NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut environmental officials say the state’s design for a 9.4-mile, buses-only corridor between New Britain and Hartford would not damage wetlands or sensitive areas nearby.

A state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection hearing officer said Tuesday that the busway application satisfies inland wetlands and watercourse protection regulations.

People can comment in writing by Feb. 15 to present their opinions before the DEEP’s commissioner, who will decide whether to uphold the hearing officer’s recommendation to grant the permits.

The busway, which officials said will ultimately cost $567 million, is expected to provide bus service every five minutes or less to 16,000 passengers daily starting in 2014.

Connecticut’s share is $112 million, a figure that has drawn criticism from opponents. They argue the project is too expensive and question ridership projections.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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