Officials Detail What Federal Infrastructure Bill Means for Hartford District | Connecticut News

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – While an infrastructure bill is being drafted in Washington, Channel 3 is examining its impact on people where they live.

Connecticut’s premier district is looking to renovate Hartford’s freeways with its share of the federal infrastructure bill.

Representative John Larson and other officials helped explain the changes that may occur in the First Congressional District.

He said traveling through Hartford might look different.

“It’s the number one chokehold in the state, number one in New England, number 11 in the country,” Larson said.

Hartford consistently ranks among the most congested spots in the country. The outdated bridge system that carries Interstate 84 to Hartford, known as the Viaduct, was designed to handle only a fraction of the cars that use it. The Interstate 91 interchange only compounds the problem.

Today, the Ministry of Transport is receiving support for its study on mobility. The $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill includes $ 16 million for a 100-year transportation plan in the Hartford area.

Bill on infrastructure could bring billions of dollars to TB

(WFSB) – Trains, buses and highways in Connecticut could undergo a major overhaul.

“We’re going to have $ 5 billion for a program to reach communities like North Hartford with the rest of the city,” said Representative Peter A. Defazio, (D) Oregon, chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

The infrastructure bill emphasizes projects that reconnect cities. In Hartford, the elevated viaduct cuts the north end of the city center. Larson hopes that a redesigned road network will allow the city to reconnect. He also hopes this will allow the city to reclaim more of its shores.

“Look, if we’re doing something in this nation, let’s make sure we’re doing it right,” Larson said.

Larson said redesigning the freeway and allowing Hartford to reconnect with itself and with the river is key to the Hartford 400, a series of projects that hope to reimagine and redesign Hartford over the next 15 years.

“We’re trying to get everything and everyone in one direction so that we can support a region,” said Jackie Mandyck, executive director of iQuilt Partnership.

The iQuilt partnership spearheads the Hartford 400 by bringing together a series of projects into one vision. The hope is that a new road network would free up space in Hartford and East Hartford for development and parks. Much of this land would be on the river.

“Right now we have a road network that connects the Connecticut River and somewhat restricts access to the river,” said Michael Zaleski, president and CEO of Riverfront Recapture.

A render showed what iQuilt came up with for the project. The Hartford 400 projects also focused on a broader definition of infrastructure that included parks and technology. The infrastructure bill is funding some of these, including upgrading the levee system in Hartford and East Hartford, a new Riverfront Park, more electric vehicle charging stations, better broadband and improvements for CT Rail and Bradley International Airport.

“The situation here is a perfect match for what we are trying to do,” Defazio said.

Once the mobility study is completed, planners can apply for more federal funds. It is not known how the highways will be redesigned. Larson has called for tunnels in the past. However, Hartford 400 suggested that the highways bypass the capital.

Whatever happens, supporters want to reconnect Hartford with the river in time for the city’s 400th anniversary in 2035.

“We should be able to use it, commit to it, and really take advantage of this natural resource that we have,” Mandyck said.

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