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Were it not for the University of Connecticut, Route 195 would still be a short highway entirely within the town of Mansfield. Instead, to help motorists get to UConn, it was extended north to Tolland (and I-84) in 1963, and to Willimantic (and the future "other I-84", now US 6) in 1964.

Route 195 is mainly a two-lane road, with some four-lane spots at US 44/Route 320 and US 6.

CT 195 Turnpikes

Route 195 follows the old Mansfield and Windham Turnpike, a stage route incorporated in 1800 and in operation until at least 1828. Mansfield Four Corners (at US 44) had a post office and toll house constructed in 1808.

CT 195 History

In the 1920s, a portion of Route 195 (from Route 89 to US 44) was called State Highway 146; however, this has also been depicted as SH 210.

In 1932, the original Route 195 was laid out, extending 5.62 miles from Route 89 at Mansfield Center to US 44. Leading south from Mansfield Center was a longer Route 89 that continued to Lebanon. North of US 44, today's Route 195 was in 1932 not numbered.

In 1963, Route 195 was extended north to Route 74 in Tolland, as part of the statewide Route Reclassification.

On Dec. 1, 1964, Route 195 was extended south to US 6 (now Route 66), replacing Route 89, which was truncated at their junction. I'm guessing this was done to provide a more direct route to the University of Connecticut from US 6. The Hartford Courant article announcing the change reads: "State highway officials could not be contacted to determine the reason for the change Monday night." And the story was not followed up.

Route 195 Bypass once planned

Route 195 bypass plan, 1970Three corridors for the proposed Route 195 bypass were examined, as shown in this Dec. 1970 map. (Larger Image)

In 1970, the state proposed building a "Super 4" bypass (four lanes, undivided, but with grade separations) for Route 195 west of the University of Connecticut. In March 1971, the state released a more detailed study, including a recommended corridor ("B") of the three that were examined.

The $13.8 million highway would be 52 feet wide, 4 lanes undivided, with a 150 foot right of way. Access would be controlled, but all intersections would be at-grade.

The preferred alignment would start at US 6 (formerly I-84) west of Route 95. The highway would overpass Meadow Brook Ln., then intersect Puddin Ln., Crane Hill Rd., Browns Rd., Spring Hill Rd. and Maple Rd. After overpassing Davis Rd., the highway would intersect Route 275.

North of Route 275, all three corridors were identical, and would be integrated in the west leg of a proposed loop highway around the University of Connecticut. Going slightly east of Separatist Rd., the planned highway would intersect SSR 430, and US 44 (formerly US 44A) before ending at current Route 195, west of Cedar Swamp Rd.

In Jan. 1972, the Mansfield Transportation Committee recommended that the state delay the bypass, but retain the design work done for future use. The state said there were no funds for the bypass, and nothing would be considered until I-84 (now I-384) was completed to Hartford. Meanwhile, state and town agreed to do no major widening of Route 195, to "preserve the historical and residential nature of the road."

By 1978, the plan was considered inactive, and has not been resuscitated since then.

Increasing Traffic Spurs Studies

Both the University of Connecticut and growth in Tolland have contributed to more traffic on Route 195. In 1978 the Windham Regional Planning Agency (WRPA) issued "Analysis of the Route 195 Corridor Transportation Needs", with some recommendations that have been followed. It was widened between Eastbrook Mall (near US 6) and Puddin Lane at some point; and its intersection with US 44 (Mansfield Four Corners) was reconstructed in 1992.

The planned Interstate 84 eastern extension would have affected Route 195 traffic as well. Its cancellation led to the "I-84 Interstate Trade-in Concept Plan," a series of improvement projects to handle east-west traffic in the Windham and Killingly areas. These included upgrades to Route 195 between US 44 and US 6.

In the 1990s, these projects were re-evaluated amidst a growing sentiment of preservation of rural character; in particular, Mansfield opposes any changes to the character of the road. Around 1993, ConnDOT proposed adding Route 195 to the National Highway System, making it eligible for certain federal funding; Mansfield appealed to drop it and won. In 1994, the town applied for scenic road designation, which was not granted.

As town and state could not agree on the scope of work to be done, no major work has been done on Route 195 in Mansfield.

In 1999, the state widened the area at I-84 in Tolland to four lanes, including a wider overpass (about 67 feet, including four 12-foot travel lanes, two 5-foot shoulders, and a 5-foot sidewalk).

A planned new road through UConn's North Campus connecting US 44 with North Eagleville Road (SSR 430) would relieve some Route 195 congestion.

CT 195 Sources