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National Transit Group's Report Highlights Conn. Transportation Issues

I-95 Stamford

A new report finds Connecticut’s old roads and bridges cost motorists more than $5 billion each year.

The report was released on Tuesday by TRIP, a nonprofit transportation research group sponsored by insurance companies and businesses involved in road construction.

The report says a third of major urban roads that are maintained by state and local governments are in poor condition, and they’re getting more congested. It also says more than a third of Connecticut’s bridges are structurally deficient.

TRIP said those problems lead to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes, and traffic delays.

State senate majority leader Bob Duff from Norwalk said the report comes at a crucial time. A source of revenue for the federal Highway Trust Fund that goes toward fixing roads and bridges is set to expire next Tuesday.

"This is really a call to action from us here in Connecticut, to Congress, to work and continue to work on a long-term, sustainable funded bill that is federal, that we can plan and work with the $100 billion transportation plan that we passed this year as well," said Duff, referring to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's proposed overhaul of Connecticut's transportation system.

Will Wilkins, TRIP's executive director, said the condition of Connecticut's roads will only worsen if greater funding is not made available at the local, state and federal levels. A committee created by Malloy is expected to release recommendations at the end of the year on possible revenue streams to fund the governor's $100 billion transportation overhaul.

Rocky Moretti, TRIP's director of research and policy, said traffic congestion problems in Connecticut's urban areas are similar to those in other cities in the U.S., especially those in the Northeast with older infrastructure.

"It's facing challenges similar to, say, New York State," he said.

Moretti said the study found Connecticut ranks below the national average on pavement conditions, while bridge conditions are close to the national average.

This report contains information from the Associated Press.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.
Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.