Connecticut Bonds for $340 million of Infrastructure, Ignores Rail. $55 Mil for Port of New London

Low Interest Rates Prompt Capital Spending on Highways

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont on April 16th led the Connecticut State Bond Commission to approve $340 million in special capital spending, funded with new bonds (despite a previous debt diet pledge) for  a variety of highway projects, tens of millions of affordable housing, state buildings and $55 million in funds to dredge and develop the Port of New London, now undergoing an upgrade to handle offshore wind components (likely arriving by rail).

$5 million was allocated for dredging at the Port of New Haven.  $17 million was allocated for brownfields remediation.  $127 million was allocated for state highway projects and an additional $125 million for  local projects including a lot of local transportation projects.

Aside from the Port of New London and New Haven, no rail projects were included.

Political chatter in the last several years has focused on a 30-30-30 goal of upgrading the speed and schedules on Metro-North to allow 30 minute trips between New York (Grand Central) and Stamford, 30 minutes from Grand Central and New Haven and 30 minutes between New Haven and Hartford (currently tabled at 45 minutes).  None of the funding went to this goal.

Governor Ned Lamont
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont

Governor Ned Lamont cited low interest rates as part of the reason to turn to borrowing now: “It’s a pretty unique time. It’s unique in terms of the extraordinary needs we have out there right now, and it’s unique in terms of the ability to borrow money at a real discount.”

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Associate Editor; Consultant for Rail Planning & Development
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Christopher has 15 years of railroad experience, starting as a Conductor on Cape Cod and 15 years of public policy advocacy and outreach work. Christopher is Executive Director of Vermont Rail Action Network, communicating the vision of better trains to elected and government officials, community leaders and the public. Christopher is a consultant for freight and passenger planning and development projects including operating planning, federal grant applications, marketing, and public outreach.