Here's a list of important events in Connecticut highway history, from the 17th century to the present.
Since most maps, except those issued by the state, sometimes miss the opening or route change of a highway for the first few years, I don't use maps to date a highway opening. In most cases, I use a newspaper article or official state document.
- Mohegan Road is laid out (now Route 32) between Norwich and New London. It remained little more than an Indian trail for more than a century.
- January 22: The first mail in North America is delivered from New York to Boston via what will become the Upper Post Road, via New Haven, Hartford, and Springfield. The trip takes two weeks.
- Farm Highway, Trumbull's first highway, opens. It's now part of Nichols Avenue and Route 108.
- May: Mohegan Road becomes first turnpike in New England and second in the United States.
- The Hartford and New Haven Turnpike, ancestor of today's Berlin Turnpike, is completed.
- New Haven's Eli Whitney Blake invents the stone crusher, paving the way (sorry!) for macadam and hard-surfaced roads.
- October: A 1,525' suspension bridge across the Connecticut River at Warehouse Point opens. This is a second-generation ancestor of the current bridge carrying Route 140.
- State Highway Department is established.
- May 17: the Hartford Toll Bridge, a covered bridge across the Connecticut River, is destroyed in a fire. The Bulkeley Bridge is later built in its place.
- Feb. 9: The toll gate on Connecticut's last privately-owned turnpike (the Derby Turnpike) is taken down.
- May 21: Connecticut enacts the United States' first automobile speed law. The speed limit is 15 mph in rural areas, and 12 mph in the city.
- July: The suspension bridge at Warehouse Point becomes toll-free – the first free bridge in the state.
- Oct. 6: the Bulkeley Bridge opens. At the time, it is the largest stone-arched bridge in the world. It now carries I-84 between East Hartford and Hartford.
- Oct. 22: "The best eight miles of state highway in Connecticut" opens to traffic – a 2-lane stretch of today's Berlin Turnpike leading from Berlin Center to the vicinity of Jordan Lane in Wethersfield.
- Aug. 24: First highway bridge across Connecticut River at Old Saybrook and Old Lyme opens, at a cost of $500,000. This is replaced by the original Baldwin Bridge in 1948 – and replaced again in 1993.
- March: The state first lays out a system of six trunk line highways, later expanded to fourteen highways with branches. However, route numbers are not signposted until 1922, where a different numbering system takes over.
- May 29: the East Haddam swing bridge on future Route 82 opens.
- The Stevenson Dam Bridge on future Route 34 opens.
- Dec. 4: An iron bridge opens at Warehouse Point, replacing the 1886 suspension bridge. It will later carry Route 140 across the Connecticut River.
- Sept. 25: AASHO and US transportation officials announce the debut of several US numbered highways, including US 1, US 5, US 6, and US 7. US numbers didn't appear on maps until 1926.
- Having said that, the FHWA web site says that AASHO approved route locations on Nov. 11, 1926, but maps and the public announcement came on Jan, 2, 1927. An interesting footnote is that in 1926 Rand McNally, to get quickly to market, had to guess on some of the routings, and got some of them wrong.
- Dec. 20: The Silas Deane Highway (now part of Route 99) opens.
- Jan. 1: The "Great Renumbering." Connecticut abandons its old numbering convention and renumbers nearly every state route. A 1931 map shows the old numbers; a 1932 map, the new. Several state routes have not changed appreciably since then, among them routes 47, 94, 112, and 341.
- March 1: US 44 is commissioned. US 202 is also commissioned this year, and possibly on the same date. Both were created to encourage tourism. US 202 spends hardly any time by itself in the state, being paired with either US 6 or Route 10 except in Danbury, Bethel and a connector road in Farmington.
- A new section of Route 184 opens, from Old Mystic to the Rhode Island state line. Called Route 84 at the time, the road is one of several inland routes (including Route 80 and the Merritt Parkway) built in the 1930s to bypass congested US 1.
- June 29: first section of the Merritt Parkway opens, from New York to US 7. Originally designated US 1A (but not signposted with a number), the Parkway would become part of Route 15 ten years later.
- August 6: Arrigoni Bridge (Portland - Middletown, Routes 66 and 17) opens. At the time, it was the longest bridge (3,428 feet) in New England.
