Shut out of federal transportation grants, state is offered help by U.S. DOT

Following Connecticut’s dismal record in getting money for transportation projects from stimulus grants, the U.S. Transportation Secretary announced the state will receive help in submitting future grant applications to assure the state is competitive.

“My department will meet with each and every Connecticut applicant to ensure that they are fully prepared to compete later this year,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Frustrated with the state’s failure to get any of the $1.5 billion of available federal dollars for transportation projects, Connecticut’s Congressional Delegation met with LaHood today to see what needs to happen for the state to get some of the $600 million that will be awarded this fall. The Connecticut Department of Transportation had applied for $329 million for 13 separate projects and 10 local jurisdictions applied for an additional $301 million.

The state also received much less than anticipated for high-speed rail funds recently from the U.S. DOT – $40 million of the $8 billion awarded. The state’s Congressional Delegation urged LaHood to support funding the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail line plan with the second round of $2.5 billion in high-speed rail grants to be awarded later this year.

Connecticut’s American Recovery and Investment Act coordinators reported last week the state has received $1.8 billion of the $8.1 billion requested in federal stimulus dollars and has spent $280 million of that.