Congressman John Larson, D-First District, wants to tunnel city traffic from Interstate 84 and Interstate 91 and plans to introduce the “America Wins Act” when Congress resumes in September.
He said the legislation would invest $1 trillion in the nation’s infrastructure over the next 10 years and pave the way for the local project.
Larson will hold a news conference at noon to announce the plan, which he said would also provide transitional assistance for coal country, including pensions; provide a consumer tax rebate to the American people; and reduce pollution to promote clean air and public health.
Larson has held several meetings about his proposal to tunnel traffic on Connecticut highways and said taking some of the traffic 70 feet below the surface will help bring together the northside and southside of Hartford, repair a levy system he believes is in desperate need of a fix and repurpose the Charter Oak Bridge, the Bulkeley Bridge and Founders Bridge.
Those three bridges would serve as local boulevards and help carry economic development directly into Hartford, according to Larson, who insists it will also help the area gain green space and reclaim the river.
The project could cost $10 billion and Larson said the state, which is dealing with budget issues, would likely be required to pick up 20 percent of the bill.
Larson acknowledged there is much more research to be done and said he is not an engineer, but is excited that the concept will be a part of the current I-84, I-91 interchange study.
Larson also said the Trump administration could play a positive role in such a project.
“If there is an area we feel we can work together it clearly is in the area of infrastructure,” Larson said.