A new report on transportation projects describes the proposal to widen I-95 in Connecticut as a "boondoggle."
ConnPIRG, a state watchdog group, contributed to the report and argues that more lanes on Interstate 95-- one of the busiest highways in America--would only add to congestion and not serve as a sort of pressure valve that will make the highway more accessible as supporters of the plan have said.
"If you build it, they will come," said Evan Preston, the Director of ConnPIRG. "Widening highways simply does not reduce congestion. It would be a waste of money to invest those resources there."
The plan to widen I-95 is a key part of Gov. Dannel Malloy's 30 year, $100 billion transportation overhaul.
Last week a panel tasked with proposing methods to pay for the bold proposal came up with the expected ideas to reinstate tolls on state highways, increase the gas tax to a level not seen since the 1990's and increase oil taxes.
Malloy said any criticism that looks at widening at I-95 in a vacuum "is not taking into account the actual plan."
Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, a Democrat from Westport who has previously supported the governor's transportation initiative said that he wants to see the money meant for I-95 to be used on Metro-North.
"To my mind, fixing Metro-North, making sure that we address the state of good repair across bridges, roads, and trains throughout the entire state are much higher priorities," Rep. Steinberg said.
Malloy responded by saying the rail is the priority of the first rounds of investment in infrastructure of the "Let's Go CT" proposal.
"It calls for a full modernization of the rail system. If we’re talking about Metro North it calls for restoration of all four tracks and using two of those tracks for express or long distance coverage," he said.
Photo Credit: AP