There are 226 "secret" routes in Connecticut: highways with numbers above 400.

"Secret" is just an unofficial term for unsignposted state roads and state service roads. Many of these are small auxiliary roads, or even long exit ramps.

The general public should never hear about secret routes, but they sometimes show up on maps, and a few road signs have even gone up.

This page discusses some of the more interesting routes in the 400s. These are Special Service Roads, or SSR's, serving state institutions such as parks, hospitals, and airports.

See also: selected 500's, selected 600's, selected 700's, selected 800's, selected 900's, or the complete list (400-999).

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  • Summary Bradley International Airport connector (partial) and access road
  • Length 2.29 miles
  • From Route 20, Windsor Locks
  • To Route 75, Windsor Locks

SSR 401 is a freeway from Route 20 in Windsor Locks to Bradley International Airport, including a partial interchange at Hamilton Road North. East of the freeway's end, SSR 401 continues along Schoephoester Rd, a surface street, to Route 75. The Bradley Airport Connector (routes 20 and 401 from I-91) opened on July 3, 1961.

When Airport Terminal A was constructed in 1985, a jughandle intersection was created to guide eastbound SSR 401 traffic to the terminal. This intersection (one of the few like it in the state) required left-turning traffic to instead veer right onto a hook roadway (the handle) that would then cross the main road at a traffic signal.

On Oct. 22, 2002, as part of a new airport improvement project, the westbound section of SSR 401 passing by the airport was closed. Airport traffic could still use the terminal roadway for parking, dropoffs, and pickups. But other traffic bound for Route 20 had to go east and use Route 75.

The reason for this change: to divert non-airport traffic away from the vicinity of the terminals. Certainly not only traffic concerns but security concerns played a role. Some airport plans have shown the jughandle converted into a flyover, which would remove a traffic signal, but the jughandle is still there.

This redirection also gave rise to Connecticut's newest highway: SSR 403, which is the westbound one-way road leading from SSR 401 at the jughandle, along the terminal entrances, and ending at SSR 401 where it becomes a freeway. SSR 403 is called the "Robert F. Juliano Highway", named after a bureau chief for the Connecticut DOT's Bureau of Aviation and Ports who died in 2001.

Circa 2009, however, the one-way section of SSR 401 was reverted to two-way. The traffic impacts of making the earlier change were found to be minor compared to the loss of driver convenience.

401 Sources

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  • Summary One-way terminal access road at Bradley International Airport
  • Length 1.09 miles
  • From SSR 401, Windsor Locks
  • To SSR 401, Windsor Locks

SSR 403 is the one-way terminal access road at Bradley International Airport. As departures and arrivals are handled on different levels, SSR 403 has an upper and lower section; it joins I-84 and Route 8 as the only highways in Connecticut with double-decked sections. SSR 403 is unique in that both levels are in the same direction.

SSR 403 was designated in 2002, when the portion of SSR 401 passing the airport was made one-way eastbound.

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  • Summary West Street, serving Dinosaur State Park
  • Length 1.98 miles
  • From Route 82, Rocky Hill
  • To Route 99, Rocky Hill

SSR 411 is West Street in Rocky Hill, connecting Route 3, Route 99, and exit 23 on I-91. It serves commercial and industrial traffic, but the reason for state maintenance is a state facility: Dinosaur State Park, which was the intended site of a bureaucratic office until dinosaur footprints were discovered during groundwork.

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One of Connecticut's longest "secret" routes (only SR 800 is longer), SR 434 serves Devil's Hopyard State Park.

In 1962, the state planned to turn over the road to East Haddam; but area officials persuaded the state to retain the route.

434 Sources

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  • Summary The Rocky Neck Connector freeway
  • Length 1.07 miles
  • From Route 156, East Lyme
  • To I-95, East Lyme

SR 449 is the Rocky Neck Connector, a four-lane freeway that's more of a long exit ramp from I-95. It has no interchanges of its own. This is one of several connector routes, some built and some only proposed, leading I-95 motorists to state beaches.

The concept of a connector from the Connecticut Turnpike (today's I-95) dates back to at least 1954. The connector opened in fall 1958, after the Turnpike was already open to traffic.

Extension proposed, abandoned

The connector doesn't lead directly into the park (in contrast with the Hammonasset Connector, SR 450) but ends at Route 156, where park traffic turns left. In Feb. 1961, East Lyme state representative Mary G. Bishop called for extending SSR 449 across Route 156, grade separated, into the park. The state replied that provisions for this had been made in the design, but no specific engineering work had been done for an extension. In June 1961, the state included $100,000 in funding for a two-lane extension, intersecting Route 156 at-grade.

By 1969, the proposed extension – about $500,000 – would cross over Route 156 with no access ramps and continue south as a two-lane road. Merchants in South Lyme and Niantic worried about the effect losing access to Route 156 would have on local businesses. In 1979, plans were still active to extend or relocate the Connector; but they were eventually abandoned.

