From the Capitol / State Sen. Bob Duff
About the same time you are reading this, the State Bond Commission will be meeting in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford to approve $85.6 million to finance environmental assessment and planning, rights-of-way, property acquisition and the construction of two traffic-congestion mitigation lanes between Exits 14 and 15 on Interstate 95, and related improvements on Route 1.
This past July, I wrote Gov. Malloy reminding him of the importance of the congestion mitigation lanes and the need for state bonding to construct them. In fact, during his gubernatorial campaign, I was standing beside Gov. Malloy when he referred to this area as `chokepoint number one' on the I-95 corridor. I'm happy to see him place this funding on the bond agenda.
As you know, Exits 14 and 15 are where Route 7 enters from the north. According to a 2009 report, more than 150,000 vehicles travel over 3.2 million miles daily along the southwest portion of I-95, and Route 7 sees about 63,000 vehicles daily.
The average travel time from the Housatonic River in Stratford to the New York State line along I-95 takes 57 minutes, traveling 36 miles per hour.
These are exactly the types of investments that Connecticut should be making in our transportation infrastructure, especially here in Fairfield County, where time means money and transportation delays mean frustration, waste and inefficiency.
On another front, the State Bond Commission is also expected to approve a $4.3 million loan to Allen O'Neill Homes to assist in development of 106 units of affordable rental housing in Darien.
Since the average list price for a home in Darien is nearly $2 million, and the median sales price is about $1.2 million, obviously there is a need for modern, affordable rental housing.
The Allen O'Neill Homes project consists of demolishing 51 units of existing obsolete units on an under-utilized property of the Darien Housing Authority and replacing them with 106 new units in 23 buildings and will be targeted to renters at 25 to 80 percent of area median income.
The deferred loan will be provided at a rate of 1 percent for 40 years, and the project will create or retain approximately 498 construction-related jobs.
These are both great investments for Fairfield County, and I wholeheartedly endorse them.
State Sen. Bob Duff represents the 25th district which includes parts of Darien and Norwalk.