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blink55184

I-91 in Hartford

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No more raised highways please! Below grade, even if they aren't tunneled, aren't as obstructing.

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The only thing I would miss, would be the view of the city when driving through. Although I like the idea of burying the highway.

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The only thing I would miss, would be the view of the city when driving through. Although I like the idea of burying the highway.

I have the same thought. I would miss the spectacular views that you get of the city when you drive through on 91....but I would gladly give that up for the benefits of having the raised highways out of the way.

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I have the same thought. I would miss the spectacular views that you get of the city when you drive through on 91....but I would gladly give that up for the benefits of having the raised highways out of the way.

As long as the Charter Oak is used for the interstate traffic, motorists will still have one of the most spectacular views of the capital city.

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I have the same thought. I would miss the spectacular views that you get of the city when you drive through on 91....but I would gladly give that up for the benefits of having the raised highways out of the way.

Yep getting I91 out of the way would make for some nice riverfront property.

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That raised highway is not so nice. In Seattle, it's known as "the big ugly"

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It should be very simple to deck 91 right in the Downtown area. It costs a lot to deck a highway then build something on the deck, and like Providence, Hartford has plenty of vacant surface parcels that mean developers are not going to incur those costs, such as they are willing to in Boston and New York, where available land is at a premium. A simple deck with plazas, maybe some basketball courts or other recreation, would not be terribly expensive.

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They actually already did that to a part of I-84 in downtown. It's a little park that skateboarders hang out on.

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There seems to be a concensus that the construction of I-91 in downtown Hartford was responsible for severing the city and river. In reality, the city turned its back on the river several years earlier with the construction of dykes along the banks. At the time there were no developers clammering for development rights and apparently no visions of pathways and marinas by the river. So why was it considered a crime to put the highway there?

Weren't people thinking ahead?

Does history repeat itself?

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I'd say that history generally repeats, if not specifically, then generally.

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There seems to be a concensus that the construction of I-91 in downtown Hartford was responsible for severing the city and river. In reality, the city turned its back on the river several years earlier with the construction of dykes along the banks. At the time there were no developers clammering for development rights and apparently no visions of pathways and marinas by the river. So why was it considered a crime to put the highway there?

Weren't people thinking ahead?

Does history repeat itself?

The city didn't turn its back on the river by the construction of dykes, it solved a problem of flooding... Some info on the flood of 55. Yes we all wish the park river was uncovered but if that meant that I would have to swim to work, I think I'll take the flood control measures...

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In addition to I-91, people do not talk as much about as I-84 which runs through downtown and makes a stark distiniction between the central business district with its restaurants, skyscrapers, hotels, parks and the area known as "north downtown"

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The city didn't turn its back on the river by the construction of dykes, it solved a problem of flooding... Some info on the flood of 55. Yes we all wish the park river was uncovered but if that meant that I would have to swim to work, I think I'll take the flood control measures...

The solution to the problem included covering and barricading which ultimately can be translated to turning its back.

Now, if a city street was built along the top of the dyke...............

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The evil road builders wanted the Park River covered to build roads over it.

I-91 and I-84 are in there present locations because the politically powerful owner of G. Fox and Company wanted the roads to lead to her store.

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It would be nice if I91 was not there. There would be some great riverfront property there.

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There seems to be a concensus that the construction of I-91 in downtown Hartford was responsible for severing the city and river. In reality, the city turned its back on the river several years earlier with the construction of dykes along the banks. At the time there were no developers clammering for development rights and apparently no visions of pathways and marinas by the river. So why was it considered a crime to put the highway there?

Weren't people thinking ahead?

Does history repeat itself?

I think it is unfair to claim that Hartford "turned its back" on the Connecticut and Park Rivers before the Interstate era. Hartford built its dike system in the early 1940s after devastating floods in 1936 and 1938. Here are a few pictures from the Connecticut Historical Society which show how extensive the 1936 flood was in downtown, Bushnell Park, and old East Side.

Looking Northeast towards the Colt Armory and Downtown (a teenage Travelers Tower can be seen on the left edge)

http://cho.uconn.edu/cgi-bin/Pscandoc.cgi?...=3614&doc=1

Looking Northeast from the Travelers Tower towards the old East Side and Bulkley Bridge

http://cho.uconn.edu/cgi-bin/Pscandoc.cgi?...er=63&doc=1

Bushnell Park

http://cho.uconn.edu/cgi-bin/Pscandoc.cgi?...er=14&doc=1

Charter Oak Avenue with the Teenage Travelers in the Background

http://cho.uconn.edu/cgi-bin/Pscandoc.cgi?...=3670&doc=1

I have to admit that if I were in municipal government back then, I would have been all for the construction of a dike system to prevent floods like those from happening again. I probably also would have been in favor of burying the Park River, too. Back in the 1940s, rivers in Connecticut were not prized for their beauty, but prized for their convenience. Various industries would routinely dump their untreated waste into them. The Park River was no different. I would bet that when Hartford city planners chose to enclose the river in a concrete conduit, they thought they were doing the city's residents a favor by getting rid of what amounted to little more than a smelly mess with a propensity to flood.

