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Connecticut Department of Transportation Receives $2 Million Federal Grant

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) today highlighted a $2 million federal grant it received from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). The grant funding enables the preliminary engineering, environmental documentation, and public outreach for the River Gateway component of the Greater Hartford Mobility Study.

The Greater Hartford Mobility Study outlines transportation projects and improvements in Hartford, East Hartford, and surrounding communities. The River Gateway component improves safety, supports multimodal transportation opportunities throughout the region, and expands cross-river connections.

The creation of the region’s highway system, including Interstate 91, disconnected neighborhoods from each other and resources in Hartford and East Hartford, impacting health and economic potential. The River Gateway Project will strengthen the City of Hartford’s connections to the Connecticut River, East Hartford, and reconnect the Downtown to the surrounding neighborhoods, which have had limited access due to the barrier created by I-91 in the mid-20th century. To remove the existing barrier, the proposed River Gateway Project involves four distinct components:

  • Lowering and capping I-91 from the Founders Bridge to Dillon Stadium.
  • Creating a surface boulevard between the Founders Bridge and Whitehead Highway to address traffic congestion on I-91.
  • Redesigning the Whitehead Highway as an urban boulevard with a connection to Pulaski Circle to the west and the riverfront to the east.
  • Designing a new local bridge over the Connecticut River with bicycle and pedestrian amenities between the Whitehead Highway area and Riverfront Boulevard/East River Drive in East Hartford.

“These federal funds are going to increase safety and mobility throughout the Greater Hartford region. Much of our state’s infrastructure was designed and built for cars and cut off communities from one another,” said Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont. “By refocusing on pedestrians and bicyclists, the state can have roadways that work for everyone. Thank you to President Biden, Secretary Buttigieg, and our entire federal delegation for supporting these funds that improve safety and reconnect our communities.”

“The Greater Hartford Mobility Study is a generational investment that will improve safety, reduce congestion, reconnect the city, and provide greater access to the riverfront and open space,” said Connecticut Department of Transportation of Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto. “From redesigned highways to improved local roads and new public transportation services and additional bicyclist and pedestrian amenities, the Greater Hartford Mobility Study is a transformational project that benefits all roadway users. Thank you to Governor Lamont and Connecticut’s federal delegation for the continuous support as the Greater Hartford Mobility Study continues moving forward.”

Lowering I-91 and then covering the highway – a process referred to as capping – will create a local boulevard that provides additional recreational and development opportunities for the residents of South Hartford and better connects the waterfront trail networks of East Hartford and Hartford via a new, multimodal river crossing that prioritizes safety,  enhancing the quality of life for residents of both communities.

This $2 million grant is part of a larger $21.8 million grant package award by USDOT for the state of Connecticut through the Reconnecting Communities Pilot (RCP) Program and Neighborhood Access and Equity (NAE) Program. The RCP grant program was established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the NAE grant program was established by the Inflation Reduction Act.

The Greater Hartford Mobility Study, launched in 2020, is organized into four major program components, in an expansive effort aimed at redefining the entire landscape of Greater Hartford’s transportation infrastructure. The study is a concerted, long-term effort to elevate mobility, stimulate economic growth, and fortify environmental sustainability across the Greater Hartford Region.

For more information about the Greater Hartford Mobility Study, included details on the four program components, visit hartfordmobility.com.


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