This Week in CT: The big dig to fix a highway interchange; the future of the MTA

This Week in Connecticut

(WTNH)– Connecticut is sadly known for a few of its convoluted highway interchanges.

In Hartford, the tangle of concrete where Interstate 84 meets Interstate 91 is called one of the most congested in the country. Tens of thousands of vehicles traverse it every day. There’s a plan to fix it and you might call it Connecticut’s big dig. There’s more details in the video above.

We invited the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation to join us to talk about the feasibility of the tunnel project, but were told he was unavailable but we did get this statement

“Now, more than ever, we have a historic opportunity to address safety, equity and sustainability in the Hartford area through both CTDOT’s Greater Hartford Mobility Study, which is currently underway and the President’s American Jobs Plan, which proposes new dedicated funding for ambitious projects that are often too big or complex for existing federal programs. A goal shared by Gov. Lamont, myself, Congressman Larson, and President Biden is the understanding that investing in infrastructure will transform our region state and country. We look forward to continuing to partner with the entire Connecticut delegation as they fight in Washington to bring investments with generational impact back to the Hartford region and the rest of the state.”

Now from highways to rails, Metro-North weekday ridership is still down 78 percent because of the pandemic. Remote workers haven’t shifted back to the office. But a federal government COVID relief package and the prospect of a massive infrastructure program from Washington are bright spots. News 8’s Jodi Latina sat down with the President of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in the video above.

Next, a new report shows the state is facing a wave of retirements. But it suggests a chance for it to become more efficient. By next year, the report says around 8100 state employees are eligible for retirement. That’s about a quarter of the workforce. The report shows a pathway for up to 900 million dollars in savings. But state employee unions are against the move saying they’re understaffed.

Lastly, a record for the state of Connecticut for the first time in 20 years. We received a credit upgrade and that can save taxpayer money.

The upgrade from Moody’s Investment Service. Governor Ned Lamont calls the rating upgrade a strong indication of Connecticut’s comeback. The raising of the bond rating indicates Moody’s view of Connecticut’s creditworthiness has improved and will likely provide a lower borrowing cost to the state.

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