Larson’s Tunnels: Big plan, even bigger challenge

Excerpt from Connecticut Mirror article:

Not everyone is thrilled with U.S. Rep. John Larson’s proposal to build massive highway tunnels under Hartford, but Daniel Burnham might be, were he still with us. It was Burnham, the great Chicago architect and planner, who said, “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will not themselves be realized.”

Larson’s is anything but a little plan; it is breathtaking in scope. It has stirred the blood of some public officials and business leaders. But the concept is so vast, complex and potentially expensive – it would be longer than Boston’s “Big Dig” tunnels – that many doubt it could be realized.

Larson calls the proposal a “100-year solution” that would reduce traffic congestion on both I-84 and I-91, recapture large swaths of downtown land for much-needed development, reconnect northern neighborhoods to the rest of the city and even provide fill to repair the aging dikes on the Connecticut River.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin praised it for those reasons, as has State Rep. Tony Guerrera, co-chair of the General Assembly’s transportation committee. CT News Junkie blogger Susan Bigelow called the idea “brilliant and necessary.”

Others see it, as a Hartford Courant letter writer put it, as “the mother of all pipe dreams.”