Governor Dannel Malloy is introducing a proposal to restore funding for transportation projects.
At a news conference in Hartford Wednesday, he outlined four specific measures, which included the implementation of electronic tolls in Connecticut by July 1, 2022.
Earlier this month, Malloy halted $4.3 billion worth of projects to repair infrastructure across the state. It included the infamous “Mixmaster” interchange on I-84 in Waterbury. It’s Malloy’s hope that the four action items will invigorate the Special Transportation Fund.
He said he’s not happy with the fact that the average Connecticut driver spends 41 hours in traffic each year. And to be competitive with neighboring states, he said Connecticut needs a “world-class transportation system.”
“I’m fond of saying ‘In a portion of our state, we have one highway, which is 95, which is a parking lot. We have another highway which is the Merritt Parkway, which is a museum,’” Malloy said. “It’s time to do something about moving people through the state of Connecticut.”
Challenged by reporters on why he hasn’t previously supported tolls, Malloy said that he’s always characterized the possibility of tolling in Connecticut as a “likelihood in the future.”
When asked why this is the first time he’s called for tolls, “the future is now,” said Malloy. “I had also made a pledge to the people of Connecticut that I would bring about a lockbox. It took longer—primarily because of Republican opposition.”
Increasing the gas tax, putting a $3 fee on tire purchases, and changes to the car sales tax are the remaining items recommended by Malloy.