The I-484 Bushnell Park Tunnel


Back when Dwight Eisenhower was president and Abraham Ribicoff was governor, my predecessors here at Channel 3 were working on a story about a proposed tunnel that would link I-84 to I-91.  So how would that have been done exactly?  By building a tunnel under Bushnell Park.


These architectural models, shown at a public hearing in 1959,  show what the tunnel  would have looked like.  One opening for the spur, or connector, would be on the grassy slope on the north side of the state capitol and the other opening  would have chopped up the park on the east side and wiped out the whole section that is now home to the Pump House and the scene of Winterfest.


Further study of these photographs of the model reveal there was once a proposal for a more traditional building in the place where the iconic “Boat Building” now stands and three high rises where much of the Adriaen’s Landing development went up, including the Connecticut Convention Center.



The spur was later named I-484 and was killed in the late 1980s.  Here are some articles I found about this proposal, that thankfully never came to fruition: http://www.nycroads.com/roads/I-484_CT/




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2 replies »

  1. Really interesting, thanks for sharing! Thank God this never happened. I still find it difficult to wrap my mind around what city planners and governments were thinking in the early days of the interstate highway system.

    Those three highrises almost look like Constitution Plaza, but on the opposite side of the downtown area.


  2. I keep seeing people say thank God it didn’t happen blah blah blah, but as of this date 2016, I did happen and it’s even worse because it doesn’t even connect. ITS CALLED WHITEHEAD HIGHWAY MORONS! AND UNDERNEATH IT IS THE PARK RIVER. THEY COVERED A NICE MAJOR WATERWAY, WITH A BARELY USED HIGHWAY TO nowhere! So yes it did happen yes it’s still here YES ITS A HORRIBLE mistake and NEEDS TO BE DESSTROYED..


    And FYI there once was a railroad station where the pump house is located, the current tracks split north of the legislative bldg, main tracks as currently veer north to union station, and the spur went straight under Bushnell park and the RR tunnel is possibility still buried tunnel unless reused as a sewer.


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