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CTDOT Releases Five-Year Capital Plan The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) today released its $12.1 billion five-year Capital Plan – covering fiscal years 2019-2023 and including projects in all modes of transportation – highways and bridges, public transportation, facilities and bicycle/pedestrian enhancements.  CTDOT updates the plan annually, detailing spending plans for 2019 and planned investments through 2023. The DOT anticipates utilizing $2.6 billion in total Capital Program funding in federal fiscal year 2019, which began October 1. This amount includes approximately $1.0 billion for bus and rail assets and $1.6 billion available for highway and bridge infrastructure. During the 2019 fiscal year, the Department anticipates bidding 62 projects at roughly $512 million in contract value.Over the five-year plan, $7.4 billion, or 62 percent is for highway and bridge projects; $4.4 billion, or 36 percent is for public transportation; and $218.5 million, or 2 percent, is for facilities. “The Department has leveraged state and federal resources to advance one of our largest construction programs in recent years,” said CTDOT Commissioner James P. Redeker. “Investment in transportation is an investment in our economy and creates thousands of jobs in Connecticut.” Along with the Capital Program, the Department is releasing a report entitled, “Transportation Capital Infrastructure Program, Annual Capital Plan Report, November 2018.”  The report reviews the performance of CTDOT in delivering capital investments. The goal, Commissioner Redeker noted, is to optimize the capital funding for all its transportation modes and to improve continuously its ability to deliver maximum infrastructure improvements for each dollar expended.  The Department is achieving this by delivering projects on time and on or under budget.  Continuously improving project delivery and using innovative construction techniques also have increased CTDOT’s capacity to provide the state with higher quality transportation improvements that maximize the state’s return on its investment.    • “Transportation Capital Infrastructure Program Report” can be found here.    • The Five Year Capital Plan dashboard and spreadsheet can be found here.    • The Advertising Schedule of Projects for 2019 can be found here. 11/14/2018

Costco proposal clears last town hurdleEast Lyme — A proposal for a Costco big-box store near Interstate 95's Exit 74 cleared its final municipal hurdle Tuesday night,  allowing developers to potentially break ground in early 2019.The Water and Sewer Commission voted 8-1 to approve a 7,650-gallon daily sewage capacity for the more than 158,000-square-foot store.The store would serve as the initial phase of the retail component proposed for the Gateway Commons development, a 200-acre site between Exits 73 and 74. Gateway developers have built 280 apartments near Exit 73 as part of that development, and recently proposed an additional 120 rental units to be built over upcoming years.Before approving the sewage capacity Tuesday, town officials expressed caution about tapping into the town’s finite sewage capacity and questioned how to properly allocate that capacity moving forward — especially with other residential and commercial developments associate

Groton superintendent: Building new elementary schools would be more cost-efficient 11/13/2018

Kimberly DrelichGroton — New elementary school buildings would provide greater value to the community, with no increase in the price of the school plan approved two years ago, according to schools Superintendent Michael Graner.At a referendum slated for next month, voters will decide whether or not to approve a revision to the Groton 2020 plan to instead build two elementary schools, rather than convert the town's two middle schools into elementary schools. Graner, meanwhile, said in a recent interview that building new schools is the more cost-efficient option.Two years ago, Groton voters approved a $184.5 million proposal to build one new consolidated middle school on the former Merritt Farm property next to Fitch High School and renovate the existing middle schools into two elementary schools. After the town notified the state Department of Administrative Services School Construction Grants a

Getting There: A transportation message for governor-elect Lamont 11/12/2018

Dear Ned:Well, you did it. Congratulations on your election. And my condolences. The easy part of politics — getting elected — is over. Now comes the hard part: being governor. Recommended VideoI hope you and your transition team are already working on that budget that’s due in three months. There’s a lot of red ink ($4 billion) that needs to be mopped up. And don’t forget those $80 billion in unfunded pensions. But I’m sure you’ve got the solutions, right? That’s what you promised voters, anyhow. So have at it.But as you are cutting and slashing, may I make a few suggestions on the transportation front? Your campaign assured us you’d fix our roads and rails, so I’m sure you have your ideas. But let’s see if these can help.Keep your commissioner: Jim Redeker has been commissioner of the state Department of Transportation since 2011 and nobody knows better what’s working and what isn’t. He’s clearly the smartest guy