America’s deteriorating transportation networks are a roadblock to commerce. Improvements to this sector are an essential investment in our country’s future and an immediate means to job creation. Residents of Connecticut don’t need to spend much time on I-95 or the Merritt Parkway to understand the severity of the challenges we face locally. We must reduce traffic congestion on our roads and highways, make rail transit more accessible, expand use of alternative modes of transportation and ease the transportation burden of our district’s residents and commuters. I will continue to seek opportunities to bring money and resources into Connecticut’s fourth district to tackle these issues and improve our infrastructure.
We have already brought millions of dollars for transportation improvements into the state under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and through the annual budget process. These include: over $70 million for safety improvements, resurfacing, enhancements, and bridge improvements to the Merritt Parkway; over $11 million for infrastructure improvements at the Steel Point project in Bridgeport that will generate thousands of new jobs; and $30 million for upgrades to Metro North’s Danbury Branch line, enhancing safety, shortening commute times, and improving frequency of service. In addition, I have been pleased to see hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal investments for street and sidewalk improvements throughout the district, and improvements to central transportation hubs in the district including $2 million towards facility enhancements at the Stamford Urban Transitway, the centerpiece of Stamford’s effort to connect the Stamford Transportation Center with its Amtrak, regional rail, and commuter bus facilities.
I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of H.R. 402, The National Infrastructure Development Bank Act of 2011. The establishment of a National Infrastructure Bank that can provide a new way to objectively fund our nation’s critical infrastructure projects is essential at a time when fiscal constraints at all levels of government are making financing projects by conventional means difficult. The Infrastructure Bank would also attract private investment and facilitate private sector partnering with regions, states and localities to borrow from the Bank while adding its own private equity to projects.
Connecticut’s infrastructure is critical not only to our economic competitiveness but also to the quality of life of those who live in our great state. Together, I look forward to continuing to address the growing transportation needs of the fourth district.
More on Transportation
Washington, DC – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) released the following statement on passage of a long-term transportation bill:
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4), voted in favor of HR 22, the DRIVE Act. The bill creates long-term transportation infrastructure funding through the Highway Trust Fund, which provides a large percentage of the money for infrastructure projects across the nation and Connecticut including bridges, highways, and rail lines. The bill passed by a vote of 371-54.
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4), released the following statement on the bipartisan budget deal reached yesterday and his views on Congress’s priorities going forward:
“Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that will set spending levels for more than a year, ensure America can meet its financial obligations until 2017, and prevent catastrophic increases in Medicare premiums. I voted for the bill, which passed the House with a majority of Republicans and every Democrat supporting it.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representatives Jim Himes (CT-4), Elizabeth Esty (CT-5), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Julia Brownley (CA-26), and Bill Pascrell (NJ-9) introduced the Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Act of 2015, H.R. 1291. Their bill will help states and communities make safety upgrades at highway-rail grade crossings. Each year, nearly 270 people are killed at grade crossings, including the recent tragedies in Valhalla, NY, and Oxnard, CA.
WASHINGTON, DC— Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) issued the following statement regarding the fatal Metro-North accident last night on the Harlem Line in Valhalla, NY.
Stamford, CT — Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) today highlighted a new report that shows how the average driver in the Bridgeport-Stamford area loses almost $1,900 annually due to roads that are congested, deteriorated and unsafe. Himes said the report, released today by the national transportation group TRIP, underscores the need for long-term federal transportation investments to create jobs and improve the safety and efficiency of Connecticut's highway and transit networks.
Washington, DC — Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) issued the following statement on legislation Congress cleared this week to retroactively increase a tax benefit that helps thousands of employees in Connecticut save money on their commute to and from work. Himes has pushed to restore and increase the benefit, which was included in a larger package (H.R. 5771) that allows individuals and businesses to claim dozens of lapsed tax breaks for the current 2014 tax year. The bill now awaits President Obama’s signature.
Washington, DC — Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) today voted for legislation (H.R. 5771) that would retroactively extend a federal, pre-tax commuter benefit that helps thousands of employees in Connecticut save money on their commute to and from work. The provision was included in a larger package that would allow individuals and businesses to claim dozens of lapsed tax breaks for the current 2014 tax year.
Bridgeport, CT — Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) joined Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch at the Bridgeport train station this afternoon following the release of the National Transportation Safety Board reports detailing five accidents that occurred on Metro-North between May, 2013, and March, 2014. One of the reports focused on the train derailment and consequent collision that occurred nearby between the Bridgeport and Fairfield stations on May, 17, 2013, injuring at least 72 people and halting rail traffic for days.
NORWALK, CT – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) joined Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling today to announce the recently awarded $161 million federal grant that will go towards the final plan to replace the New Haven Line’s 118-year-old Walk Bridge in Norwalk. They were joined by Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker and commuter advocate Jim Cameron.