TSB in Last Day of Special Session
The last-minute establishment of a statewide transportation strategy
board, with $50 million to begin solving the state's growing traffic
congestion problems, won approval by a vote of 118-0 in the CT State
The bill - expected to win approval by the Senate - establishes a
15-member Transportation Strategy Board that will decide how to spend
$50 million to ease highway gridlock and improve mass transit. The board
is charged with presenting an initial plan to the legislature by January
2002 with projections of how much its recommended improvements will
cost over 10 years.
Among the projects expected to receive funding are an expansion of
bus service in major cities, especially the Hartford area; a study of
operating a commuter rail line between New Haven and Springfield; improvements
to rail service along the shoreline; and improving I-84 interchanges
from Danbury to Newtown.
The transportation bill also creates a seven-member board of directors
to run Bradley International Airport - a change promoted by the governor
and top business leaders. A study group spent most of last year examining
Bradley's operations and crafting the proposed legislation. Supporters
of the change hope that a small panel made up largely of senior corporate
leaders will make the state-owned airport more entrepreneurial and able
to respond quickly to opportunities in the rapidly changing aviation
State Transportation Commissioner James F. Sullivan, who resisted the
idea initially, now supports the new governance structure.