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While the governor had proposed tolls on four major highways involving about 50 gantries, his new plan reportedly calls for tolls involving 16 to 18 bridges.
“Tell Your Legislators! Vote for Tolls, Lose at the Polls," the billboards on interstates 84, 91 and 95 implore.
The governor has also proposed widening I-95 west of New Haven to reduce congestion, which he said would cut commuting time to New York by as much as 22 minutes.
The Connecticut Council of Municipalities doesn't think the forced regionalization of schools idea "accomplishes a whole lot of anything. It’s not a ‘one size fits all’ thing.”
“If we don’t take care of this bridge … surely that bridge collapses," said Stamford Mayor David Martin.
The bank would “finance a loan program with funds appropriated from the Special Transportation Fund or other sources of revenue designated for infrastructure improvements.
Lamont’s budget has two tolling scenarios – truck-only and cars and trucks. The governor estimates that out-of-state drivers could provide over 40 percent of the state’s tolling revenue.
“I’m open to every discussion – I’m not a pure ‘no’" on electronic tolls, as are some of his high-profile Republican colleagues, the Transportation Committee member says.
“These ideas look like Dan Malloy 2.0 and then some,” remarked Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano, a fierce opponent of tolls.
Among the new recommendations: lowering the state’s deficit by at least $1 billion and installing electronic tolls on major highways.
Even if a bill is ultimately signed into law, an electronic toll system would likely not become a reality on Connecticut highways until 2021 at the earliest.
Proponents claim an electronic toll system could bring the state as much as $600 million per year in revenue.
Meanwhile, a new AAA poll of Connecticut drivers found that 47 percent favor electronic tolls as the best option for transportation funding.