Blumenthal Calls For Action On Federal Highway Bill As Deadline Looms

(Hartford, CT) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal today called for action on a federal highway bill supporting nearly 24,000 Connecticut jobs. Federal funding for major transportation projects will expire on June 30 without any action by Congress.

“We must invest in our highway, transit, and rail systems, putting millions of Americans back to work and ensuring that our fragile economic recovery stays on track,” said Blumenthal. “Projects lasting several years and consisting of many phases – like reconstruction of I-95 near the Q-bridge – demonstrate exactly why Congress must enact a long-term transportation bill. Workers, families, businesses, and state officials deserve a level of certainty that projects essential to job creation and safety – like improving nearby stretches of Long Wharf Drive – will move forward. There should be no reason for a common sense jobs proposal to be stalled in Congress and I urge prompt enactment of such a measure.”

Blumenthal joined construction workers and Connecticut Construction Industries Association President Don Shubert at the future site of the Long Wharf Improvements project in New Haven. These improvements – a next phase in the larger I-95/Q-Bridge Corridor project – are expected to start this year and may be in jeopardy without any action by Congress. The project, which will cost about $30 million, involves the reconstruction and relocation of the I-95 northbound on- and off-ramps at Long Wharf Drive. It is expected to reduce congestion and improve the safety and integrity of the road.

In March, the bipartisan Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act to modernize transportation systems and infrastructure overwhelmingly passed the U.S. Senate 74-22. That bill will create or save 2.8 million jobs nationwide. Over the course of two years, the bill would mean $522 million for key transportation projects in Connecticut.