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CT Construction Digest Thursday November 21, 2019

Governor Lamont has proposed a 10-year transportation plan. Visit CT2030 

Senate Republicans have proposed a 10-year transportation plan as well.  Visit Fastr CT

The plans deliver the same projects over the next 10 years!  The plans would provide a faster commute, safer travel, jobs, and economic activity!
The Senate Democratic Caucus will not support Governor Lamont’s plan because they are nervous about voting for tolls.
The Senate Democrats are “taking a look” at the Senate Republican Plan.
The Senate Democrats have no plan!
Call the Senate Democratic Leadership!
Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney 860-240-0375
Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff 860-240-0414
Ask them…since they oppose Governor Lamont’s and "taking a look" at the Republican Plan…
What is their plan to fix Connecticut’s failing transportation systems?

Gov. Lamont attempting to get Repubs, Dems in same room for transportation plan VIDEO
Mark Davis
HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Republicans in the Connecticut House said the Democrats’ plan to collect tolls from only trucks is a non-starter.
The state treasurer is blowing the whistle on Senate Republicans’ “no tolls” plan.
It comes as Governor Ned Lamont attempts to get everyone in the same room to cut a deal.
Everyone at the Capitol agrees that road, bridge and rail improvements are essential for the state to grow, they just can’t agree on how to get from here to there.
Now that there are three transportation plans on the table Governor Lamont’s chief of staff is attempting to get all legislative leaders into the same room.
“We’re all getting to the table,” Lamont said. “We have several solutions. I think there’s an opportunity, perhaps, to put it together in a deal that works.”
The governor said the latest plan from the House Democratic leadership to collect tolls only from trucks and only on 12 interstate highway bridges does meet one of his criteria adding, “It is a way for us to get additional investments in transportation. It is a reliable and predictable revenue stream. It is predominately paid for by out of staters.”
But House Republican Leader Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby) said there will be no Republican votes for a plan with tolls of any kind.
That it’s a non-starter for negotiations, saying, “What we support is ‘no tolls.’ We support getting money from existing revenue that we have in the state of Connecticut and so the House Democrats’ plan, I don’t know if I’d even use the word plan.”
The Democratic leader in the State Senate, Sen. Martin Looney (D-New Haven) notes that the state treasurer is now blowing the whistle on Senate Republican leader Len Fasano’s plan, warning that using a large portion of the state’s Rainy Day Fund is not a good idea so that would have to be toned way down.
“I think there is a path but there would have to be additional funds I think to be targeted to create the revenue stream needed to support the plan,” Looney said.
He continues to push for some combination of legalized marijuana taxes and revenue from legalized sports gambling as part of the transportation funding mix.
The state treasurer is warning that using a large chunk of the Rainy Day Fund could jeopardize and upcoming general obligation and transportation bond sale.


Lamont wants consensus on transportation improvements
Ken Dixon
Gov. Ned Lamont said Wednesday that he’s more interested in getting a bipartisan deal in the General Assembly to tackle Connecticut’s transportation-infrastructure crisis than promoting any particular tolling scheme.
Speaking with reporters at an aerospace-industry event in Hartford, Lamont indicated he was leaning toward this week’s offer from House majority Democrats to shift back to his 2018 campaign proposal of trucks-only tolls, since it would be able to extract some infrastructure funding from out-of-state traffic.
But he also acknowledged last week’s proposal from Senate minority Republicans, for an $18-billion plan without tolls.
“The senate Republicans have a credible plan out there, I’ve got to look at it,” Lamont said at the Connecticut Convention Center. “The House Democrats, they have a credible plan out there. We have a plan, which I think is very good. I want to get together with the leadership soon. My job is to get people together, My job is to bring a solution for this transportation.”
But Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, was critical of Lamont’s comments.“I cannot fathom how the governor can say he is leaning toward supporting a plan that does not even exist, based on an idea he has already rejected. House Democrats yesterday issued a press release, not a plan, containing a single number with no further details,” Fasano said in a prepared statement. “The governor’s efforts to get leaders together are moving at a snail’s pace. If legislative leaders are not willing to make their schedules flexible, there is no chance we will be voting on any transportation plan before the next legislative session. Every day we delay means further damage to our state. The Special Transportation Fund’s solvency is in question.
“If the governor is serious about leaning toward a truck-toll proposal without any details, then I can only assume he is not serious about fixing transportation,” said Fasano. “He is only serious about installing tolls and any path that leads him to that end result.”
Lamont has offered a 10-year, $21-billion strategy that would include 14 toll gantries on selected state highways.
“All the different groups know that we have to increase our investment in transportation,” Lamont said. “Most of them subscribe to the priorities that we have in terms of rail and ending the gridlock. We don’t all agree on how we’re going to pay for it, but I think we’re going to find common ground.”
He said that emulating the Rhode Island model of trucks-only tolling - which is being challenged in court - would generate at least some of the revenue stream that federal officials find important in order to obtain low-income loans. “Rhode Island continues to get funding from Trump’s DOT, and they think they have a very strong position in the legal case,” Lamont said.
He stressed the need to push forward with some kind of solution, because the transportation crisis has worsened over the decades. “The legislature has spent the last 30 years avoiding how we get this economy growing again and fix transportation.” He stressed that the state’s dedicated fund for transit improvements is on track to become insolvent within five years.
“Right now Senate Republicans have a plan. House Democrats have a plan. I have a plan. How many plans do you want?” Lamont asked. A meeting Lamont had scheduled for Wednesday with legislative leaders has been postponed to later this week or early next week.
“Our problem is we’re asking people to make a tough vote to get this state moving again,” Lamont said. “I’m optimistic that the Senate Republicans have come up with a plan, with numbers that add up. I’m optimistic that House Democrats have come up with a plan with numbers that add up. That’s the beginning of a consensus.”

