HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Wednesday he is putting off $4.3 billion in transportation projects until state lawmakers approve more money for them.
The Democratic governor said the projects have been postponed indefinitely. He called on the General Assembly to immediately appropriate money to the state’s Special Transportation Fund, which finances transportation projects. He said the fund would be in deficit by July.
The projects on hold include the widening of Interstate 95 from Bridgeport to Stamford, improvements to the Interstate 91-Route 15 interchange on the Charter Oak Bridge in Hartford and the replacement of the Interstate 84-Route 8 interchange in Waterbury.
“If we want to compete in the 21st-century economy, we need a transportation system that works for people and businesses, and we need to invest in transit-oriented development to build the communities where people and businesses want to be,” Malloy said.
Republican state Senate President Pro Tem Len Fasano blamed Malloy and Democratic lawmakers for the transportation fund deficit, saying they took $164 million from it to balance state budgets.
“Now, Gov. Malloy and Democrats are trying to use the problem they created to force the Legislature to approve new taxes and more burdens on commuters. That has been their game plan all along,” Fasano said.
Malloy said the transportation fund has run low because the gas tax is not generating expected revenue and debt payments have increased. Deficits for the fund could soon climb into hundreds of millions of dollars without legislative action, he said. Malloy said he would offer his proposal for new transportation funding before the next legislative session begins next month.
Projects that are essential to public safety or have major federal funding will continue as planned, the governor said.