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Infrastructure and Transportation

I-84 & I-91 Tunnel Plan: A New Vision for Greater Hartford

Connecticut faces significant infrastructure challenges. The I-84 viaduct in Hartford is badly congested and in need of repair. Currently, it splits Hartford in two—cutting off residents and businesses in the North End from the rest of the city. At the same time, I-91 has deprived Hartford of waterfront property along the Connecticut River that could otherwise be used for recreation or development. And perhaps most worrisome, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has identified upgrades to our aging levee system that must be made in order to keep our communities safe from floods.   

Rather than taking a piecemeal approach, we need a comprehensive plan to addressing our region’s challenges.  That’s why John proposed a new solution to reunite Hartford, recapture the Connecticut Riverfront, and repair our crumbling levees.

John’s 100 Year Vision would bury I-84 in a tunnel beneath much of Hartford and into East Hartford. A second tunnel would bury I-91 along the Connecticut River, allowing us to finally recapture the waterfront.

Tunneling will allow us to repair our eroding levee systems before a tragedy happens. Furthermore, routing I-84 and I-91 through tunnels would allow us to keep the existing viaduct open until the new routes are open—preventing a costly shutdown of our highways and the city as a whole.

Once the tunnels are in place, we would remove the Aetna Viaduct and return those streets to local boulevards, providing acres of green spaces and developable land for Hartford—transforming the city into a livable, walkable community.

Tunneling would also alleviate the severe traffic congestion along our highways and bridges. A significant portion of the vehicles causing congestion on I-84 are just passing through. Directing that traffic through a tunnel bypass would allow it to flow through smoothly without clogging up local roads or interfering with drivers bound for Hartford.  

East Hartford would also be transformed. Currently, the “mixmaster” of off-ramps and on-ramps alongside the Connecticut River has roughly the same footprint as Hartford’s own downtown neighborhood. Removing the mixmaster would allow this valuable property to be reclaimed and repurposed.

On top of this, returning the Bulkeley, Founders, and Charter Oak Bridges to the  boulevards they once were would open both sides of the river to local traffic, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Connecting our newest National Historic Park—Coltsville—to the Connecticut River would also increase interest in tourism. We could transform Hartford and East Hartford into a livable, interconnected, and vibrant community that will attract businesses and new residents alike.

Infrastructure investment means jobs. A project like this would provide significant work in a number of fields, giving the people of Connecticut the security and dignity of a steady paycheck.

We need to plan for our future. We need to put an end to stopgap solutions that are obsolete before the shovel even hits the ground. This is our moment. John’s plan will revitalize our community and transform the region for future generations.

Click here for more information on the tunnel proposal.

John introduced the America Wins Act, a $1 trillion infrastructure investment over a 10-year period. This proposal would pave the way for projects like the I-84/I-91 Tunnel proposal nationwide, without raising the national debt. To learn more please click here.

Letters of Support

Trinity Health 


St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center

Greater Hartford Flood Commission 

Metro Hartford Alliance

CT River Valley Chamber of Commerce

CT State Senate Delegation

CT Road Builders Association, Inc. 

CT Construction Industries Association, Inc. 

CT Asphalt & Aggregate Producers Association, Inc. 

Testimony of Senator John Fonfara

CT State Senate Letter

Connecticut Laborers’ District Council

Connecticut Ready Mixed Concreate Association

Riverfront Recapture


News Coverage

Larson pitches for I-91/I-84 to be put underground ( Hartford Courant)


Larson unveils proposal to put city’s interstate highways in tunnels (Journal Inquirer)

Larson’s Regional Transportation Vision Worthy Of Support (Hartford Business Journal)

Letter to the Editor: Tunnel Plan is Best (Hartford Courant)

Op-Ed: Tunnel Vision is a Good One (Hartford Courant Editorial)

Mike McGarry - Letter to the Editor: Tunnel Plan is Best  (Hartford Courant)

Lawmaker holds meeting on I-84, I-91 tunnel project (WTNH)

Bill Pushing Hartford Tunnels Proposal Heads to Governor (AP)

Larson Convenes Meeting with U.S. DOT, Commissioner Redeker and State Legislative Leaders to Review Tunnel Plan and Discuss Finance Options (Press Release)

Larson Journal Inquirer Op-Ed: Taking a tunnel-vision approach to I-84/I-91 interchange realignment (Journal Inquirer)


More on Infrastructure and Transportation

January 16, 2015 Press Release

Washington – Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement today on President Barack Obama’s announcement that his Administration would be taking several steps to improve our nation’s roads, bridges, and broadband network:

July 15, 2014 Press Release

Washington - Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement today on the passage of the Highway and Transportation Funding Act (H.R. 5021) in the U.S. House of Representatives:

July 11, 2014 Press Release
Washington - Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) and the Connecticut Congressional Delegation continued their efforts to bring a long-term transportation bill to a vote.
May 20, 2014 Press Release

Washington – Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act Conference Report (H.R. 3080), a bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed 412-4 in the House of Representatives:

December 12, 2013 Press Release

Washington — Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) and Connecticut’s Congressional Delegation released the following statement today applauding the Federal Railroad Administration’s announcement they are conducting a thorough analysis of every aspect of the Metro-North Commuter Railroad. The analysis, Operation Deep Dive, will take 60 days and is a response to a series of accidents dating back to March.

July 30, 2013 Op-Ed and Letters
In the face of looming disaster, The House of Representatives' underfunding of the chief agency responsible for flood protection demonstrates an alarming indifference to the crumbling infrastructure around us, and highlights a need to act.
July 10, 2013 Press Release

Washington – Yesterday, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) took to the House floor to call on Congress to invest in America's infrastructure. This week, the U.S. House of Representatives is debating the fiscal year 2014 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, H.R. 2609.

April 5, 2013 Press Release

Hartford, CT – Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) and the Connecticut Congressional Delegation issued the following statement today in response to news that the Federal Aviation Administration would delay closure of contract air traffic control towers until June 15:

February 6, 2013 Press Release

Washington, DC — Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) and Connecticut's Congressional Delegation released the following statement today applauding the announcement Connecticut will be receiving $71.8 million that may be used to repair homes and businesses damaged by Hurricane Sandy, and to upgrade and repair critical infrastructure. The funding, provided by the Community Development Block Grant (CDGB) program, is part of the $16 billion included in the Sandy Disaster Relief bill Congress passed last month.