CT 49 History
Original Route 49, in the Northwest
The old Route 49 (today's Route 272) was an 18.01-mile road leading from Route 4 in Torrington to the Massachusetts state line in Norfolk. This numbering was consistent with nearby routes 41, 43, 45 and 47 in northwestern Connecticut. Today this road is Route 272.
In 1932 Route 49 was commissioned from the earlier State Highway 312. On May 1, 1954, the road became an extension of Route 72, which became a 56-mile route leading from Middletown to the state line. In 1963, Route 72 was truncated to Harwinton; the old Route 49 became Route 272.
New Route 49, in the Southeast
The current Route 49 got its number in 1959. At first, this road was called State Highway 216; then in 1932 it became state Route 95.
As the 1950s came to a close, Interstate 95 arrived in southeastern Connecticut, and state route 95, needing a new number, became Route 49. For the next five years, today's Route 184, formerly Route 84, was redesignated state route 95, to provide number continuity with the completed part of I-95 in Groton and the west. When I-95 was completed in 1964, Route 95 became Route 184.
Preserving a Scenic Route
In early 2003, work on a Scenic Route 49 and Route 14A Corridor Management Plan was started, funded by the FHWA and ConnDOT. Concerns are speed along Route 49, stone walls, and the surrounding scenery. Since state budget constraints precluded adding more police, one idea floated was to repaint the fog line so that the lanes would 11 feet wide instead of 12 feet.
In October 2003, the state turned down a North Stonington request to lower the speed limit from 45 mph to 35 and 30 mph.