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CT Construction Digest Thursday November 6, 2019

At 1:30 p.m., Gov. Lamont will be joined by Lt. Gov. Bysiewicz, DOT Commissioner Giulietti, OPM Secretary McCaw, other leaders and advocates for a press conference to announce the details of CT2030 at reSET Social Enterprise Trust, 1429 Park Street, Suite 114, Hartford.


WWW.CT2030.COM


This is Lamont’s vision for transportation — and how he’ll sell it
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A $21 billion transportation plan Gov. Ned Lamont intends to begin promoting Thursday would touch every aspect of Connecticut’s highway and rail system over the next decade, expanding and improving Metro-North, unclogging highway bottlenecks, replacing aging bridges and connecting Bradley International Airport to a more robust regional rail system. 
To finance a vision Lamont says is vital to economic growth, the governor would rely on a hybrid plan that combines a greatly down-sized version of the poorly received tolls system he proposed in February with elements of the Republican alternative that prioritizes current bonding capacity on transportation, mixing in a new reliance on low-cost federal financing.
Passenger car tolls of 50-cents to $1 would be charged on 14 bridges, with 20 percent discounts to Connecticut drivers with EZ pass transponders, dropping the cost to 40 cents or 80 cents depending on time of day.  Heavy trucks would pay between $3.50 and $7, less with a Connecticut EZ pass.
There would be five tolls on I-95 , three to the west of New Haven and two to the east of the Connecticut River,  at least one on the Merritt Parkway and three on I-84. Here is the list.
The CT2030 blueprint offers what Lamont’s original effort did not: It draws a vivid picture of what the plan would buy and how commutes would be improved by better highways, safer bridges and commuter rail cars that could reach speeds of 110 miles per hour and offer modern conveniences of wi-fi and mobile charging.
A web site will go live Thursday, allowing residents to explore what the new rail and highway system would look like, what changes it could deliver and what it would cost. To sell it, Lamont must overcome nine-months of controversy over an original tolls proposal that betrayed a campaign promise to toll only trucks.
The administration acknowledges that the botched presentation in February greatly complicates the current task, costing time and political capital the new governor can ill afford. The delay in overhauling the original plan has pushed the debate ever closer to 2020, when every member of the General Assembly is up for election and Lamont is not.
Plans reviewed by the CT Mirror show a defter political touch missing in February.
CT2030 offers a portion of tolls revenue to affected communities, building a constituency for passage. And it responds to complaints by small businesses that tolls would be ruinous, effectively capping their tolling costs. Within a 24 hour period, any vehicle equipped with a transponder would not pay more than one round-trip user fee per gantry.
About $2 billion in track improvements and new cars for Metro-North would answer the calls by business leaders in Fairfield County for a faster and more reliable ride into New York City and within the county, and they address long-ignored needs by modernizing signals that currently require slower trips than decades ago and replacing century-old swing bridges prone to failure. The Waterbury line would be connected to Grand Central in New York.
Those elements are intended to not only meet needs, but entice skeptical down-state Republican lawmakers.
“Once complete, this group of projects will be the reason trains will run approximately 15-20 minutes faster than currently,” the administration says.
To highway commuters, Lamont points to the completed  I-84 widening project in Waterbury that the Department of Transportation says has reduced rush-hour travel time from 30 minutes to 4 minutes, cut monthly traffic crashes from 38 to 3, and saved Connecticut drivers 9,300 hours a day.
“In the next decade, we can replicate that success across the state,” the administration says in an executive summary obtained by the CT Mirror. “CT2030 creates a multi-modal, congestion-reduced Connecticut through smart enhancement projects that remove stoplights from Route 9, replace unreliable 19t​h​ century and early 20th century railroad bridges, and expand air service in south-central Connecticut.”
The plan calls for a study of bringing significant commercial air services to either Tweed in New Haven or Sikorsky in Stratford.

 
 “In CT2030, roads will be swift and safe, trains will be fast and functional, and travel across our state will be quicker, safer, more convenient, and more reliable. Our residents deserve the economic growth and time with their families that this investment will unleash,” the administration says in its summary pitch.
Examples of highway improvements include lanes to be added to I-95 from Greenwich to Bridgeport, cutting drive times by 35%, the plan says. In Hartford, the interchange of I-91 and I-84 would be revamped and a lane would be added to the approach of Charter Oak Bridge on I-91, now a notorious source of traffic backups.
Bradley would have a transit connection to a new rail station in Windsor Locks on a Hartford Line that now runs between Springfield and Hartford and south to Metro-North in New Haven.
The projects would produce 26,000 jobs in every year of the 10-year timeline.

