Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy called for several state investments in major highway, bridge and rail projects.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy called for several state investments in major highway, bridge and rail projects as part of the state Department of Transportation's 2014-2018 capital infrastructure program.

Malloy, flanked by state and federal lawmakers and members of the state building trades, made his latest push Tuesday at the site of the widening of Interstate 84 in Waterbury, construction of which is scheduled to begin this year. The 2.7-mile project will add a third lane in each direction through Waterbury.

The General Assembly is considering a transportation budget Malloy proposed during the winter that represents a 165% increase in funding from levels in 2010, right before he took office. It includes $1.4 billion to fund Connecticut's largest transportation capital program ever, and calls for the hiring of 75 ConnDOT engineers to move projects through the design-build process more quickly.

According to Malloy, ConnDOT anticipates the availability of roughly $1.8 billion in the total capital program for funding in fiscal 2014 for all transportation modes, including $345 million for bus and rail assets and $1.4 billion for highway and bridge infrastructure.

ConnDOT committed about $1.6 billion for all transportation modes - road and bridge, railroad and bus and other public transit.

Other major projects include the replacement of the I-84 viaduct; the ongoing Quinnipiac River bridge replacement for Interstate 95 in New Haven; the replacement of the Moses Wheeler Bridge on I-95 in Stamford; rehabilitation of the Merritt Parkway, also in Stamford; and operational improvements along I-95 in Norwalk.

ConnDOT Commissioner James Redeker said that the capital plan also calls for millions more in investments in the Metro-North Railroad's New Haven commuter rail line and the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail corridor. Connecticut invested $10 million to upgrade the power supply for the New Haven line, which it completed in February.

Last week, Malloy confirmed that the state applied for $600 million in federal transportation money to cover capital costs of three storm-resiliency projects.

Moody's Investors Service rates Connecticut's general obligation bonds Aa3, while Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor's and Kroll Bond Rating Agency assign AA ratings.

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