- November: more of the Merritt Parkway opens, extending to Route 57 in Westport.
- September 21: Tolls are instituted on the Merritt Parkway, to pay for the construction of the Wilbur Cross Parkway. A passenger car paid 10 cents.
- November: more of the Merritt Parkway opens, extending to Huntington Turnpike in Trumbull.
- Sept. 2: Remaining 20 miles of Merritt Parkway, including Housatonic River Bridge, open to traffic.
- Sept. 14: The Saltonstall Parkway, two miles of four-lane divided highway, opens as an upgrade to US 1 in East Haven.
- Jan. 1: Most of Route 14 becomes US 6A.
- Feb. 25: Construction on Groton-New London bridge begins. At present, traffic is crossing the Thames on a converted railroad bridge built in 1919.
- Dec. 24: Wilbur Cross Parkway (Route 15) opens from the Housatonic River Bridge to Derby Avenue (Route 34).
- June 13: a section of the Wilbur Cross Highway opens in Meriden.
- September: four sections of the Berlin Turnpike, a four-lane divided upgrade to a busy two-lane road, are completed.
- Sept. 2: Merritt Parkway is extended to the Milford Parkway (not signed publicly, but is secretly SR 796) which also opens. This connects Route 15 to I-95 and US 1.
- Sept. 5: Original Charter Oak Bridge (Hartford-East Hartford, Route 15) opens.
- Dec. 2 and 3: The Wethersfield-Hartford Bypass, aka South Meadows Highway, opens. It's now part of Route 15, from the Berlin Turnpike to the Charter Oak Bridge.
- Dec. 4: New 1.73-mile section of Route 72 opens, a two-lane road bypassing village of Berlin. This includes a new four-ramp partial cloverleaf interchange at the Berlin Turnpike.
- Feb. 27: Original $6M Gold Star Bridge (Groton-New London, now carries US 1 and I-95) opens. Understand that wartime, when metal and other resources were being conserved, was a tough time to build roads (and especially bridges). One factor that helped this one get built was the proximity of the submarine base and facilities on the Thames. [Better Roads, May 1963]
- April 13: a section of the Wilbur Cross Highway opens in Willington, Ashford, and Union. The two-lane highway is built with accommodations for a future expansion to four lanes and a median.
- April 28: In western Connecticut, Route 25, Route 67 and Route 133 are redefined, affecting Brookfield, Bridgewater and New Milford.
- Oct. 7: Reconstruction of Route 84 (now Route 184) begins, starting at the bridge and extending 6.5 miles east into Groton. Also, Route 12 is extended to US 1.
- Dec. 2: New section of Route 12 opens, shifted east between Gales Ferry and the Gold Star Bridge. The original route, Military Highway, passes through a naval base (now home to the USS Nautilus, the nation's first nuclear-powered submarine).
- Nov. 23: Hartford's Riverfront Boulevard (now part of I-91) and Park River Highway (now the Whitehead-Conland Highway, SR 598) open to traffic after wartime construction delays.
- Exit numbers are added to the Merritt Parkway.
- The Wilbur Cross Parkway opens between Dixwell Avenue and Meriden.
- May 1: Merritt Parkway becomes part of Route 15, along with the Wilbur Cross highways and Berlin Turnpike. Route 17 is born, taking over the old Route 15 from East Hartford south.
- Sept. 18: The Wilbur Cross Highway (Route 15, later I-84) opens between Silver Lane in East Hartford and US 44 in Manchester.
- Dec. 4: Original Baldwin Bridge (Old Lyme-Old Saybrook over the Connecticut River, now carries US 1 and I-95) opens. This bridge is replaced in 1993.
- Nov 1: The West Rock Tunnel in New Haven opens, along with the Wilbur Cross Parkway between Route 34 and Dixwell Avenue. This completes a parkway route from Greenwich to Meriden.
- "Curve 11", a dangerous curve about 6 miles from the New York state line on the Merritt Parkway, is made more gradual when a section of the Parkway is moved about 100 feet to the north.
- Sept. 15: The Acheson Drive section of Route 9 and Route 17 opens in Middletown. The short Route 17 freeway was actually part of the Acheson Drive opening. The leg of Route 9 leading southeast was added later.