How we’ll pay for it

While Lamont has briefed lawmakers, one of the keys to passage will be vetting the complex plan for financing, something that cannot begin in earnest until the non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis is able to begin reviewing the numbers and rationale behind them.
The governor proposes to restore billions in sales tax receipts to transportation, pump $16 million annually into affected communities, and set new efficiency quotas for the Department of Transportation. Net toll receipts, once projected at $740 million per year, will drop to $320 million.
Lamont would dedicate a huge chunk of that revenue, an average of $136 million per year, to pay cash for projects, saving millions in annual interest costs. Connecticut currently finances nearly all work with state borrowing and federal grants — an approach Lamont has questioned repeatedly.
“The governor is not compromising on the overarching goals and objectives for what he is trying to achieve, which is fundamentally transforming the state’s infrastructure,” Ryan Drajewicz, Lamont’s chief of staff, said last week of the new approach. “He is not compromising on that vision, but he is compromising on the way to achieve it.”
Connecticut now spends about $1.6 billion per year on its aging, overcrowded transportation network — about $400 million less than DOT officials say is necessary to maintain a state of good repair and make key strategic enhancements. DOT operations and borrowing for transportation are now funded through a Special Transportation Fund that is supported by fuel taxes, fees and certain sales taxes.
It is approaching insolvency. Lamont’s plan promises a return to solvency, plus a 15% reserve fund, without increasing sales and income taxes.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who struggled with budget deficits throughout much of his tenure, spent much of his second term pushing for a legal “lockbox” — an amendment to the state Constitution to prohibit officials from using transportation revenues for other purposes. And while voters ratified the lockbox amendment in 2018, legislators wouldn’t back tolls for Malloy.
Lamont was accused of violating the lockbox — in spirit if not by letter of the law — when he unveiled his original plans for tolls and a transportation rebuild.
The Democratic governor irked Republican legislators in particular when he proposed scaling back a previously approved plan to dedicate a portion of sales tax receipts for transportation and its adds to the political suspicions he faces with the GOP and the public at large. The administration reasoned this was legally permissible since the gradually escalating transfers — though already adopted in law — hadn’t actually occurred yet.
In an overture to the GOP, Lamont’s latest plan puts the state’s finances back on the original transfer schedule starting in 2022.
But that also would make it harder for Lamont to keep overall state finances in balance during the second half of his term. The Special Transportation Fund would gain and the General Fund would lose  $276 million in the 2021-22 fiscal year and almost $370 million the year after that.
By 2030, sales tax transfers to transportation will have exceeded $3.6 billion if the governor’s plan is approved.
Lamont also hopes to overcome that resistance by minimizing the revenue raised by tolls in his plan. A 20% discount for Connecticut E-Z pass holders and a one-toll-per-day-per-gantry policy are expected to save motorists more than $90 million per year. The administration estimates 61% of the $318 million tolls would generate annually after discounts would come from car drivers, while the remainder would come from trucks, and 38% would be paid by out-of-state motorists.
The reduced scale of the tolling plan comes with a trade-off: less revenue from motorists means less road, bridge and rail repairs. The state’s $1.6 billion annual investment in transportation work would rise beyond the $2 billion mark four times between now and 2030. But it only would average $1.9 billion per year over the coming decade.
In other words, legislators would be asked to take the political heat for enacting tolls and the transportation rebuild investment still is not projected to reach the full level requested by DOT officials.
Lamont’s plan also hinges on the DOT addressing a longstanding challenge and improve its efficiency at launching and managing new projects. Starting in 2022, the department would be required to enhance the capital program by $33 million in annual savings. For example, the DOT would be expected to rely more heavily on “design-build projects” which rely on a single firm to provide both design and construction services.
As far back as 2010, the legislature’s former Program Review and Investigations Committee concluded the department was finding it increasingly difficult to complete projects on time and under budget. But the committee also noted the DOT had lost considerable staffing in the 1990s and the 2000s. 
While Malloy and the legislature spared the DOT from the staffing cuts many agencies faced between 2011 and 2018, overall full-time staff positions at the department grew just 2% during that period.

