Public hearing held most expensive road project in Conn. history

MANCHESTER, Conn. (WTNH) — Tuesday night, the first in a series of public hearings was held in Manchester on what could be the most expensive road project in Connecticut history. 

Governor Malloy has made replacing the I-84 viaduct, the 2.5 mile stretch of elevated highway that goes through Hartford, part of his huge transportation infrastructure improvement list. The current viaduct was supposed to last 50 years, and was built 50 years ago.

Right now, there are three plans on the table; Build a new raised viaduct like the one in place now, dig a tunnel for I-84, or put the highway at ground level. Price tags range from $5 to $10 billion.

“We are simply making ourselves as available as much as we can to share the information so people can learn about the project and give us the insight and the input and feedback so that we can really improve this and make this the best project it can be,” said Connecticut DOT Engineer Richard Armstrong.

People at the hearing had questions about everything from timing to the economic impact.

The current viaduct is carrying nearly double the amount of traffic that it was designed for, 175,000 cars and trucks a day. Along with the specific plan the biggest question to remain is how the project will be paid for. If the money can be found, the state hopes to begin construction sometime in the early 2020s.

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