Lawmakers pass transportation bill to ease traffic congestion on I-95

(08/17/03) HARTFORD - Before state lawmakers wrapped up their budget session Saturday night, they hammered out a bill that should have a major impact on anyone who drives in southwestern Connecticut.

Drivers will have to pay more the next time they renew their license or register a car at the DMV. In return, the higher fees will be used to pay for projects aimed at alleviating traffic on I-95 in Connecticut.

The bill gives the green light to projects identified by the Transportation Strategy Board. That includes developing Bridgeport, and other Connecticut port cities, to handle barges that carry trucks. There is also a plan on the table to buy several dozen new rail cars to get commuters off I-95 and onto Metro North.

Lawmakers say traffic will not improve overnight, but they expect to see major changes in Metro North and port city services within the next three to five years.

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