• Length: 629 miles (75.16 miles in Connecticut)
  • From: US 40, Penn Acres, Delaware
  • To: US 2, Bangor, Maine.

Connecticut's only three-digit US route, US 202 travels 75 miles through the state; yet nearly half that distance—35.41 miles—is shared with other routes (10, 44, and so on). That's the highest total for any route in Connecticut; and decades ago that number was even higher.

Though a short 0.47-mile segment of US 202 in Litchfield, from Route 118 to Russell Street, is designated a state scenic road, there's plenty of unofficial scenery along the route in Litchfield County. The Danbury News-Times writes about a section in New Hartford:

"Running through the heart of Connecticut, this 5.3-mile scenic stretch boasts lush meadows, tree-lined hills and the pristine Nepaug Reservoir."

A few miles of US 202 from Route 179 westward are two-lane limited access. There are no medians or interchanges, but the controlled access status prevents curb cuts, driveways, or further intersections.

US 202 History

US 202 is born

In June 1934, the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) approved a multi-state request to establish a new route—US 202—from Bangor, Maine to State Road, Delaware. This was one of several new routes, including US 44, proposed to encourage tourism. The route change took place in 1935.

In Connecticut, the original US 202 alignment, southwest to northeast, was:

In short, outside of Danbury, Bethel and Newtown (and the very short section in Farmington) the US 202 designation in Connecticut was redundant, simply overlapping with established routes.

From 1932 to 1934, the roads that would become the non-overlapped parts of US 202 were parts of longer routes 34 and 58. When US 202 was created in 1935, Route 34 was truncated to US 6 at Sandy Hook, and Route 58 was truncated to US 202 in Bethel.

Major reroute in 1974

On May 1, 1974, US 202 was rerouted in Fairfield and Litchfield counties, giving the highway many more miles to itself. In Danbury, the revised US 202 overlapped US 7 to New Milford, then took over former Route 25 to US 44 in Canton. There, the revised US 202 overlapped US 44 eastward into Avon, where it then rejoined the original alignment with Route 10 into Massachusetts. The DOT had proposed this in August 1972. Litchfield officials opposed the move, fearing the new designation would bring more traffic.

US 202 has remained at the 1974 alignment to this day. When the US 7 freeway opened in Brookfield, the US 7 designation was moved there, but US 202 remained on Federal Road.

Past route changes along today's US 202

The segment of today's US 202 from Torrington to Canton was originally part of Route 4, with some slight changes: the direct connection from the vicinity of Nepaug Reservoir to US 44 did not exist until it opened on Oct. 20, 1961. Before that, motorists followed Torrington Avenue (part of which is gone), Maple Avenue and Dowd Avenue to US 44. In 1963, this segment of Route 4 became Route 25.

The US 44/US 202 split, a channelized surface intersection, was originally conceived as an interchange, where US 44 eastbound and US 202 westbound would be grade-separated. However, the the federal government, who were funding 50% of the cost, balked at the expense and pushed for the cheaper solution.

Freeway proposals, early 1960s

In 1961, state legislators submitted a bill to upgrade US 202 to a freeway from Southbury through Watertown, Thomaston, Plymouth, Bristol and Farmington. At the time, US 202 overlapped with US 6 through these towns. The bills were still in progress in later 1962, but the proposal eventually died.

Route change proposed in Avon and Simsbury, 1978

In January 1978, Avon officials explored moving the US 202 designation to Route 167, to divert some traffic from the town center on US 44. Route 167 would have kept its designation south of US 44, but would have become part of US 202 north of US 44.

Simsbury's agreement would be needed before the renumbering process, which could take up to a year, could begin. Simsbury officials were concerned about increased traffic past the town's high school, located on Route 167.

The move to change US 202's designation was eventually tabled.

US 202 Future

In Brookfield, the Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials recommends continuing the four-lane portion of US 202 to Route 133, and adding turning lanes to the current four-lane portion.


In Litchfield, the Route 202 Corridor Management Study Advisory Committee in 2000 announced several recommendations for improving traffic and safety problems between Litchfield and Bantam. These included installing roundabouts at the Route 202/118 and 202/63 intersections. Residents were concerned about taking part of the village green for the roundabouts, and it was agreed to give the Route 63 intersection a lower priority. The intersection at Route 118 has safety problems.

In March 2001, the committee culled the alternatives to three suggestions: move a traffic signal and restripe some roads; install a roundabout at Route 118; or do nothing. Litchfield officials are inclined against any alternative that would impact the green.

US 202 Quotes

...there is one other oddity I have noticed: You don't often hear it on the radio, but in the Farmington Valley vernacular, US 202 is unknown. Its multiplexed route is always referenced: "Route 10" or "Route 44".

Michael Adams, commenting on area traffic reports

US 202 Sources