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Mashantucket Pequot Tribe of Connecticut

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State Sen. Edith Prague, D-Columbia, wants the tribe to fund any highway improvements near its Foxwoods Resort Casino. She introduced legislation to force the tribe to pay to ease traffic congestion within 25 miles of the casino. "Why should taxpayers pay for it," Prague said Jan. 8. "Taxpayers' money is needed for a system of transportation, but not to accommodate patrons of Foxwoods. We have so many other places where we need that money." Buddy Gwinn, a tribal spokesman, called the proposal unprecedented, but would not comment further. The proposed DOT plans call for a second bridge across the Thames River, parallel to the existing Pequot-Mohegan Bridge in Preston. That would accompany a 2-mile long bypass aimed at connecting Foxwoods with the Mohegan Sun casino in Montville. DOT officials have said a detailed examination of the project must happen before construction begins. She said she did not include the Mohegan tribe, which operates the state's second casino less than 4 miles away, because it has already invested millions in constructing an access road off Route 2A. The bill was sent to the legislature's Transportation Committee.

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