State officials to discuss how transportation construction is tied to economic development
HARTFORD — Officials in the CT Department of Transportation and the Department of Economic and Community Development will hold a joint press conference Friday afternoon at the State Capitol.
Department of Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith are set to focus their remarks on the state’s transportation infrastructure and its relationship to Connecticut’s long-term economic and budgetary goals.
This happens as the state is seeking public input on its plans to rebuild I-84 through Hartford. Officials with the Connecticut Department Of Transportation heard from neighbors Thursday about the future of the I-84 viaduct, the elevated stretch of road that runs through downtown Hartford.
The viaduct was built back in the 1960s and by all accounts has outlasted its usable life span.
“We’re at that 50-year mark where a lot of the expenses into maintenance and rehabilitation into those structures is expensive, it’s going to be continuous and ongoing, and it’s going to intensify over the next decade or two if we don’t do anything,” said Richard Armstrong, of the state DOT.
Of the three options being considered, rebuilding a grade-level interstate is proving to be the most attractive option, with a tunnel becoming increasingly unrealistic due to costs and logistics. The last option is to rebuild another elevated viaduct, which is proving unpopular with neighbors.
Any construction is still years away, but another information session is planned for Hartford Public Library next Thursday.