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Route 22 is one of several L-shaped routes in the state, marked east-west in some locations and north-south in others. It's also notable for being an ancestor to Route 40 and having the only bannered truck route in the state.

Route 22 is an artificial designation of sorts, made up of portions of three differently-numbered routes in 1951, to guide motorists from point A (the new Wilbur Cross Parkway in Hamden) to point B (US 1 in Branford). Seen in this light, its crooked path is a bypass of New Haven.

Routes 80 and 22 in North BranfordLooking east along Routes 22 and 80, just after they join in North Branford. Photo taken by Kurumi in September 2002.

Trucks restricted, and separate truck route

1.03 miles of Route 22 in North Haven, from State Street (US 5) to the Hamden town line, is prohibited to thru trucks. This is rare for state highways other than the Merritt, Wilbur Cross and Milford parkways. The restriction was made in 1972.

This results in Connecticut's only bannered truck route. Truck 22 is not in the highway log, but is signed in places (such was westbound at Route 10, in a photo by David Golub of Greater New York Roads). Its route, from west to east:

CT 22 History

A bypass for New Haven

In the early days, what we know as Route 22 belonged to five different highways:

When the Wilbur Cross Parkway was completed in 1949, it was not obvious how to skirt around New Haven and get to US 1 east of the city. The state had, since 1937, even considered a new parkway connector for this purpose (see below), but it was never built.

WCP plans, south of Meriden, 1940This portion of a map from the 1940 Biennial Report to the Highway Commissioner shows a parkway spur (dotted line) whose role was filled by Route 22.

The State Highway Department decided to assemble the best route available from existing state roads. In April 1951, it announced a new route number – 22 – extending from the Bishop Street exit on the Wilbur Cross Parkway to Route 80 and US 1.

Another high-profile number designation intended to provide route continuity for the motorist was along the Wilbur Cross Parkway -- which three years earlier became part of Route 15.

Route 22 freeway... see Route 40

The state once planned a freeway in the Route 22 corridor, even in 1970 asking for interstate funding for the road. In 1976, a connector from Route 10 to I-91 opened in this corridor, and was designated Route 40.

A slight reroute in North Haven

Between State Street and Washington Street in North Haven, Route 22 and US 5 originally followed Broadway, an east-west street south of Route 22's present aligment along Bishop Street. Relocation of Route 22 to an extended Bishop Street had been planned during the 1960s, along with an new (incomplete) interchange with Interstate 91. This took place in 1973; Route 22 was moved, Exit 11 was built at I-91, and Broadway was renumbered to State Road 729, an unposted "secret" route number.

Some people still call this the "Route 22 Connector" or "Route 5/22 Connector".

The plot of land north of Route 22 and west of I-91 was proposed for the North Haven Mall, a two-story shopping center that ended up never being built.

CT 22 Sources