HARTFORD, CT — The revised and reduced transportation proposal Gov. Ned Lamont will roll out this afternoon will include electronic toll gantries in 14 key locations around the state.
The 14 locations where tolls might be temporarily installed until projects are paid for would be mostly in Fairfield County. There are five projects listed along I-95, one along the Merritt Parkway in Norwalk, and three along I-84 in various parts of the state.
The projects range from rehabilitating the bridge over the Metro-North Railroad in Stamford to reconstructing Exit 43 in West Haven.
There’s also $12.9 million project to improve the bridge over the Byram River in Greenwich.
Another project on the list involved spending from $235 million to $260 million to reinforce the Mixmaster in Waterbury, and reconstructing the Rochambeau Bridge over the Housatonic River in Newtown.
A gantry would also be erected on the Charter Oak Bridge on I-91 in order to pay for repairs. The project is expected to cost $300 million to $330 million.
Another of the 14 projects to be paid for with toll money would be the removal of the traffic lights on Route 9 in Middletown and the elevation of the highway to improve access from Route 17 to the Arrigoni Bridge.
“Savings of an estimated 22 minutes per day for drivers, reduced congestion, no more stopping short from a free flow of traffic,” the document obtained by CTNewsJunkie reads.
In the Greater Hartford area, a gantry would be erected on I-84 in West Hartford between Exits 40 and 41 to replace the crossing over Berkshire Road and connect the on- and off-ramps. The project is expected to cost between $75 million and $110 million.
There’s also $300 million to $415 million to reconstruct the Gold Star Memorial Bridge in New London.
House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, maintained Wednesday following a briefing by the governor’s staff that the projects and the location of those electronic gantries were not as important as the big picture of how the plan will decrease commute times and reduce congestion.
The plan Lamont plans to roll out at reSET in Hartford is called CT2030 and, according to the executive summary, it “doesn’t promise the kitchen sink — it prioritizes and pays for the most vital improvements for Connecticut residents.”
The executive summary goes onto explain, “Rather than delay construction and burden CT taxpayers with the total cost of improvements plus interest, several CT 2030 projects will be funded by the implementation of a new and modest user fee program beginning in 2023.”
Those “user fees” — aka tolls — will be used as the revenue stream the state needs to access low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau.
Connecticut drivers with a transponder would pay 40 to 80 cents, medium-sized trucks would pay $1 to $2, and heavy trucks would pay $2.80 to $5.60. The fees would be fixed for the length of the project and they would be capped for Connecticut passenger cars.
“Within a 24 hour period, any vehicle equipped with a transponder will not pay more than one round-trip user fee per gantry,” according to the executive summary.
The proposal assumes that 38% of the toll revenue would be generated by out-of-state vehicles.
Republicans have yet to offer their support for the plan, even though Lamont is still hoping for bipartisan support.