Connecticut’s bid for federal transportation grants rejected

Connecticut will not receive a single dime from the $1.5 billion federal stimulus money available for transportation projects, which has a Transportation Committee member angry.

“I’m dumbfounded. I can’t believe we didn’t receive even one of the awards.” said Rep. David McCluskey, D-West Hartford.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation applied for $329 million for 13 separate projects and 10 local jurisdictions applied for an additional $301 million, said Kevin Nursick, spokesman for the CTDOT.

“We are certainly disappointed we didn’t get any money but the competition was stiff. There was not a lot of money and there were just too many applications,” he said.

A U.S. Department of Transportation press release said they were “flooded” with $60 billion in requests, nearly 40 times the amount of grant money available.

McCluskey is blaming the state DOT for not getting any money.

“ConnDOT must do a better job of working with Governor Rell, our Congressional Delegation and the General Assembly so Connecticut can get its fair share of needed transportation funding,” he said.

But Nursick said it’s unfair to blame DOT.

“It’s not just the Connecticut DOT that didn’t receive funding,” he said. “We had very slim odds of receiving these grants.”

New England states received a total of $134.9 million — $95.5 million for Massachusetts, $22.3 for Rhode Island, $14 million for Maine and $3.1 million for Vermont.