- April: Route 22 is designated, taking over portions of Routes 168, 139, and 141.
- Sept. 27: Routes 8, 110, and 113 are rearranged; Routes 8A, 65, and 65A are deleted.
- Dec. 17: Commodore Isaac Hull bridge opens, carrying Route 8 over the Housatonic river.
- Nov. 21: Part of East Hartford - Glastonbury Expressway (Route 2 and Route 17) opens, from Brewer Street to New London Turnpike.
- Mar. 31: State General Assembly recommends a $400 million freeway program for the state. Routes that would be upgraded to freeways ("thruways") were US 1 (east of New London), Route 2 (west of Colchester), US 5 (all), US 6 (all), US 7 (all), Route 8 (all), Route 9 (south of Cromwell), Route 12 (all), Route 184 (then called Route 84), and Route 85 (south of Colchester). The only parts that didn't get done (though some have different names) were the eastern US 6 and most of US 7.
- Sept. 18: Darien Bypass, a short section of US 1 freeway in Darien, opens. It later becomes part of I-95.
- May 1: Route 72 is extended from Terryville to the Massachusetts state line, via today's Route 4 and Route 272. Old Route 49 and Route 117 are decommissioned.
- Oct. 29: The final 9 miles of the Wilbur Cross Highway (Route 15, later I-84) are widened to 4 lanes, in an area near Route 32.
- Governor Ribicoff establishes the Greater Hartford Bridge Authority, charged with developing a multi-bridge plan for the Hartford region. In the following years, two new toll bridges are built (Bissell and Putnam), the Founders Bridge is completed, and tolls go up on the Bulkeley Bridge. Duties of the Authority are transferred to the Commissioner of Highways in 1959.
- Oct. 16: Flooding causes the Silvermine River Bridge in Norwalk to subside, closing the Merritt Parkway.
- July 12, 12:01 am: about 0.5 mile of Route 218, from Hall Boulevard to today's Route 189, is added to the state's trunk line system.
- Sept. 15: A freeway upgrade to US 5in Hamden and New Haven is tentatively approved. This would tunnel through East Rock Park and connect approximately where the Exit 6 "Evel Knievel" ramps on I-91 are. This proposal became the East Rock Connector, which was never built.
- Hammonasset connector (SSR 450) opens.
- August 14: American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO, now AASHTO) approves the general routes for interstates 84, 91, and 95.
- September 9-11: Early stirrings of highway revolt appear in the Hartford conference "The New Highways: Challenge to the Metropolitan Region." Lewis Mumford leads a group of city planners urging a stop to all urban interstate highway construction until comprehensive land use plans could be developed. Mumford contends that the 1956 Federal Aid Highway Act, effectively creating the Interstate system, was slipped through to favor "the second mistress that exists in every household right alongside the wife--the motor car." [FHWA]
- Dec. 16: Bissell Bridge (now I-291) opens.
- Dec. 23: Founders Bridge opens. This was a great month for bridges.
- Jan. 2: Connecticut Turnpike (later called I-95) officially opens, though the Byram Bridge is not done yet. Total cost was $464 million.
- June 27: American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO, now AASHTO) approves the numbers for interstates 84, 91, and 95.
- Nov. 12: AASHO approves the I-491 number for a proposed southeastern Hartford bypass.
- Nov. 26 or 27: Sandy Hook Bypass, now part of I-84, opens in Newtown.
- Dec. 31: The Putnam Bridge opens, connecting Glastonbury and Wethersfield across the Connecticut River. Half of a once-planned dual-span, eight-lane bridge for I-491, the single span carries four lanes for Route 3.
- March 27: AASHO approves the addition of a western bypass for Hartford (later I-291).
- April 30: AASHO approves the I-291 number for this western bypass.
- July 1: AASHO approves Connecticut's complete interstate system, comprising interstates 84, 91, 95, 291 and 491.
- Fall: Route 219 is extended over a realigned roadway from Route 179 in Barkhamsted to Route 20 in Granby.
- Oct. 14: West Street in Southington becomes SR 491 (now part of Route 229).
- Road Reclassification Act is signed, causing the "Small Renumbering" of many routes. Most of the sign changes started in 1963.
