CT 80 History
Route 80 was commissioned in 1932 from the 1920s State Highway 175. At the same time, the road was being rebuilt as a 40-foot-wide inland alternative to the congested US 1 east of New Haven. Route 80 served as the model for the Merritt Highway in Stratford, which was later redesigned as the four-lane divided Merritt Parkway.
Route changes - west
At a period during the 1950s, Route 80 extended west to Route 10 in New Haven, along Munson Street and Henry Street; it was rolled back to Route 17 in 1962.
Route changes - east
In the east, Route 80 originally ended in Deep River, as now. In 1941, possibly to emphasize its role as a US 1 bypass, it was rerouted and extended to US 1 in Old Saybrook. Its route, branching southeast from present-day Route 80 in Deep River, was:
- Warsaw St, N. Main St, and Main St. (today's SR 602) into Essex. The previous designation of this road: Route 17 (no relation to the current Route 17).
- Middlesex Tpke. (now part of Route 154)
- Essex Rd. to a trumpet interchange at US 1; this was replaced by the Route 9 interchange with I-95
On Jan. 2, 1967, shortly after Route 9 opened in the area, the state announced Route 80 would once again follow W. Elm St. and Elm St. to Deep River.
Widening in New Haven area
Route 80 has been widened to four lanes in a few sections:
- about 1.75 mile between I-91 and Mill Street in East Haven in the 1980s
- a short segment of the overlap with Route 22 in 2001, to around Twin Lakes Road
- continued widening through the eastern 80/22 junction in North Branford, around 2014. The intent had been for this work to start around 2001.
In the 1940s, the New Haven Postwar Master Plan included Route 80 as a freeway/boulevard from Route 10 eastward into Branford. There would be interchanges at Route 10, US 5, and US 5A (now Route 103).
Furthermore, a 1967 state "Grid Analysis" future needs map proposed a freeway along Route 80 and Route 82 from New Haven to Norwich.