WETHERSFIELD – For the past three decades, Connecticut governors have touted the amount of money they have spent on transportation.
After the Mianus River Bridge collapsed and killed three motorists on Interstate 95 in Cos Cob in 1983, Gov. William A. O’Neill and the legislature passed the largest transportation spending package in state history as officials scrambled to ensure that the roads and bridges were safe. O’Neill’s $1 billion program would be the equivalent today – more than three decades later – of more than $6 billion, according to state officials.
More than two decades later, Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell unveiled a seven-year plan that she called the largest transportation package in more than 20 years with the purchase of 342 new state-of-the-art Metro-North Commuter Railroad cars and a $300 million repair facility in New Haven. The $1.3 billion package was later approved by the legislature.
Not to be outdone, then-House Speaker James Amann announced a 10-year, $6.2 billion plan in February 2006 that was even bigger than Rell’s, saying that would be the largest in state history. He did not announce any funding details at the time, and the full plan was not approved.
On Monday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy traveled to Wethersfield, near the Rocky Hill border, to tout transportation spending during his administration.
“We’re spending more general fund money and more state bonded money on transportation than any other administration,” Malloy told reporters and state DOT officials near the Old Main Street Bridge over the Goff Brook. “You can slice this and dice this on an accounting basis – which funds go where – but when everything is said and done, we’re spending more than any other administration. And we’ve spent more than any of those transfers [from the Special Transportation Fund] would otherwise indicate if there are transfers back and forth for accounting purposes. But on a net basis and on a gross basis, we’re spending more money of ours, of state money, that we raised.” Continue reading