A New Vision for 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.
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)