Hartford City officials weigh in on I-84 changes

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Rush hour on I-84 in Hartford consists of bumper to bumper traffic on the raised viaduct into the city.

It’s an aging highway that will need major repairs. There are several ideas being tossed around including closing the highway altogether during the rebuild, which means re-routing traffic through Downtown Hartford.

The plans are all talk for now, but Maribel La Luz, Director of Communications & New Media for the Hartford Mayor’s Office, says there are concerns with what a tidal wave of highway traffic would do to the city streets, businesses and residents. But it might not all be bad.

“You never know, traffic can sometimes be a good problem to have. Maybe we will have more people in the City of Hartford come see the new ballpark, and all the restaurants, and they will see what the City of Hartford has to offer,” said La Luz.

While the Mayor’s Office says there will be some growing pains, professional drivers want to know just how painful it will be. Pierre Julmisse has been driving a taxi in Hartford for five years. He says it can be pretty painful now, without the addition of semi tractor-trailers from the highway.

“Between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. it is very bad, in the morning, too. Rush hour. And if they have 84 traffic through Hartford, worse. Traffic would be really messed up and it would be tough to drive in,” said Julmisse.

The State will hold another public hearing tomorrow night in West Hartford to get the public’s input on the more than 100 plans currently on the table.

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