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DeLauro Backs Federal Transportation Funding (VIDEO)

Flanked by the Moses Wheeler Bridge construction site Tuesday, the congresswoman called on increased federal funding for the state's transportation projects.

Standing within earshot of the Moses Wheeler Bridge construction site Tuesday, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-3) rebuked House Republicans who she said are proposing cuts to the the current surface transportation bill, which expires at the end of March.

In front of a crowd of union workers, politicians and the general public, DeLauro said the House majority's bill would strip $335 million in federal infrastructure funding over the next five years -- and that's just in Connecticut.

"That is more than the total construction budget of the Moses Wheeler Bridge, which is approximately $300 million with 90 percent of it coming from federal funding," she said.

DeLauro said there is a proposal in the Senate that would increase transportation funding for the state by $10.1 million over the next two years. The congresswoman said that bill would make it easier for projects like Moses Wheeler Bridge to advance and remain on schedule.

The bridge that spans the Housatonic River and connects Stratford and Milford was built in 1958 and carries about 135,000 vehicles on Interstate 95 every day, according to the project's website. Construction began in September 2009 under a $52.2 million contract to build the foundations. That part of the project, Phase 1, was completed last November. Phase 2, which will maintain the existing six-lane highway and add four full-width shoulders, is expected to be completed in late 2016.

DeLauro said the bill proposed in the Senate would guarantee funding for the duration of the Moses Wheeler Bridge project, as well as many others in the state.

"Seventy-five percent of Connecticut's roads are in less than good condition," Don Shubert, president of Construction Industries Association, said. "Over 325 bridges in this state have been identified deficient."

"There's an additional 1700 bridges that were built in the 1950s, 1960s," Shubert said. "I'm as old as some of those bridges and I can tell you they're going to need repair pretty soon."

Christopher Schaefer March 22, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Grubbing for votes while deflecting from the REAL transportation issue: soaring gas prices. And the cause: distribution. Rosa Delauro foolishly urged the president "to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve". This oil reserve is for use during a catastrophic national emergency. (Not coincidentally, Obama simultaneously approved a southern portion of the Keystone XL oil pipeline: from Oklahoma to Texas' Gulf Coast. It’s no secret he’ll approve the whole pipeline—after the election.) DeLauro’s pathetic statement reveals her myopic economic vision: only repeated government intervention—and wasteful government programs—can fix economic problems. Meanwhile she feigns concern for her constituents while using her office to amass obscene wealth. DeLauro's net worth pre-recession--a "mere" $5 million: http://articles.courant.com/2006-10-12/news/0610120226_1_house-members-l... DeLauro's net worth post-recession--over $16 million! http://www.conntact.com/government/11691-rosas-not-in-the-red.html How much has YOUR net worth increased during the current recession? DeLauro is part of the 1%. It's time to end control of our govt. by the wealthy and "OCCUPY" Washington.
Concerned Parent August 22, 2012 at 01:56 PM
@Christopher...I'm not a Delauro fan at all, because it must be a cold day in hell today because she may not be too off-base this time...The reserves are there to help levy fuel prices and additional funding for state infrastructure will help in creating CT civilian jobs (NOT simply for UNIONS or the STATE), that can helpo alleviate the unemployment issue and also trickle down to increased income for local businesses...It is a win...provided the state doesn't do what CA and NY did by outsourcing their infrastructure projects to Chinese contractors.

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