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The Latest: Limited tolling, expanded airport in Lamont plan

November 6, 2019 GMT

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Latest on Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s transportation plan (all times local):

3:40 p.m.

Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont’s latest $21.1 billion transportation plan sets in motion a possible “fully functioning” airport in south-central Connecticut and invests hundreds of millions of dollars in new toll revenue to fix 14 problematic bridges and intersections around the state.

The 10-year-proposal, to be unveiled Thursday, also invests in new state-of-the-art commuter rail cars and locomotives and proposes express service to New York’s Penn Station. The Associated Press on Wednesday obtained a copy of the proposed executive summary detailing the plan.

Some Democratic leaders were briefed Wednesday on Lamont’s CT2030 initiative, which aims to “create a multi-modal congestion-reduced Connecticut through smart enhancement projects.”

The plan is funded with borrowing and limited tolls, which range from 50 cents to $1 for passenger vehicles and $3.50 to $7 for heavy trucks.

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1 p.m.

Some Democratic legislative leaders are giving early, positive reviews of Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s latest transportation improvement proposal, which includes limited tolling on certain major bridges.

The Democratic governor’s staff on Wednesday gave lawmakers a private preview of his $21 billion proposal, which he’s expected to unveil publicly Thursday.

House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz (ehr-eh-SIM’-oh-wits) says he likes “a lot of the components” in the plan, which includes improvements to highways, bridges, rail and bus lines. He says it “might need a little work” but it’s something he could “totally embrace.”

Unlike earlier transportation proposals, this plan focuses on addressing the state’s worst traffic chokepoints, an idea welcomed by Democrats and Republicans.

But Republicans, who’ve also met with Lamont’s staff, still question whether highway tolls are necessary to accomplish that goal.