Larson’s tunnels and widening I-95 are wasteful pipe dreams

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A concept sketch of U.S. Rep. John Larson's proposal to bury I-91 and I-84 underground in Hartford and East Hartford. The proposed tunnels are shown in orange and the existing highways in blue. The cloverleaf intersection would be under Pope Park.

U.S. Rep. John Larson recently proposed a massive $10 billion project to drill through miles of shale, sandstone, and basalt under Hartford for two new highway tunnels without any traffic study showing it would reduce congestion. This is one of numerous frivolous proposals that would waste precious taxpayer dollars without meeting the 21st Century needs of hardworking families in Connecticut.

Another frustrating proposal is currently on the table in Connecticut to spend $11.2 billion taxpayer dollars and expand the I-95 highway in Connecticut, despite studies showing that this would increase traffic accidents (due to narrower lanes), block first responders from reaching emergency scenes (due to conversion of shoulder lanes), and spike air pollution (due to increased vehicles on the road).

The passing of any of these proposals would mean substantially less funding for the upgrade and maintenance of the rail lines that run parallel to I-95, which are currently setting ridership records as citizens realize the benefits of a more reliable, cost-effective, and sustainable transportation option.

Connecticut officials should use funding responsibly by improving these increasingly popular transit methods instead of wasting money on unproven and ineffective proposals.

Jeffrey Fu is a student at Yale University in New Haven.

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