Dan Haar: Bocce And Buried Highways At Larson’s Lovefest – Connecticut News

Dan Haar: Bocce And Buried Highways At Larson’s Lovefest – Connecticut News

Rep. John B. Larson, D-1st District, always brings in heavy hitters for his annual charity bocce tournament in his hometown of East Hartford, which was Friday night.

This year, some of them also stopped off at the state Capitol early in the day to back Larson’s massive Hartford highway tunnel plan.

It was a bipartisan lovefest all around. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Penn., made it clear he’s all for big spending when it comes to infrastructure. Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee — a post his father also held — called the Larson plan is a big deal, though one among many.

The plan, at least as ambitious as Boston’s Big Dig, would bury Hartford and East Hartford sections of I-84 and I-91 in tunnels, with the main interchange under Colt Park and both highways crossing under the Connecticut River. All of this whis would open up the river and other prime urban property and make way for vast, pedestrian-friendly boulevards.

As Larson sees it, the plan would supersede a $4 billion to $5 billion plan the state Department of Transportation is working on, to rebuild the aging, so-called Aetna Viaduct section of I-84.

There’s no price tag on Larson’s plan. He says everyone is for it — and in vacuum, there’s nothing not to love. The question is, if it costs, let’s say, $20 billion or more, can a small,…

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