The 50-year-old elevated structure runs through the downtown area of the US city. "The project to redesign and reconstruct I-84 in Hartford is critical to address this ageing and obsolete section of interstate in our capital city - steps that should have been completed many years ago and are finally being addressed," said Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy.
CTDOT has been analysing several alternatives for replacing the viaduct and redesigning the 3.2km section of I-84 in Hartford. Options include a keeping the existing structure in a state of good repair, complete reconstruction with much of the interstate on elevated structures, complete reconstruction at ground level or slightly below and a tunnelled route.
To date, as many as 150 design variations of these alternatives have been developed. CTDOT's assessment is that the elevated highway alternative would not meet the project's purpose and need, and the tunnel alternative would cause significantly more property impacts and have an extreme cost at US$10bn to US$12bn. The tunnel alternative has been essentially ruled out.
CTDOT commissioner James Redeker pointed out that the highway was originally designed for 50,000 vehicles per day - today,it carries as many as 175,000 vehicles. On average, there are two crashes per day, often causing severe travel delays.
"We need a modernised, safer and more reliable I-84," said Redeker. "Much has been accomplished in the planning process in the past few years, and the public has helped tremendously in guiding the development of the various design alternatives. Moving forward with the preparation of the environmental impact statement is a major step toward a final decision of what the new I-84 will look like."