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Bill Mocarsky

The Whitehead Highway

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After reading the IQUILT comments, specifically the ones about daylighting the Park River, I started thinking about the Whitehead highway again.

Is this highway REALLY needed?

All Whitehead Highway traffic either originates or ends up in the nearby street grid. There must be several potential alternate ways to handle this traffic.

The obvious benefit of getting rid of the Whitehead is that it would open possibilities for daylighting the Park River. However, increased opportunities for Connecticut River access and development would emerge with the removal of the interchange with I-91, which accounts for the rollercoaster-like profile of I-91 in this part of the city.

(High speed) ramps connecting I-91 and the Whitehead were built with the intention of becoming part of the I-91/84 interchange. The link to I-84 (via a tunnel through Bushnell Park) was never built.

Should the relevance of this spur today be questioned?

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I think there are definitely better things that can be done with this land. This spur has always been somewhat of a joke. I mean I do take it if it gets me closer to where I'm trying to go but I would not miss it much if it wasn't there.

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OK OK OK....

of course its not "needed"

but in the gran scheme of Hartford, it exists right now, and it does handle a lot of traffic right now. there are a few projects out there right now that might affect this roadway or whatever, so I say this....

Hang tight... lets see if we can get this I-84 thing done, and the park/pulaski thing and maybe get more development at front street.

the whitehead can be removed when there is some development perssure to do so. right now its purpose is still fairly intact, but if jewell is under construction, and the circle is worked on or removed, traffic flow would be limited and eventually its uses would continue to diminish as the development pressure hopefully increases.

also the park river is not being daylighted and can not be for a very very long time with lots and lots of environmental clean up over a huge geographic area. but some day? hell yeah, Id like to see the river brought to surface and have it replace this stream plan thru the park in 20 or so years, and Id like it to run all the way to the CT river and Id like the whitehead gone too. but I see that as 20 years out, honestly.

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this is basically like a big off-ramp for I-91. Further, it's only 4 blocks. I think we should be able to come up with a solution that would eliminate this and use Arch/Wells street as the one-way into the city and Elm/Shelton as the one-way out of the city. If the city could work on better aligning those roads and synchronizing red lights/traffic movement, it could accomplish the same thing.

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And could open up the river and make places like the Arch St Tavern riverfront, aka desirable...

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And could open up the river and make places like the Arch St Tavern riverfront, aka desirable...

Exactly!

I was thinking of a marina type thing at the site of the interchange. One arm of this marina could stretch west to Columbus BLVD at Arch Street (Front Street district), and another could stretch south to Charter Oak Ave (Coltsville Historic District).

This water feature, bordered by these two emerging districts could be a little suggestive of Baltimore's Inner Harbor development.

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