With rust visible on the girders and joints of the busy roadway above his head, Gov. Dannel Malloy pointed to the I-84 viaduct in Hartford and vowed to start designing a replacement before the end of his current term.
The project would cost between $4 billion and $10 billion, according to the governor.
"You could wait until it falls down, but I don't think that's the best way to deal with it," Malloy told reporters during a tour on Monday.
"Let me say this: We've been walking on water," the goveror said before breaking into laughter.
He explained there's an underground conduit beneath the viaduct, a conduit containing a buried river. That would have to be moved if the replacement was a tunnel.
"Tunneling - very expensive," he said.
But it is an option for experts to consider, along with rebuilding the elevated roadway or running the highway slightly below ground.
"I think a sunken roadway is probably the more likely option and I think it's highly unlikely anybody would build this thing now," Malloy said, looking up at the viaduct.
He also said the Hartford-New Haven railway would have to be involved and perhaps straightened as part of any realignment of the highway.