Lamont’s 14 tolls feature major bridges in Fairfield County
Ken Dixon
The 10-year, $21 billion tolling and transportation infrastructure plan that Gov. Ned Lamont has spent most of the year proposing and refining, includes tolls on a variety of bridges in the western half of the state, including the Rochambeau span over the Housatonic River on Interstate 84 in Newtown and the I-95 bridge over the Saugatuck River in Westport.
While he’s been rolling it out in recent days to lawmakers at the state Capitol, the governor has left local officials under-informed.
Newtown First Selectman Daniel Rosenthal on Wednesday said he had not yet been briefed on the latest iteration of Lamont’s transportation-infrastructure plan, but said in an interview Wednesday that he’s generally opposed to tolling because of its potential effect on local traffic from toll-dodging motorists.
“At first blush, it’s a horrible idea,” said Rosenthal, a Democrat who was re-elected Tuesday with no opposition. “This whole toll thing is convoluted. I just have a hard time with having a whole lot of faith in the execution, frankly. Hearing about this in bits and pieces is unhelpful.”
The 14 bridges include spans along Route 8 south of I-84 over the Naugatuck River. Another bridge toll would be located along the Merritt Parkway in Norwalk near the Route 7 intersection. Another would be located in Greenwich along I-384. Revenue generated by tolls at the sites would be used to help improve the bridges.
Another toll would be in Stamford around where the Metro-North Commuter Railroad runs under I-95. Toll costs would range between 50 cents and a dollar with discounts of 20 percent for those with EZ Pass transponders. Trucks would pay up to $7 in the newest version of the tolling plan that Lamont tried — and failed — to persuade lawmakers to accept this year.
Another bridge toll would be in West Haven along I-95.
Requests for comment made to West Haven Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, Stamford Mayor David Martin and Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, all Democrats, were not immediately returned on Wednesday.
Westport First Selectman Jim Marpee said he has had no contact with Lamont. “I’m not in a position to comment,” he said .
But state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, D-Westport, a member of the Transportation Committee, said after a two-hour briefing in the Capitol that the tolls are part of a comprehensive transportation initiation, with multiple funding sources including the federal government that will generate the kind of revenue needed to fix the century-old Saugatuck River railroad bridge in his hometown.
“I just saw the presentation,” Steinberg said. “It’s really well thought through and I am going to support it.” He said the planned overhead toll gantries would be on the Norwalk side of the border.
“Tolls are a component of a much-broader plan to generate revenue that has to be done,” Steinberg said. “It’s a very limited thing. I have been consistently in favor of tolls because of the urgency of addressing the transportation crisis, and I’m encouraged that this is the solution we’ve been waiting for. It’s a plan worthy of real consideration and scrutiny and it purports to solve our urgent transportation needs, while creating jobs.
While running for governor in 2018, Lamont offered a trucks-only toll program, such as the highway tolls in Rhode Island. But upon taking office, Lamont conceded Connecticut needs a lot more revenue, and stressed the potential for out-of-state traffic to pay tolls here for the first time since the 1980s, when the former toll system ended amid complaints about fatal collisions and air pollution.
Since then the technology has changed massively and traffic can maintain highway speeds and accumulate toll fees through their windshield transponders.
During his first legislative session this year, Lamont met skepticism from majority Democrats and stiff opposition from Republicans. But his administration kept retooling the proposal, it’s various goals and financial bottom lines. There had been plans for 50 toll sites or more throughout the state.
“Upgrading our aging transportation infrastructure is critical to our future economy and a top priority of our business community, yet consensus on the best way to pay for it has been elusive,” said Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, after the Wednesday briefing.
“The governor deserves credit for keeping transportation on the front burner, and working with the Trump administration to come up with a plan that leverages cheaper federal dollars with limited project specific bridge user fees to help offset the new debt,” Aresimowicz said. “We can reduce our long term borrowing costs while still capturing significant fees from out-of-state drivers, so I think it is a plan that puts us on the right track going forward and is worth pursuing.”
Senate majority Democrats are scheduled to be briefed Thursday on the plan.
State Sen. Carlo Leone, D-Stamford, co-chairman of the Transportation Committee, said Wednesday he had not yet seen the current version of the governor’s proposal, stressing that he’s hoping for Republican backing.
“The big question will be whether there’s support from bipartisan perspective,” Leone said. “That’s where everyone wants it to be: to have some kind of bipartisanship. If not, then we’re back to square one.”
Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, said Wednesday that after talking with Lamont last week, the overall transportation-improvement proposal seems “thoughtful” and the financial projections solid.
“I think the tolls is a very big problem,” Fasano said. But with less revenue, he questions the long-term viability of Lamont’s construction initiatives, including large-scale railroad and highway improvements.

