Parts of I-84 and I-91, heavily congested highways in Connecticut, may be going underground after the state Senate approved the plan to build a tunnel underneath the Hartford and Connecticut River.
For years, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) has known it had to do something to ease congestion on the I-84 viaduct, which currently goes through Hartford on a series of bridges up in the air. Now a plan to bury the road underground has passed the state Senate.
CDOT was considering three options to solve the congestion issue on I-84: build new, wider bridges next to the current ones, which would be expensive and disruptive; bring the highway down to ground level, which would mean changing the streets and railroad lines that are below the highway right now; or build a tunnel underneath Hartford and the Connecticut River—the most expensive idea, but the one least disruptive to the city and current traffic.
The Hartford tunnel would cost an estimated $10 billion, and the bill only allows the state to use federal money to build it. The bill will next go to the state House for approval.