Hartford Hospital to break ground on $70M expansion
Greg Bordonaro
Hartford Hospital will break ground Thursday on a $70-million expansion of its sprawling South Green neighborhood campus.
The project centers around construction of a 49,550-square-foot addition to the north fa├žade of its existing Bliss Building at 80 Seymour St., which will provide four floors of additional space to support clinical areas including MRI, interventional radiology, electrophysiology, a cath lab, critical care and surgical care, the hospital said.
“The Bliss building expansion supports a culmination of unprecedented growth at Hartford Hospital and a look to the future by giving us the necessary physical infrastructure to better support our hospital, Institutes and community,” said Bimal Patel, president of Hartford HealthCare’s Hartford region.
The new building will be located on the grassy area outside the hospital's cafeteria, adjacent to the Cheney and Crane buildings. Its layout will make for an easier and more seamless patient experience, the hospital said, with separate areas for inpatient and outpatient care. It will also connect to the Emergency Department Observation Unit so patients can easily get an MRI rather than going to the Jefferson building.
The building is scheduled to be open by Aug. 2021.
Hartford Hospital has gradually expanded its campus over the years, including the late 2016 opening of its $150 million Bone & Joint Institute.
Hartford HealthCare CEO Jeff Flaks told Hartford Business Journal in August the hospital system will also announce a 15,000-square-foot lease somewhere in downtown Hartford later this year to house its supply-chain division.
That will add to the system’s growing presence downtown. HHC moved its corporate offices to One State Street in 2011. Earlier this year, it announced a healthcare technology accelerator program that will launch in November at Constitution Plaza.

$20M mixed-use development eyed in Hartford’s North End
Joe Cooper
A Hartford real estate firm is leading an effort to redevelop a key corner in the city's North End with new residential, office and retail units.
7 Summits Realty CEO Rohan Freeman on Tuesday said his firm is looking to secure public and private funding to build a four-story mixed-use development on vacant city-owned land at the corner of Albany Avenue and Woodland Street. The $20-million proposal includes 50 apartment units and retail/office space.
Freeman’s firm has committed $1.5 million to the project, and is seeking the remaining $18.5 million from several potential funders. They include: the quasi-public Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA); the city of Hartford; Trinity Health of New England; the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).
The Hartford Redevelopment Agency awarded the project to 7 Summits this summer, but Freeman has been looking to revitalize the corner of Albany Avenue and Woodland Street for years.
Public input, he said, will continue to play a large part in the type of retail and office tenants selected for spaces.
“This process has been very open and also has strong support from the community leaders and organizations,” Freeman said. “They are 100 percent on board and are pushing this very hard. We don't want to disappoint the community and the folks who have supported us throughout this process.”
According to plans, the top two floors of the 80,000-square-foot building would include a mix of 50 studio and one-bedroom apartments, and the second floor is likely to house one office tenant in about 20,000 square feet. The majority of the street-level space would be used for retail, in addition to a portion earmarked for office use.
Tenants would have access to 122 parking spaces behind the building and another 30 spaces across the street.
Freeman, who was recently named to the Connecticut Business & Industry Association’s board of directors and also owns his own engineering firm in the city, said the community has expressed interest in bringing a financial institution, diner or lunch/dinner restaurant to the development. The area already has an abundance of takeout eateries, he said.
Although Freeman has a clear vision for the project, he still needs to figure out who is going to shoulder the majority of the $20 million price tag.
Freeman said he planned on securing financial partners by now, but he’s still hopeful funders will begin to step forward in the coming weeks to keep the planning process moving.
“I think we have gotten positive feedback from the people we have spoken to,” he said. “We are turning over every rock, it’s not a simple project. Everyone is on board in terms of making this happen.”


 Lamont wants consensus on transportation improvements

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