Gov. Lamont, state transportation officials urge Congress to pass infrastructure bill
Gov. Ned Lamont and state transportation leaders are pushing for Congress to approve the federal infrastructure bill.
Lamont says your commute could get easier if Congress finally passes President Joe Biden's national infrastructure bill. However, the plan was stalled in Washington, D.C. over another bill to spend trillions on social programs and climate change.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal says he can't support one bill without the other.
"We can do both. We will do both. The failure to do it is not an option,” he says.
The funding would give Connecticut $5 billion to clear up major "choke points” on roads.
Some of these potential changes include could mean an extra lane between Stamford and Greenwich on I-95 southbound. On 95 North, a new lane could be put in near Route 7 in Norwalk.
There could also be five miles of new lanes in Danbury on I-84 and a wider exit ramp onto the Wilbur Cross Parkway on I-91.
"Every one of these, we have put in shovel-ready projects that are ready to go,” says Connecticut Transportation Commissioner Joe Giulietti.
Not all of the funding would come from Washington, D.C.— Connecticut will have to match some of it.
About $90 million per year will come from a new fee on truckers, but state lawmakers may have to pony up the rest.
"Everybody says, 'Oh governor, you don't need any more money. You're getting all the money from the feds for free.' No, we do have to put up our share,” Lamont says.
In spite of the gridlock on Capitol Hill, Rep. Jim Himes says he thinks an infrastructure bill will pass by the end of this month.
Democrats in Congress still have a long way to go. They are more than a trillion dollars apart on Biden's "Build Back Better Act."