- Stats from June 1963 Better Roads: From town to state control, 368 miles of roads; from state to town, 208 miles; new state routes, 94 miles.
- March: the first I-91 signs are installed on the completed portion of the highway north of Hartford.
- July 3: Route 20 freeway (Bradley Airport Connector) opens.
- Sept. 1: section of Route 2 in East Hartford opens.
- Sept. 24: section of Route 2 in Bozrah, Lebanon, and Norwich opens.
- Dec. 16: 15-mile section of I-84 opens near Danbury.
- Dec. 18: section of I-84 in Waterbury opens.
- July 19: SR 564 is designated; this becomes Route 364 a year later. US 5A in Berlin and Meriden are also announced, but they appear in another cancellation story in March 1963.
- Aug. 20: State accepts King and Middle Streets in Bristol (future Route 229) as a state highway. SR 862 becomes Route 262 in Plymouth.
- Sept. 1: Route 74 is extended westward from Ellington to South Windsor.
- Oct. 5: Two lanes are added to the Danielson Connector, and then what is now I-395 is extended north to Route 101.
- Nov. 1: Kensington Bypass for Route 72 opens. This is now a segment of Route 9 and all of SR 571, the Willow Brook Connector.
- Jan. 2: Route 214 is created, from former town roads.
- March 29: US 1A (Branford), US 5A (Berlin), and US 5A (Meriden - Wallingford) are deleted. Route 85 is shifted in Bolton, absorbing SR 807 and creating SR 534. Route 16 is extended along SR 658. Route 201 is extended to Groton, replacing Route 119.
- March 31: Tolls are removed from Gold Star Bridge linking New London, Groton.
- April 26: SR 597, the Route 10 connector at I-84 exit 29, opens.
- Dec. 17: 11.2-mile, $12.5M section of I-84 west of Waterbury opens, including elegant arch bridge in Southbury.
- Sept. 15: Route 52 is designated along the partially completed highway that today is I-395.
- Oct. 15: 13-mile section of Route 2 opens in Glastonbury and Marlborough.
- Dec. 1: Route 89 is removed from Lebanon and Windham, leaving an extended Route 195 and a new Route 289.
- Dec. 13: final section of I-95 opens, 16.6 miles from Waterford to Rhode Island.
- May 4: The 1.43-mile segment of US 6A in Southbury is turned over to the town.
- Sept. 3: short section of I-84 opens in West Hartford and Hartford, extending from Exit 40 to Exit 44. The Trout Brook Connector, SR 501, opens at the same time.
- Sept. 20: two miles of Route 8 open in Waterbury, from West Main Street to Huntington Avenue, including a Route 73 connector.
- Oct. 28: 11-mile section of I-91 between Hartford and Meriden opens.
- October: East Hartford Mixmaster interchange opens, connecting Route 2 with I-84, I-91, and the proposed I-284.
- For compatibility with New York State routes, part of Route 4 becomes Route 361; part of Route 33 becomes Route 116; and all of Route 29 becomes Route 124.
- Jan 7: 18.8-mile section of I-91 between New Haven and Meriden opens for $54.5 million.
- Nov. 3: Defense Access Highway (today's Route 349) opens in Groton.
- Jan. 1: route 116 in Litchfield and Harwinton becomes Route 118.
- Jan. 6: New Route 190 bridge over the Connecticut River opens. The old bridge to the north is destroyed.
- May 25: four-mile section of Route 2 in Colchester opens.
- Oct. 30: SR 485 in Torrington is designated.
- Oct. 31: I-84 portion through the Route 8 interchange in Waterbury opens.
- Dec. 1: Route 2A opens, including the Mohegan - Pequot Bridge.
- State's first New Jersey barrier is installed, on I-91 in New Haven.
- June 25: 11 miles of Route 9 open, from Higganum (route 81) to Essex.
- Sept. 12: Route 52 (now I-395) opens between Route 101 in Killingly and the Massachusetts state line.
- Oct. 21: A new segment of Route 175 opens at Cedar Mountain in Newington and Wethersfield, including a bridge over Mountain Rd (SSR 405).
- Oct. 24: US 5A becomes Route 159.
- Oct. 30: a section of I-87 opens in Greenwich, causing a numbering conflict with Route 87 in east central Connecticut.
