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Group Wants I-84 Demolished in Hartford, CT

Recently, John Norquist, a former mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was in Hartford to discuss and promote the idea of knocking down an I-84 viaduct that runs through the city.  He has been working with a citizen's advocate group called the Hub of Hartford in order to discuss alternate plans for the aging viaduct that runs west of downtown Hartford.  

Currently, ConnDOT has plans of investing $100 million towards fixing the viaduct for a 20 year period, while the Hub of Hartford suggests bringing Interstate 84 down to ground level.  Another idea is to have the highway go around the city instead of through it, or sinking the highway underground.  Norquist suggests knocking down the freeway in order to free up real estate and promote business in the area.

My take on this is that if I-84 through Hartford gets altered, I-84 would be rerouted on a different route, likely I-691 and I-91, or via CT 72 in New Britain, CT 9 and I-91.  Real estate prices in Connecticut are likely too expensive for ConnDOT to want to build a new alignment around Hartford, plus there has been a strong sentiment against building new highways in the past.  Plus there are traffic flow problems to consider, as I-84 traffic can get very heavy west of Hartford (possibly due to the large number of exits in the area - see I-95 between Bridgeport and Greenwich for another example).  This would shift the issue of traffic flow onto other roads.

I believe that in the end, the status quo will be maintained as far as I-84 is concerned, but it is nice to see the ball get rolling for possible improvements.

Developers contemplated doing the same thing in Syracuse, wanting to tear down the elevated portion of I-81 in downtown Syracuse, so they could bring the Syracuse University campus socially closer to the downtown Syracuse community.  The proposal pops up on occasion, but I am not sure how serious of a proposal it is.

A similar idea is also mentioned for the Inner Loop in Rochester, NY, with the 
notion of removing the depressed highway and turning it into an at-grade boulevard.

http://www.wfsb.com/news/15904065/detail.html - WFSB TV-3 article
http://www.hartfordadvocate.com/article.cfm?aid=7156 - Hartford Advocate article

Comments

Anonymous said…
If demolition of I-84 in Hartford, CT were to commence, the unused stacks of the former I-291 would have to be considered. This would provide traffic to residents in the towns of Avon, Simsbury, and Bloomfield respectively. If the cancelled I-284 were completed, it would have connected I-91 traffic westbound to I-84 via Bushnell Park.

http://daredevyl83.blogspot.com

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