DOT Advances Hartford Region Transportation Study
The Department of Transportation will release its report this month on a comprehensive study targeting the improvement of all forms of transportation in the greater Hartford region.
Launched in 2020, the Greater Hartford Mobility Study is “planning an integrated, resilient, multi-modal transportation system in the region, thereby enhancing the quality of life and economy.”
The study took a holistic approach to the region’s transportation challenges, targeting highway congestion and examining rail, bus, bicycle and pedestrian needs and issues.
It was designed to assess several ongoing initiatives, including the I-84 Hartford Project, CTfastrak expansion, Amtrak/Hartford Line rail corridor enhancements, I-84/I-91 interchange improvements, East Coast Greenway planning, and expanded bicycle and pedestrian networks.
DOT is expected to propose recommendations to “improve the movement of people and goods, increase transportation options, accessibility, reliability, and safety, as well as accommodate future needs and emerging technologies.”
The recommendations will include relocating the I-84/I-91 interchange, lowering the I-84 viaduct, building two new bridges over the Connecticut River, and expanding development opportunities.
“For too long, our national highway system has ripped cities in half, displacing communities and resources from one another,” Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement.
“The future infrastructure and transportation projects coming out of the study will make our capital city economically vibrant and better connected within itself, to surrounding towns, and across the Connecticut River.”
Transportation Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto highlighted the study’s focus on equity issues, noting the outreach to more than 10,000 residents in the region.
“We listened and learned from many communities that were disconnected by the existing infrastructure to identify problems and solutions,” he said.
“Each program component can create new connections to transform this region into one true modern metropolitan area.
“The study’s final report will outline the next steps CTDOT will take to mobilize early action projects and plan and design longer-term projects.”
The study was organized into four major program components:
- CityLink West addresses safety, reduces the number of ramps, and improves connectivity between neighborhoods and green spaces/parks. Lowering the highway would link neighborhoods currently severed by the highway and create additional developable land while improving rail and bus service that share the corridor.
- CityLink East proposes mitigating highway congestion in downtown Hartford by relocating the I-84/I-91 interchange and creating a new bridge connecting I-84 and Route 2 in East Hartford. This redesign would separate local and highway traffic and reclaim the historic Bulkeley Bridge for local traffic, including opportunities for dedicated high-capacity transit facilities, separated bike lanes, and improved sidewalks.
- River Gateway connects Hartford’s central business district with the Connecticut River. It allows for equitable access to green space, would mitigate some of the visual and noise impacts of I-91, and create an urban boulevard to strengthen local travel options. In addition, a new bridge would connect the Sheldon/Charter Oak neighborhood with a new, river-oriented, mid-rise neighborhood in East Hartford. The bridge would prioritize bus, bicycle, and pedestrian travel while accommodating automobile traffic.
- Founders Gateway consolidates the I-84/Route 2 interchange ramps in East Hartford. It would open significant acres of land to potential development and provide opportunities to strengthen the local street grid.
While DOT officials say some small-scale study initiatives could be implemented within the next five years, larger projects face years of environmental assessments and financing challenges.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Pete Myers (860.244.1921).
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