In an editorial published this weekend, the Hartford Courant lauded civic advocates for their efforts to “heal” the city of Hartford through the removal of the Aetna viaduct, an elevated portion of I-84 that cuts through the heart of the city. The 40-year-old road, which bisects the North End and Asylum Hill areas from the Capitol and the downtown area, reached the end of its projected life in 2005.
When ConnDOT initially proposed to repair and prop up the viaduct, civic groups, businesses, and neighborhood associations, led by Tri-State board member Toni Gold, urged the State and City to rethink the plans. Four years later, ConnDOT, Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez and the advocates have secured federal and city funding to conduct an alternatives study that would analyze whether decking, boulevarding or diverting the current highway traffic is possible.
A teardown of the Viaduct, the newspaper wrote, could be “one of the greatest feats of civic activism in the city’s long history.”