Despite naysayers, Larson won’t bury the tunnel idea

Aerial photograph of Hartford from the 2016 National Agriculture Imagery Program.

Two years ago, U.S. Rep. John B. Larson stunned many in Connecticut with an idea to build a system of highway tunnels under Hartford and East Hartford longer than Boston’s “Big Dig.”
Reactions to his plan ran from “brilliant and necessary” to “the mother of all pipe dreams,” but Larson plowed ahead and asked state Department of Transportation officials to study the tunnel idea. They did. In an analysis released in September, DOT traffic engineers said, in effect, that they don’t think it will work. Undeterred, Larson convened two forums on tunnels in the past two months, one featuring business and civic leaders from Seattle, which is replacing an aging highway viaduct with a tunnel, and another with a national tunneling expert. So, does Connecticut cue Big Bertha and start drilling, or not? Continue Reading →

Behind Democrats’ win, a senator and one million phone calls

Jenna Shapiro woke up miserable the day after Donald J. Trump’s election in 2016. The daughter of Democratic activists, Shapiro had canvassed for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire and worked on phone banks at Wesleyan, where she was a senior contemplating a career in teaching. “I felt like I hadn’t done enough, not nearly enough,” Shapiro said. “I never want to wake up after another election believing I hadn’t done everything I could for a candidate I believed in.” She woke up happy this year, having put off teaching to help run the Democratic GOTV campaign in Connecticut. Continue Reading →