- Dec. 13: Federal Aid Highway Act of 1968 authorizes additional interstate miles, including I-291 from Windsor to Manchester and I-82(!) from Manchester to Providence.
- March 20: the planned Interstate 484 gets its number, after being added to the Interstate system in 1968.
- May 29: Route 9 freeway opens between I-91 and the existing Route 9 in Middletown. The old Route 9 becomes Route 99.
- July 31: Route 87 was to have been changed to 287, to resolve a number conflict with I-87; however, New York has already announced it plans to change that part of I-87 to I-684.
- Aug. 14: Ellis St. Connector opens in New Britain as SR 507; it became part of Route 72, then Route 9.
- Dec. 14: final section of I-84, 3 miles between Farmington and Plainville, opens.
- Feb. 2: Route 72 freeway opens from I-84 to Corbin Ave. in New Britain.
- June 16: Route 72 is extended a small distance east to W. Main St.
- July 1: a new section of Route 254 opens in Thomaston, from Main Street to Walnut Hill Road.
- June 21: proposed I-82 freeway to Providence is renumbered to be part of I-84. However, this was already unofficially the case by early 1969.
- July 21: DOT announces new Route 85 freeway will be called Route 11.
- Aug. 30: three miles of Route 66 freeway (now I-691) opens in Meriden, from W. Main Street to US 5.
- Sept. 23: a segment of Route 2 opens, from Route 354 to Scott Hill Road (near Lebanon/Bozrah town line)
- I-84 in Manchester (now I-384) opens. US 7 freeway in Norwalk opens.
- Jan. 5: Allyn Street Connector (part of SR 614, once intended to be Route 319) opens.
- Dec. 15: SR 508, the Route 4 Connector, is extended in Farmington.
- Federal funds for I-491 (aka I-86 through Glastonbury) and I-291 west of I-91 are "traded in" for other projects, including CT 9 from I-91 to I-84, and US 6 from Bolton to Windham.
- ConnDOT announces the following projects have been dropped: the Route 189 freeway, the US 44 freeway between Winsted and Canaan; and a Route 10 freeway in New Haven.
- Jan. 16: ConnDOT announces that SR 614 in Groton (including the Allyn Street Connector) will become Route 319.
- Jan. 26: The Route 319 designation in Groton is withdrawn.
- May 1: US 202 is separated from a long overlap with US 6, to its current route through New Milford and Torrington.
- June 27: DOT halts plan to renumber exits on I-91 from sequential to mileage-based.
- Aug. 30: Construction starts on the US 7 freeway north of I-84 in Brookfield.
- Aug. 30: Two ramps are added to the Route 2A interchange at Route 32 in Montville.
- Nov. 1: Two miles of freeway and an I-95 interchange open for Route 32 in New London.
- Dec. 17: Route 78, the Westerly Bypass, opens to traffic.
- Oct. 13: The 4.6-mile segment of US 7 expressway north of I-84 in Brookfield opens.
- Apr. 27: Rhode Island governor approves I-84 extension to Providence. This was eventually killed because of concerns with the Scituate Reservoir, which supplies much of RI's water.
- Nov. 22: Route 72 is completed through New Britain, bringing joy to the New British. Former Route 72 is designated Route 372.
- March 1: Route 102 is pulled back from the New York state line to Route 35. Route 179 is pulled back from the Massachusetts state line to Route 20.
- Oct. 1: Route 15 is removed from its overlap with I-86 (now I-84) to the Massachusetts state line in Union. It now ends at I-84 exit 57 in East Hartford.
- Oct. 1: Tolls are removed from the Mohegan - Pequot Bridge on Route 2A.
- Nov. 6: A segment of Route 72 opens in Plainville. Route 372 is a new designation for former Route 72 in New Britain and Plainville.
- Feb. 2: SR 567, Park Place in Granby, is turned over to the town.
- Feb. 20: Church Hill and Glen Roads in Newtown, formerly US 6A, had been under arbitration since the 1960s for a state to town transfer of maintenance. On this day, the arbitrators ruled in favor of the town, and the roads (known as SR 816) remain state maintained.
- Nov. 6: The Mount St. Benedict Connector opens: a four-lane divided section of Route 218 between Walsh Street and nrl(Route 187) in Bloomfield.
