Federal Money Could Pave Way To Better Roads

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The White House issued a report Monday saying that Connecticut’s roads are the worst in the nation, with 41% needing repair.  But, the state could soon see some relief from the government.

Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a stop gap transportation bill, which, if approved by the Senate, would allocate nearly $11 billion to the Highway Transportation Fund, which pays for a lion’s share of the state’s infrastructure construction and repair. The money would only keep the fund solvent through next May, though.

The White House report indicated more than 9,500 jobs would be lost in Connecticut unless Congress acts quickly to replenish the Highway Trust Fund,

Gasoline taxes have largely financed the fund. But, revenue from those taxes have diminished as fuel-efficient cars are more prevalent.

The fund has been bailed out multiple times since 2008, costing taxpayers more than $50 billion, and the Congressional Budget Office projects another $167 billion in bailouts will be necessary over the next decade.​

Governor Dannel P. Malloy says one of the reasons Connecticut’s roads and bridges are in such rough shape is that previous administrations have largely ignored them. He says his current budget spends 147% more on transportation than former Governor M. Jodi Rell did in her final budget.

The Connecticut General Assembly passed a measure that, as of July 1, 2015, will prevent the common practice of shifting money from the Transportation Fund to the General Fund.

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