$12M medical-office space development underway in Middletown
Sean Teehan
The city of Middletown is seeking to boost its reputation as a healthcare industry hub with a $12-million project that includes construction of two new medical office buildings.
The development, which has already received city approval, will increase by 50 percent the medical-office park located on Saybrook Road. That medical complex currently consists of three buildings at 400, 410 and 420 Saybrook Road, collectively encompassing more than 100,000 square feet.
The developer, Durham-based Medical Development Associates LLC, is adding a 20,000-square-foot building at 440 Saybrook Road, and a 30,000-square-foot facility at 430 Saybrook Road.
William Granruth, Medical Development Associates’ head developer, said crews are nearly done laying foundation on the larger of the two buildings, both of which should be finished by next October.
“This project is really... a major investment,” Granruth said Wednesday. “We’re increasing the size of our footprint here by over 50 percent.”
Medical Development Associates already has tenants lined up for the new buildings, Granruth said. Middletown Orthopedic Surgeons will rent the entirety of 430 Saybrook, which will include a therapy pool and other accommodations, Granruth said.
Middlesex Dental Care will move into the smaller building, for which the developer is still looking for tenants to fill the remaining space.
Adding about 50,000 square feet of medical space to the medical complex will bring jobs to Middletown and reinforce its reputation as a healthcare hub, said Middletown economic development specialist Tom Marano.
The city is already home to Middlesex Hospital, Connecticut Valley Hospital and Community Health Center Inc.
“That’s major for us,” Marano said, adding that the approximately 5,000 employees who work at the three largest healthcare employers in Middletown contribute to the local economy. “Anytime we get 20,000-square-foot buildings, 30,000-square-foot buildings, we get the employees; that’s a home run for us.”
Under the deal, Middletown will assess and charge property tax on just 5 percent of the two buildings’ total footprints in the deal’s first year. That number will rise annually, reaching 85 percent in year 10, and 100 percent after that.

Republicans cool to Gov. Ned Lamont’s revised $21 billion transportation plan that would toll 14 bridges on 8 highways

As details of Gov. Ned Lamont’s revised $21 billion transportation plan continued to trickle out Wednesday, Republicans remained unconvinced that tolls are the best way to fix the state’s aging infrastructure.
Republican votes are crucial to passage of Lamont’s updated, 10-year plan in the state legislature as lawmakers say Democrats have not had enough votes for months to pass tolls on their own.
The revised plan would place tolls on 14 bridges on eight highways across the state with the money to be dedicated to repairs on those specific bridges. Rates would be as low as 40 cents to 80 cents for drivers with a Connecticut E-ZPass.The tolls would be collected in Hartford, West Hartford, Newtown and Middletown, along with heavily trafficked areas of lower Fairfield County in Greenwich, Stamford and Norwalk, among others.
The location of the overhead toll gantries is particularly important because each community with a gantry would receive 5% of the toll money collected, officials said. That amounts to millions of dollars over the course of the projects.
Deputy House Republican leader Vincent Candelora of North Branford said Wednesday that he remains opposed to tolls and has not seen changes among his fellow caucus members.“I don’t hear the desire to go in the direction of tolls,” Candelora said. “There are trust issues with the public. There are trust issues in the building.”Candelora said many citizens do not believe that the money collected by tolls would be spent wisely, saying money has not been spent well by legislators in the past.“I never want to lead a solution with revenue,” he said. “I would rather look toward finding efficiencies, rather than finding a new revenue source.”
The list of highways that would have tolls is I-84, I-91, I-95, I-395, I-684, the Merritt Parkway, Route 8 and Route 9.
The spots include the Gold Star Memorial Bridge on I-95 between Groton and New London as well as the I-95 bridge over the Saugatuck River in a crowded area between Norwalk and Westport, sources said. Tolls would also be placed on I-84 at the Rochambeau Bridge in Newtown above the Housatonic River and on I-95 in Stamford, a major choke point that has been identified by the American Transportation Research Institute as among the worst bottlenecks in the nation.
The plan also calls for tolls on I-95 in West Haven, along Route 8 south of Waterbury and on the Merritt Parkway in Norwalk, sources said. On I-84 at Exit 40 in a busy area in West Hartford, the bridge over Berkshire Road would be replaced with money from a nearby toll The plan calls for fixing a bridge over the Byram River on I-684, which slices through Greenwich for only about a mile near the Westchester County Airport. The bridge will be repaired only on the northbound side because the southbound side is in New York state. Lamont wants to remove the long-criticized traffic lights on Route 9 in Middletown that lead to frequent backups. There would also be tolls on I-395 in Plainfield and on I-91 in Hartford at the Charter Oak Bridge, another one of Connecticut’s worst choke points.
Republicans noted that the plans marked a change because Lamont’s previous proposals did not include any tolls on Routes 8 and 9.
House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, a Berlin Democrat, said tolls are a viable plan. He rejects the Republican idea of borrowing money to fix the roads and bridges.
 
