By Patrick Cassidy.
(June 9, 2021) NORWICH, CT—Today, Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-02) announced that six of his Member Designated Project requests for infrastructure projects throughout eastern Connecticut were officially approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee as part of the House’s surface transportation reauthorization bill, the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act (H.R. 3684). The INVEST in America Act comprises the House’s five-year reauthorization of surface transportation programs and contains $547 billion in federal funding for highways, bridges, rail, and public transportation—representing the goals of the President’s American Jobs Plan with respect to surface transportation. This year, the T&I Committee announced that it would formally accept requests for local projects from House Members, known as “Member Designated Projects”. Projects submitted by Members were required to have extensive community support through letters from project sponsors and a description of the public comment process. Additionally, projects were required to help advance the goals of surface transportation authorization legislation, including: building a safer transportation network, increasing access, strengthening multi-modal transportation systems, reducing carbon pollution, enhancing environmental justice, supporting underserved communities, and improving the state of good repair for our country’s infrastructure. Projects that receive final authorization will be funded directly by the Highway Trust Fund, and will not require a separate or subsequent appropriation.
Rep. Courtney’s six approved Member Designated Project requests would bring $17.8 million in targeted federal infrastructure investment home directly to eastern Connecticut. The funding would go towards a variety of infrastructure improvements across CT-02, including bridge improvements in East Haddam and in Essex, pedestrian safety improvements in Mansfield, revitalization of walking and hiking trails in Plainfield, and more. The T&I Committee began its legislative markup of the INVEST in America Act today, and will soon vote to report the bill out of Committee.
“Improving America’s aging roads, bridges and public transit is an overwhelmingly popular idea across the country, but people in eastern Connecticut don’t have to look far to see signs that our most important infrastructure needs revitalization,” said Rep. Courtney. “In 2018, our state received a disappointing C- overall on our Infrastructure Report Card from the Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers, and our wastewater and roads were graded at a dismal D+. The INVEST in America Act is an exciting bill, it meets President Biden’s goal of spurring infrastructure advancement and job growth, and it includes targeted investments right here in eastern Connecticut, too. This week’s markup of the bill by the T&I Committee gets us a step closer to seeing those local projects through to fruition. My team and I worked side by side with our local elected officials on both sides of the aisle and the Connecticut Department of Transportation to make sure that our requests addressed local and regional priorities, and to ensure that this funding was targeted towards projects that will benefit our local communities. We’ve got a ways to go yet until these requests become law, and I’m ready to keep working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get them across the finish line.”
The INVEST in America Act comprises the House’s five-year surface transportation reauthorization bill, and contains $547 billion in federal funding for highways, bridges, rail, and public transportation—representing the goals of the President’s American Jobs Plan with respect to surface transportation. Rep. Courtney’s Member Designated Project requests included in the Houses infrastructure funding package are:
- $1.2 million in support for the Coventry Main Street Sidewalk Project, sponsored by the Town of Coventry
- $4.9 million in support for the New London Pedestrian Bridge and Public Access Project, sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development
- $5 million to complete the East Haddam/Haddam Swing Bridge Rehabilitation Project, sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Transportation
- $2.4 million to complete the Essex River Road Bridge and Sidewalk Project, sponsored by the Town of Essex
- $2.3 million for Pedestrian Safety Improvements along CT-195 (Storrs Road), sponsored by the Town of Mansfield
- $2.2 million to revitalize the Quinebaug River Trail in Plainfield, sponsored by the Town of Plainfield
Learn More This Week
On Friday morning, Rep. Courtney will host a virtual roundtable discussion with the sponsors of his six Member Designated Project requests. Members of the media are invited to listen in, and to participate in a Q&A following the discussion.
Courtney’s Member Designated Project requests represent major infrastructure investment opportunities for eastern Connecticut municipalities. As the House’s INVEST in America Act moves forward, and as the Senate works to draft companion infrastructure legislation, Courtney will provide an overview of the Member Designated Project process, as well as next steps now that the House’s bill is advancing. Project sponsors will provide more information on their specific projects, why they are necessary, and how they will improve local communities if Courtney’s requests are signed into law. More information will be available soon; initial details are below.
What: Virtual Roundtable, Q&A on Community Project Funding Requests for Eastern CT
Who: Rep. Joe Courtney
Community Project Request Sponsors
When: Friday morning (TBA)
Where: Zoom Video Conference
RSVP: Final details will be available soon. To RSVP now, click here