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UConn to benefit from federal transportation funding

By Richard Veilleux - August 29, 2005

The federal transportation bill signed into law Aug. 10 by President George W. Bush includes more than $6 million earmarked for UConn-related projects.

The bill includes $2.1 million toward the construction of North Hillside Road; $2 million for the Connecticut Transportation Institute at UConn; and $2.5 million for road and streetscape improvements on Route 195 as part of the Mansfield Downtown Center project.

“This new funding will play a very important role in advancing all three projects,” said University President Philip E. Austin. “I extend our thanks to the Connecticut delegation, especially senators Joseph Lieberman and Chris Dodd, and Rep. Rob Simmons.”

The $2.1 million for North Hillside Road – a long-planned project to connect North Eagleville Road to Route 44 – is in addition to $4 million in federal money secured for the project in 2005. The nearly three quarter-mile extension is expected to be completed in late 2007, paving the way for the development of the North Campus as outlined in the University’s Master Plan. The remaining costs, about $5 million, will be funded through UConn 2000.

Funding for the Connecticut Transportation Institute is earmarked for various research projects. Seven faculty members are associated with the institute, which was founded in 1974 as part of the School of Engineering to conduct research, facilitate education, and provide services that promote safety and efficiency in transportation systems.

The $2.5 million earmark is for the Downtown Partnership, comprising the Town of Mansfield, the Mansfield business community, and the University. It is transforming about 15 acres of parking lots and wooded areas into a New England village, with dozens of retail establishments, restaurants, and apartments. The federal funding will be used for improvements to Storrs Road (Route 195) across from E.O. Smith High School, and for a streetscape project, and will have a direct impact on the University.

Work on the village is expected to begin in fall 2006.

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