HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut Transportation Director Joe Giulietti is retiring at the age of 70, ending a career that has spanned five decades and placed him at the helm for four years.
Giulietti, who is known for his love of trains, said the agency never stopped during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“And I’m talking every level of service, whether or not it’s the rail service, the highway service,” he said. “Nothing’s stopped.”
He is passing the baton to Garrett Eucalitto a deputy who has vast experience with finances and transportation best practices. Eucalitto was nominated by Gov. Ned Lamont to take over.
Eucalitto, who is the deputy commissioner, said the department of transportation is poised to take action.
“Several major projects have kicked off or are in the process of shortly kicking off and breaking ground,” he said.
He said that fixing the Gold Star Bridge in New London, The Haddam Swing Bridge and the Walk Bridge in Norwalk will allow trains to go faster into New York City.
The Route 9 Middletown project removing traffic signals, and fixing a dangerous entrance ramp, are also on deck, along with unraveling the Interstate 84 and 91 interchanges for the greater Hartford mobility program. It will include a massive move and expansion of the train tracks downtown.
Eucalitto told a crowd at Union Station in Hartford that the station will likely be relocated, and that there are “big, big projects ahead that can undo the damage that the highways did to Hartford.”
CTDOT has filled half of the jobs it needed to fill due to retirements.
It is still in need of engineers.
The state is getting $5.38 billion in federal infrastructure money. Key projects include highways, airports and green energy projects. These are some of those projects.
- $1.3 billion in highway formula funding and $242.3 million dedicated to bridges, with an additional $41.6 million from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program
- $100 million to ensure high-speed internet coverage across Connecticut
- $76.8 million to provide clean and safe water across the state and improve water infrastructure, with $28.3 million dedicated to lead pipe and service line replacement and another $21.8 million for safe drinking water investments that can support lead pipe replacement in FY 2022
- $250 million for public transportation improvements
- $8.8 million for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program
- $20.4 million was awarded to Connecticut communities for clean transit buses and improved bus service through DOT’s Low- and No-Emission Bus and Bus Facilities Program
- $19 million in 2022 and 2023 to build out a network of electric vehicle chargers across Connecticut
- $55.1 million for clean energy, energy efficiency, and power in 2022, including $46.2 million for weatherization, $5.3 million through the State Energy Program and $3.6 million to prevent outages and improve the resiliency of the power grid
- $32 million for airports
- $89.4 million for ports and waterways
- $74.6 million for infrastructure resilience in 2022, including $2.9 million through the Army Corps of Engineers for flood mitigation
- More than $4.5 million was dedicated to the cleanup of Superfund and brownfield sites
The state will also compete for billions in grant dollars.
“We have a pretty good idea of how the federal money will come in take advantage of it,” Lamont said.
That means raising revenue for the state’s match of those federal dollars.
Lamont said the state will begin collecting the highway user fee on big trucks in January to keep the special transportation fund flush with cash.
Eucalitto’s nomination will have to be approved by the legislature. Giulietti will finish up at the end of the year. He is moving to Florida and and said he will enjoy seeing all of his grandchildren.