The state Department of Transportation has been laying the groundwork for a comprehensive study ever since it made the startling announcement at the end of 2019 that the state would put a hold on replacing the viaduct and include it in a larger regional transportation plan. A broader array of transportation options are seen as critical to future economic development and easing of congestion, a priority for the administration of Gov. Ned Lamont. The study would look at a broad swath of the state, stretching from Bradley International Airport south to Cromwell and from West Hartford east to Manchester. The decision to put a hold on the viaduct replacement came as U.S. Congressman John B. Larson, D-1st, pushed for tunnels, especially at the I-91 interchange. The plan is big ticket, easily topping $10 billion and as much as $50 billion, but Larson has argued it would reconnect Hartford with its riverfront. By the end of next year, the state expects to develop a list of recommended projects, large and small, some with different alternatives, just as replacing the viaduct yielded several options, Kevin J. Burnham, a DOT transportation engineer, said.