SSR 449: I-495?

In the 1960s, plans for a bridge somewhere across Long Island Sound were in vogue. In 1966, Groton mayor Clarence B. Sharp (see CT 349) proposed a tunnel landing in East Lyme near Rocky Neck that might have used SSR 449 to reach I-95. In 1969, a candidate for the East Lyme Board of Selectmen was convinced the state was grooming SSR 449 for Sound bridge access. No one has spoken seriously about such a bridge for quite some time.

I-95 interchange may be revised

The I-95 interchange (Exit 72) with SSR 449 is close to Exit 71 at Four Mile River Road. If I-95 is reconstructed in the area, these interchanges would be combined to remove a weaving issue between nearby ramps.

449 Sources

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  • Summary The Hammonasset Connector freeway
  • Length 4.46 miles
  • From US 1, Madison
  • To Route 79, Madison

SSR 450 has two parts: the Hammonasset Connector, a four-lane freeway leading from I-95 to the eponymous state park; and Horse Pond Road, which fewer people care about. The freeway portion opened in 1957 and serves Hammonasset State Park.

As you reach the end of the connector driving southbound, you'll see room to each side where some offramps could be built. The state had once planned to build an interchange there; the 1975 MTP proposed a $1.4 million interchange with US 1. SSR 450 would continue to the park entrance. In fact, SSR 450 did officially cross US 1 into the park, but was retracted to US 1 on April 13, 1984.

In the 1960s, the Tri-State Transportation Commission proposed a Route 79 expressway from Middlefield to Madison; the southern terminus would use SR 450's alignment to end at US 1. This plan was not implemented, and has probably not been considered since 1970.

450 Sources

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  • Summary The Silver Sands Connector (unbuilt)
  • Length 0
  • From Silver Sands State Park, Milford
  • To I-95, Milford

SSR 452 is one of the few numbers reserved for a highway that does not yet exist. This connector from I-95 to Silver Sands state park in Milford, was proposed in 1963. An 8-acre plot of land at Myrtle Beach in Milford was turned over to the state for development as a new state park. The road would intersect I-95 at exit 35 (Schoolhouse Road).

Similar links from I-95 to shoreline state parks include the Sherwood Island Connector (SSR 476), the Hammonassett Connector (SSR 450), the Rocky Neck Connector (SSR 449), and an unbuilt Bluff Point connector in Groton. I haven't seen what the profile of SSR 452 would be (two lanes? four lanes? Divided?)

The SSR 452 designation was created in 1970. In the state's 1975 Master Transportation Plan, SSR 452 was estimated as 1.5 miles of new road for $5 million. In the late 1990s the state continued studying this link, using the name route number, but nothing has been built.

The delay is not the fault of the DOT or state highway funding: development of the park itself was delayed for decades over funding and environmental concerns, as well as an evicted squatter on the property. Groundbreaking for the park occurred in 1997, and the park is now open. The connector might be postponed indefinitely.

452 Sources

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  • Summary The Sherwood Island Connector
  • Length 1.41 miles
  • From Sherwood Island State Park, Westport
  • To US 1, Westport

The Sherwood Island Connector links the shoreline park with I-95 and US 1. Starting as a four-lane divided highway, SSR 476 provides a 5-ramp interchange with I-95. North of Greens Farms Road, it narrows to three lanes undivided (two northbound). After passing under Hillandale Road, the Connector ends at US 1. The Hillandale Road underpass was built wide enough to allow for SSR 476 to be widened to four lanes divided in the future.

Original Merritt Parkway plans called for a spur to Sherwood Island from the Parkway, leading from the never-built Exit 43. This idea was abandoned in the 1970s. A preliminary proposal to widen and extend Roseville Road in Westport to the Merritt Parkway was declared dead in 1974. (The 1960 town plan for Westport called for eventually making Roseville Road four lanes.)

In 1967, the state announced plans to add a divider along the entire length of the Connector; but this never was added.

476 Sources

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  • Summary The Lake Waramaug shore route
  • Length 6.08 miles
  • From Route 45, Washington
  • To Route 45, Warren

SSR 478 and Route 45 complete a loop around Lake Waramaug in the towns of Washington, Warren and Kent.

The 3.12 miles of SSR 478 in Washington was originally designated SR 459, and might have been state maintained since 1932. The Warren section was added as SR 400 in 1962.

In 1965, SR 400 and SR 459 were combined to form SSR 478, which had an 0.79-mile "hole" in state maintenance along Lake Waramaug Road in Kent, which was locally maintained. To reflect this, state maps showed SSR 478 in two parts. In 2000, the state added this segment to SSR 478, filling the gap.

On January 10, 2001, the State Transportation Commissioner announced that the segment of SSR 478 in Kent was designated a scenic road; along with the previously designated parts of SSR 478 and Route 45, this completes a scenic loop around Lake Waramaug.