrastructure
- $9.24 billion in Bridge grants to repair, replace and rehab bridges
- $7.5 billion in RAISE grants for projects of local or regional significance
- $5 billion in Megaproject grants for multi-modal, multi-jurisdictional projects of national or regional significance
- $3.2 billion in INFRA grants for highway/rail projects of regional and national economic significance
- $8 billion in Capital Investment grants for new and expanded high-capacity rail and bus service
- $8 billion in CRISI Grants to improve safety, efficiency, and reliability of intercity passenger rail
- $3 billion in Railroad Crossing Elimination grants to eliminate railway-highway crossing hazards
- $1.75 billion in ADA Upgrades to Rail Transit grants to eliminate access barriers
- $5.25 billion in Low-No Emissions Bus grants for low and no emissions buses and the facilities that support them
- $1 billion in Culvert grants to remove/replace/restore culverts and address the flow of water through roads, bridges, railroads, tracks, and trails
In addition to the new investments in surface transportation, the bill will help close the digital gap and connect all Connecticut households to reliable high-speed internet. If the infrastructure bill becomes law, Connecticut will receive a minimum of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state and many low-income Connecticut families will be eligible for discounted broadband service.