(WTNH)–Traffic backed up and jacked up on Interstate-84. It’s a familiar sight for anyone who travels to the capital city.
But Principal DOT engineer Rich Armstrong and his team is looking to change that.
Armstrong says the highway was originally designed for about 55,000 vehicles per day in the 1960s. Right now, there are about 175,000 vehicles per day.
There were three scenarios on the table, burying the highway like the Big Dig in Boston, keeping it elevated like it is now. Both the federal and state engineers have illuminated that as too costly.
That leaves bringing the highway back to ground level like Interstate-95 through New Haven. While they are still working out all the details, it will cost approximately $5 billion.
“Relocating a portion of the Amtrak railroad allowing us to bring the highway down, removing the viaduct so all the local streets are passing over the freeway,” said Armstrong.
The new design will modernize the highway improving safety and traffic flow as well as adding 40 acres of green space for biking and walking. Dave Mourad is excited about the plan.
“By far New Haven is a much more pedestrian, bike oriented city, and even if we got a taste of that in Hartford that would be a great improvement, so we would like to become more like our sister city,” Mourad said.
State engineers are still studying traffic flow once the project begins in 2022 or 2023, to see how much of the truck traffic will reroute through New Haven along I-95.