 Lamont to unveil new transportation plan Thursday, includes 14 tolling locationsPAUL HUGHES
HARTFORD – Gov. Ned Lamont intends to roll out an updated transportation plan Thursday that will propose 14 tolling locations to finance specific bridge and highway projects.
One of the selling points will be that the tolls will be removed once the completed infrastructure projects are paid off, though how long that might be expected to take remained unclear Wednesday.
Temporary or not, the scaled back plan for bridge and highway tolls remained totally unacceptable to Cherrie Juhnke, an anti-toll activist who was protesting at the state Capitol while top Lamont officials briefed House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz and other House Democrats on the latest transportation funding plan.
“No tolls,” the Plainville woman said flatly. “They’ll never go away if they go up.”
Lamont and toll supporters have been unable to convince the minimum number of House and Senate members required to approve a transportation funding plan with a tolling proposal.
The Lamont administration is now banking a targeted and more limited tolling plan with the guarantee of the eventual removal of bridge and highway tolls to win over House and Senate majorities.
Aresimowicz said Lamont might need to make some revisions, but the transportation funding plan that was outlined Wednesday is one that he could “totally embrace.” How many of the other 90 House Democrats might be likewise inclined is an open question.
Rep. Geraldo Reyes, D-75th District, attended Wednesday’s hourlong briefing, and the Waterbury lawmaker said he agreed with Aresimowicz that the latest plan is better than any of the ones that were advanced earlier this year.
“I think it is the best proposal I’ve heard so far,” said Reyes, a toll supporter.
Lamont last proposed establishing 50 tolling locations on Interstate 84, Interstate 91, Interstate 95, and the Merritt and Wilbur Cross parkways. Bipartisan opposition kept that plan from moving forward.
The governor’s revised 10-year, $21 billion CT2030 plan will propose to toll bridge projects and projects that target highway bottlenecks. It will also propose new investments in commuter rail and bus service.
There will be 14 tolling locations. The exact spots will be identified today. Examples that Lamont has provided include the Mixmaster interchange of I-84 and Route 8 in Waterbury, the interchange of I-91, Interstate 691 and the Wilbur Cross Parkway in Meriden, I-95 between Bridgeport and Stamford, the Gold Star Bridge on I-95 in New London, and the I-84 viaduct and the Charter Oak Bridge in Hartford.
“It is not just guessing where we should do it. It is really looking at where the choke points are, and where a majority of our residents are wasting their time sitting in traffic day in and day out,” Aresimowicz said.
The American Transportation Research Institute reported earlier this year that Connecticut has six of the nation’s 100 worst traffic bottlenecks.
With all discounts, the tolling plan is expected to raise $300 million annually, said Melissa McCaw, the secretary of the Office Policy and Management. The Lamont administration estimated the 50-toll plan would raise $800 million a year.
Another selling point for the Lamont administration and toll supporters continues to be out-of-state drivers will pay as much as 40% of toll revenue.
“There are projects that are across our state that are in the billions of dollars. So, we think it is appropriate for out-of-state folks to be paying for some of the costs,” said Rep. Roland J. Lemar, D-New Haven, House chairman of the Transportation Committee. “They’re coming through. They’re the ones causing a lot of the damage on our roadways.”
An executive summary of the CT2030 plan laid out toll rates ranging from 50 cents to $1 for passenger vehicles and $3.50 to $7 for heavy trucks. There would be discounts of 20% discounts for drivers with a state-issued electronic pass
The Lamont administration is also going to recommend leveraging federal grants and loans to a greater degree to supplement state borrowing and existing taxes and fees supporting the Special Transportation Fund.
Aresimowicz held out hope this new transportation funding plan would receive bipartisan support, and so did Ryan Drajewicz, the governor’s chief of staff, but Republican opposition to tolls runs deep.
Rep. Vincent Candelora, R-North Branford, said Republicans continue to question if tolls are needed, but he also credited Lamont for narrowing the administration’s focus on choke points, and he called it a good starting point.
“Now that we’re looking at a more realistic, scaled-back plan, we think that there could be ways to fund this program without adding a new revenue stream,” he said.
Candelora left open the possibility that Republicans would offer an alternative to Lamont’s new transportation funding plan and its tolling proposal. House and Senate Republicans previously proposed to use a combination of state bonding and federal funding to finance transportation projects.
“I don’t think it’s the Republicans’ intent to just slam the door and say we’re not doing anything, we’re just going to vote no,” Candelora said.
He said the renewed argument that out-of-state motorists would pay 40% of the tolls collect is unpersuasive.
“It is not just a simple an answer of let’s take 40% of out-of-state revenue to pay for this. What impact does the other 60% have on the state of Connecticut? And, we’re concerned it is going to have a dramatically negative impact,” Candelora said.