- Nov. 16: SR 803, a short route in New Canaan between Routes 123 and 124, is turned over to the town.
- Jan. 21: interchange on Route 72 at Route 177 opens.
- Feb. 1: The Route 25 freeway opens, from Route 8 in Bridgeport to Route 111 in Trumbull. Route 111 is extended over the old Route 25 to Route 15.
- June 1: A new section of Route 8 freeway opens in Beacon Falls.
- Dec. 1: A big shuffle in the eastern state: US 44A is deleted, US 44 moved back to Manchester and Coventry, and Route 74 extended to Ashford.
- June 20: I-395 is created over the former Route 52 alignment, from Waterford to the Massachusetts Turnpike. The original proposed interstate number was an extension of I-290 from the Bay State.
- June 28: I-95 bridge over Mianus River in Greenwich collapses; three people die as their vehicles fall 70 feet to the ground. The bridge reopens a month later, but the incident highlights Connecticut's failing infrastructure and inadequate maintenance program. (Connecticut is not alone here.) Governor O'Neill institutes a 10-year rehabilitation program funded by a gas tax to fix and resurface bridges and roads. Traffic cones sprout like weeds. In the next 10 years, we also see some freeway gaps filled in, namely CT 3, CT 8, CT 9, CT 25, I-384, and I-691.
- July 1: SR 658, Main Street in Chester, is turned over to the town.
- September 16: I-284 is cancelled.
- September 29: I-484 is cancelled. Not a good two weeks for 3di fans.
- Jan. 30: Secret routes SR 804 and SR 808 in Danbury are deleted.
- March: construction on the I-384/I-84 interchange begins.
- June 29: Market - Weston street connector (SR 547) opens in Hartford, offering better access to the North Meadows area. The SR 547 designation is dropped about a year later as the street is handed over to city maintenance.
- Dec. 12: Bye bye Interstate 86: that number goes away as I-84 is rerouted there, I-384 created in Manchester over the previous I-84, US 6 moved to the previous I-84 in Willimantic, and Route 66 extended over the former US 6 there.
- April 28: as of 11:00 am, tolls are no longer collected on the Putnam Bridge (Route 3).
- May: Revised exit numbering for I-84 east of Manchester is announced. Exits 92 through 106, a continuation of Route 15 exit numbering, are changed to exits 60 through 74, a continuation of I-84 exit numbering.
- June 1: Route 349 is designated, from SR 440 and part of SR 649 in Groton.
- Aug. 30: 2.5 miles of I-691 open, from Route 10 to Route 322 in Cheshire and Southington.
- October 9: Tolls are removed from I-95, partly in response to a runaway truck that plows into a line of cars stopped at a Stratford tollbooth, killing seven. Tolls are also removed from the Bissell Bridge, now part of I-291.
- June 1: Route 9A is renumbered to be part of an extended Route 154.
- July 17: Taras Shevchenko Expressway opens in New Britain and Newington. This 4-lane freeway, an extension of a planned I-291 connector built in 1979, connected CT 72 to CT 175. Then known as CT 506, it became part of CT 9 when it was extended to I-84 in 1992.
- October 1: Connecticut Turnpike (I-95 and I-395) is renamed John Davis Lodge Turnpike, after the governor who approved its construction.
- October 9: Ramp from I-84 east to I-384 opens.
- Sept. 1: Route 3 freeway in Glastonbury fully opens, including decades-planned interchange with Route 2.
- Sept. 1: After 26 years of arbitration, the state of Connecticut and town of Kent come to an agreement on the disposition of two roads. SSR 477 (Macedonia Brook Road) is turned over to the town; SR 827 (South Kent Road) remains in the state system.
- Sept. 15: SR 704 in New Haven and East Haven becomes Route 337, and SR 645 in Stonington becomes Route 234.
- Dec. 1: Interstate 691 is completed to I-84, and takes over from Route 66 between I-91 and I-84. Route 322 is extended to I-691 exit 4, over the former Route 66.
- Dec. 24: SR 750 in New Haven and North Haven becomes Route 103. Merry Christmas!
- Feb. 1: SR 622 in Eastford and Pomfret becomes Route 244.
- Feb. 10: SR 611 in Stafford becomes Route 319. This is the last of a series of five "secret routes" promoted to signed routes.