Today, of course, things have changed and I am all for unearthing the Park River, getting rid of the Whitehead Highway, and reconfiguring Arch and Sheldon Streets to serve as one-way feeder routes between Pulaksi Circle and I-91.

As for I-91 and I-84, I subscribe to rather pessimistic views on their chosen alignments through Hartford. I think I-91 was built along the Connecticut River for two reasons. First, the route was less disruptive; and second, the route conveniently allowed for the complete destruction of the old East Side -- a destruction that began with Constitution Plaza and the Founders Bridge.

I think I-84 was purposefully built as a wide elevated viaduct through the middle of the city to serve as a convenient barricade between the North and South Sides.

Today, I drive on I-91 by the Convention Center and think how easy it would be for a pedestrian plaza to be built directly over the roadway, connecting the Convention Center with Riverfront Recapture. I also think how easy it would be for a wide foot bridge to be built over I-91 by the Colt Building, connecting Coltsville and Charter Oak Landing.

I am also all for tearing down the I-84 viaduct. I think this structure continues to inflict the heaviest long-term economic and psychological damage upon the city. I would not build a tunnel, though. I would sink I-84, sink the rail line, eliminate the Sigourney Street interchange, and build a new commuter rail station by Broad Street. Perhaps Aetna's parking garages could be rebuilt above I-84.

I apologize for the length of this post!

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Bill, it is an established fact that both interstates are in their current positions because the owner of G. Fox wanted it that way. She thought the higways would bring customers to her door and had the muscle to determine the routes.

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Bill, it is an established fact that both interstates are in their current positions because the owner of G. Fox wanted it that way. She thought the higways would bring customers to her door and had the muscle to determine the routes.

beerbeer, is there a source that confirms this? I've heard the Beatrice Fox story as well but I've never read anything stating that she ultimately determined the route of I-84. I've heard many people dismiss it as myth.

However, even if the Fox story were true, I think it would only explain I-84's snake-like route through downtown. I don't think it would explain the very wide elevated viaduct between Parkville and Union Station. I believe the viaduct has hurt Hartford much more than the downtown canyon over the decades.

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I think it is unfair to claim that Hartford "turned its back" on the Connecticut and Park Rivers before the Interstate era. Hartford built its dike system in the early 1940s after devastating floods in 1936 and 1938.

It is unfair, unfortunately.

Bill, it is an established fact that both interstates are in their current positions because the owner of G. Fox wanted it that way. She thought the higways would bring customers to her door and had the muscle to determine the routes.

beerbeer, is there a source that confirms this? I've heard the Beatrice Fox story as well but I've never read anything stating that she ultimately determined the route of I-84. I've heard many people dismiss it as myth.

However, even if the Fox story were true, I think it would only explain I-84's snake-like route through downtown. I don't think it would explain the very wide elevated viaduct between Parkville and Union Station. I believe the viaduct has hurt Hartford much more than the downtown canyon over the decades.

That is pretty much what I heard. Notice how I-84 closely follows the railroad tracks through Hartford until it veers in to align with the Bulkeley Bridge.

I have also heard that a notable planner suggested locating the interchange about a mile to the north.

I believe that the I-84 viaduct has hurt the city more than I-91. I-84 cut Hartford off from itself. The viaduct is an east - west barrier as well as a north - south barrier.

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I have also heard that our genius DOT originally planned to have I-84 run through Bushnell Park.

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I have also heard that our genius DOT originally planned to have I-84 run through Bushnell Park.

Was that I-84 or I-484?

I-484 was proposed as a tunnel under Bushnell Park. It would have completed the tight highway loop around downtown. The reason for the huge foot print of the exit 48 area (near the Capitol) was that it was designed to accomodate the intersection with I-484.

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I have also heard that our genius DOT originally planned to have I-84 run through Bushnell Park.

Thank God that didn't happen.

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I have also heard that our genius DOT originally planned to have I-84 run through Bushnell Park.

Thank God that didn't happen.

In a way, it does

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