Connecticut's Bond Commission on Friday approved more than $537 million to finance construction and maintenance projects through the Connecticut Department of Transportation's capital infrastructure program.
The projects include 250 lane miles of state highway resurfacing and more than 40 bridge restoration projects around the state, Gov. Dannel Malloy said after the meeting in Hartford.
Malloy chairs the 10-person bond panel, whose membership includes Treasurer Denise Nappier, budget director Benjamin Barnes and Attorney General George Jepsen.
Much of the funding will be used to leverage about $600 million in federal transportation aid to make Connecticut's highways, bridges, rail and transit systems more safe, Malloy said. Combined, the more than $1 billion in state and federal funding is expected to create or retain nearly 20,000 construction-related jobs.
"We are taking the smart approach by tackling these maintenance projects now, so we aren't paying more out-of-pocket down the road when our highways and bridges reach the end of their design life," Malloy said in a statement.
The governor highlighted an allocation of $113 million for ConnDOT's Interstate Highway Program to construct, resurface or restore several major interstate highway segments, including pavement preservation projects on Interstate 95 in Groton and I-84 in Vernon, widening I-84 in Waterbury between exits 22 and 25A, reconstruction at exits 5 and 6 and Route 37 in Danbury, and funds for the continuation of the I-95 New Haven harbor crossing corridor improvement program.
Connecticut is replacing the bridge, formally called the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge, which carries I-95 over the mouth of the Quinnipiac River near downtown New Haven.
Nearly $300 million in federal transportation aid will supplement the state funding, Malloy said.
ConnDOT's state bridge program will receive $33 million to rehabilitate or replace more than 30 bridges across Connecticut. Roughly $50 million in federal aid will be leveraged from the use of the requested state bridge bond funds.
The Bond Commission also allocated more than $115 million for the Fix-it-First State Bridges and Roads program. In addition, the Bond Commission allocated $14.2 million for ConnDOT's capital resurfacing and related construction program. The funding will go toward capital resurfacing and expressway upgrades along various state routes, including pavement preservation projects on I-84 in Southington and Cheshire, and Route 15 in Stratford and Milford.
About $56.9 million in federal aid will be leveraged from the use of little more than half of the capital resurfacing bonds requested, according to Malloy.
Moody's Investors Service rates Connecticut's general obligation bonds Aa3, while Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor's and Kroll Bond Ratings assign AA ratings.