Substitute Senate Bill No. 1186
         Substitute Senate Bill No. 1186

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 97-214


    Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and House of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section  1.  (NEW)   (a)  In  the  event  site
conditions,  environmental  factors,   engineering
factors or considerations  of  community standards
and custom would  reasonably allow for a departure
from  the  standards  for  geometric  design  with
respect to bridges  established  by  the  American
Association of State  Highway  and  Transportation
Officials or by  the Department of Transportation,
the  department may  approve  exceptions  to  such
standards without waivers.
    (b) In choosing  between the rehabilitation of
an existing bridge  and  the construction of a new
bridge, whether on  the  existing location or on a
new  location, the  department  and  any  affected
municipality shall weigh  the  following  factors:
(1) The functional  classification of the highway;
(2) the load capacity and geometric constraints of
the bridge within  its  existing footprint and the
availability  of  alternative   routes;   (3)  the
comparative long-term costs, risks and benefits of
rehabilitation  and  new   construction;  (4)  the
requirements  of  state  standards  for  geometric
design; (5) disruption  to  homes  and businesses;
(6)  environmental  impacts;   (7)  the  potential
effects on the  local  and  state  economies;  (8)
cost-effectiveness; (9) mobility;  (10) safety, as
determined by factors such as accident history for
motorists, pedestrians and  bicyclists;  and  (11)
the impact on  the  historic, scenic and aesthetic
values of the  municipality in which the bridge is
or may be located.
    (c) The department  shall  implement  policies
and programs to  allow  municipal  governments  to
develop projects or  construct  projects, or both,
in consultation with the department, in accordance
with federal laws and regulations if federal funds
are used.
    (d) The state  or a municipality, any state or
municipal agency or  any  employee  thereof or any
engineer  retained in  connection  with  a  bridge
project shall not  be  liable  for  any  injury or
damage to any  person  or  property  caused by the
selection  of  design  standards  that  enable  an
existing bridge, which  was  initially constructed
not  less than  twenty-five  years  prior  to  the
effective date of  this  act,  to  be  repaired or
rehabilitated    in   substantially    the    same
configuration that existed  before  such repair or
rehabilitation,   provided   nothing    in    this
subsection  shall  be  construed  to  relieve  the
state,  any  municipality   or   any  person  from
liability under section  13a-144 or 13a-149 of the
general  statutes arising  out  of  structural  or
design defects in any such bridge or negligence in
the maintenance, repair  or  rehabilitation of any
such bridge.
    Sec. 2. (a) The Commissioner of Transportation
shall,  in  cooperation   with  the  Southeastern,
Connecticut  River  Estuary   and   South  Central
Regional Planning Agencies, conduct a study of the
transportation demands and  needs of the southeast
corridor  of the  state.  The  commissioner  shall
assess such demands  and  needs of the region from
Branford,  Connecticut  to  the  Connecticut-Rhode
Island state line  which  shall include Interstate
Route  95,  U.S.   Route  1,  the  Shoreline  East
railroad  line, regional  bus  systems  and  ferry
services. He shall  develop  travel demand for the
period  from 1998  to  2008.  In  conducting  such
study, the commissioner shall (1) consider options
with respect to  financing  the maintenance of the
current transportation system  and  future capital
improvements to such  system,  (2) evaluate travel
demand    management    strategies     and    make
recommendations with respect to the utilization of
such strategies in  the  southeast corridor of the
state,  (3)  identify   intrastate  transportation
opportunities  and  impediments,  (4)  assess  the
interregional  services  of   the  three  regional
transportation plans, (5) develop a plan of action
to  integrate such  intermodal  and  interregional
opportunities  into  the  corridor  transportation
system, and (6)  develop  marketing  strategies to
promote usage of  the Shoreline East railroad line
and commuter parking facilities. The commissioner,
in evaluating such  strategies  and opportunities,
shall   consider  existing   and   future   fiscal
resources,  environmental constraints,  safety  of
the traveling public  and the need for maintenance
and congestion relief.  In  conducting such study,
the  commissioner  shall  also  seek  input  on  a
regular basis from  industry  and civic groups and
other  interested  parties  with  an  interest  in
conducting such an assessment.
    (b)  Not  later  than  January  1,  1999,  the
commissioner shall submit a report on his findings
and   recommendations  to   the   joint   standing
committee   of   the   General   Assembly   having
cognizance of matters  relating to transportation,
in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a
of the general statutes.

Approved June 24, 1997