- June 24: tolls on Merritt and Wilbur Cross Parkways (Route 15) removed. Another source has this as June 25.
- April 28: Tolls on Charter Oak Bridge removed. No more tollbooths exist in Connecticut.
- Fall: HOV lanes open on I-84 east of Hartford.
- Dec. 21: A $41M stretch of Route 9 opens between I-91 in Cromwell and the Berlin Turnpike. The Route 9 designation takes over Route 72 from that point westward (which is now northward) into New Britain, and SR 506 to Route 175.
- Oct. 11: new flyover ramp from I-84 east to I-91 north opens. This creates the second 4-level interchange in the state. This ramp big news; in the past, travelers had to get on and off city streets to make this connection.
- State abandons US 7 freeway extension to New Milford in favor of a plan to widen the road in-place.
- Aug. 8: New Charter Oak Bridge opens. The old one, alongside which it was built, is later taken down.
- Route 130 is created from Fairfield to Stratford; this is the state's most recent new signed highway number.
- September 30: Route 9 freeway (the Iwo Jima Highway) between I-84 and Route 72 opens. This lies in the original I-291 corridor and puts to use the 4-level stack interchange that had gathered dust for 25 years. At the request of the Iwo Jima survivors Association, 100 evergreen trees are planted in the median as a living memorial -- one for every Connecticut soldier who died in the battle.
- Oct. 17: US 7 freeway is extended from Route 123 to Grist Mill Road in Norwalk. The old US 7 (Main Ave) becomes SR 719.
- Nov. 1: Route 218 extended eastward from Route 187 to Route 159 in Windsor, to connect with the new I-291.
- State abandons Route 25 freeway extension to Newtown because of insufficient funds.
- May 25: New 8-lane Baldwin Bridge (Connecticut River, US 1 and I-95) opens, south of the original span. Construction began in February 1990.
- October: Buckland Five Corners loses a corner, as Route 74 is realigned for better safety and traffic flow.
- Feb. 13: new flyover from Route 2 west to I-84 west opens. This places merging traffic on the right side instead of the left, eliminating the frantic three-lane merge to get from Route 2 to I-91 north.
- Sept. 22: The final section of I-291 (US 5 to I-84) opens, completing the I-91 to I-84 link, roughly 35 years behind schedule :-)
- Oct. 14: new interchange at Route 3 and I-91 in Wethersfield fully opens. Now Route 3 is a full-fledged freeway between Route 2 and I-91.
- Summer: Route 2A west of the Thames gets a facelift, because of the new Mohegan Sun casino. The former "Super 2" is now four lanes with a Jersey barrier from I-395 to a new interchange at Mohegan Sun Boulevard. Route 2A also gets "street credibility" with the introduction of exit numbers.
- Gov. Rowland makes finishing Route 11 one of his "top priorities." Planners say it could still take about 10 years to build.
- Oct. 1: Connecticut raises the speed limit to 65 mph on several freeways; it's the last state in the continental US to do so.
- Jan. 4: SR 860 (Wasserman Way) in Newtown is designated, as part of an access route from Route 25 to I-84 exit 11. Original plans called for a Route 25 freeway connecting directly to I-84 here.
- September: New "Frog Bridge" on SR 661 opens in Willimantic.
- July: Route 2 is widened to four lanes between I-95 and Route 78. Also, the interchange with Route 32 in Fitchville is modernized.
- Nov. 21: New span of Sikorsky Bridge on Route 15 opens. Both directions of traffic shared this span until the old bridge was demolished and the new span built.
- Summer: the "Super 4" bypass of Foxwoods Casino opens on Route 2.
- Nov. 19: the "Brookfield Bypass" freeway extension of US 7 opens.
- Sept. 27: 1.1 miles of new 4-lane boulevard open on Route 72 in Bristol, from Route 372 to Todd Street.
- Oct. 14: Route 72 relocation and widening is completed in Bristol. The combination of four-lane boulevard and street widening replaces the earlier planned freeway.
- Nov. 30: 0.99 miles of old Route 2 in Ledyard becomes SR 680; 1.96 miles of old Route 72 in Bristol becomes SR 500A.
- May 30: South State St in Stamford becomes SR 790.