Ørsted offers $100 million to southeastern Connecticut in offshore wind bid
Greg Smith
Offshore wind company Ørsted and energy company Eversource have sweetened the deal in their bid to supply offshore wind power to the state, promising $100 million to a variety of local agencies and initiatives if it is chosen by the state.
Ørsted-Eversource announced Wednesday that if its Constitution Wind bid to supply up to 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind power is successful, the partners are ready to commit funding for scholarships for community college students, money for research and monitoring at the University of Connecticut Avery Point and Mystic Aquarium and to a small business loan fund through the Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region (seCTer).
Other agencies to benefit would be energy improvements for low-income New London County residents through TVCCA and a Building Pathways apprenticeship program with Connecticut United Labor Agency.
Ørsted-Eversource was one of multiple energy ventures to submit proposals to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to provide Connecticut electricity from offshore wind farms. A decision is expected later this month.
Ørsted-Eversource is competing with Mayflower Wind, a joint venture between Shell New Energies and EDPR Renewables North America, and Vineyard Wind, a pairing of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables.
Ørsted-Eversource already was chosen to supply 300 megawatts to the state as part of its Revolution Wind farm in federal waters south of Martha’s Vineyard. The two companies also are negotiating with state officials and the Connecticut Port Authority to finalize a $100 million public-private investment into New London State Pier as part of offshore wind development. Ørsted-Eversource has committed $57.5 million for upgrades at the pier.
The port authority met on Wednesday in New London with no significant update to ongoing negotiations.
New London Mayor Michael Passero said the city has negotiated with Ørsted-Eversource to provide the city with tax revenue lost from the State Pier facility, which is on state land. Those payments are contingent on a final deal on the Harbor Development Agreement.
The city also has backed Constitution Wind in its recent bid to supply energy and expects a host of community benefits if the project is chosen.
The city already was promised $1.5 million over a two-year period as part of Ørsted-Eversource deal to supply 300 megawatts from its Revolution Wind project to the state starting in 2022.
Constitution Wind project work, which includes the pre-assembly and shipping of wind turbines and secondary steel fabrication, is an additional $143 million investment in the state, Ørsted-Eversource claims.
Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region Executive Director Nancy Cowser said Ørsted approached her organization several months ago interested in stewarding regional economic development programs.
She said if Constitution Wind is successful in its bid, seCTer would be a fiduciary for funds to other agencies and the point of contact for regional economic development funds.
“We absolutely agreed to that and proud to do it,” Cowser said. “A lot depends if they receive an award and the size of the award. Some of the things we floated was small business loan programs for business that might benefit from offshore wind, things that have regional benefit. They came to us with a real community focus.”
Ørsted-Eversource said in a statement that its plan is to strategically invest in local port infrastructure, “renew the economically distressed City of New London, catalyze regional economic activity, including chain development, develop an offshore wind workforce from local skilled labor, and advance climate mitigation and resiliency.”
“We are delivering unmatched investments into Connecticut that will support Connecticut workers and drive economic activity and future growth while also helping the state meet its recently strengthened climate change mandates,” Thomas Brostrøm, president of Ørsted North America and CEO of Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind, said in a statement.
“Following up on the selection of our Revolution Wind project and our investment to transform New London State Pier into a world-class offshore wind center, our proposed Constitution Wind project will be delivered by the industry’s leading experts to ensure the project is achievable, sustainable and successful for Connecticut,” Brostrøm said.
 






 

 
 


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