CT 63
  • Length 52.57 miles
  • From Route 10 in New Haven
  • To US 7 in South Canaan

Route 63 is the second longest state route entirely within Connecticut (Route 15, at 83.53 miles, takes the top spot).

Starting as a radial route northwesterly out of New Haven, Route 63 intersects Route 8 in Naugatuck, which is famous for its eponymous Naugahyde. In Middlebury, there is a short four-lane section at I-84. Continuing north, Route 63 travels through picturesque Litchfield County towns to end at US 7.

Between Country Club Road in Middlebury and Field Street in Naugatuck (2.3 miles), Route 63 is officially limited access: not a freeway, but a minimum of intersections and driveways. It passes by Whittemore Glen State Park and (not surprisingly) a country club.

As of Jan. 25, 2002, a 3.37-mile segment of Route 63 in Litchfield is designated a state scenic road. The designation runs from the Morris town line north to Sarcka Lane.

CT 63 Turnpikes

The 36-mile Straits Turnpike, following today's Route 63 from New Haven to Litchfield, was built in 1796; the company operating it was incorporated in 1797. The Turnpike collected tolls until 1821, when the portion between Westville and New Haven was made free. When the rest was disbanded is unknown.

CT 63 History

Old Route 63 alignment in Cornwall
Old Route 63 alignment in CornwallThe Cornwall area in this 1949 state map shows the old alignment of Route 63 near Route 43.

Commissioned in 1932, Route 63 has grown a few times to nearly double its original size. Originally, it extended 27.34 miles, from Route 67 in Woodbridge to Route 61 in Morris.

In late 1931, the state's plan was to have Route 63's north end in Middlebury, at the eastern intersection of today's Route 64 and Route 188.

In 1943, Route 63 was extended north, replacing part of Route 61, to reach Route 43 in Cornwall, for a new length of 43.37 miles. Its alignment at the north end differed from today's: at the Goshen - Cornwall town line, Route 63 followed Hautboy Hill Road westerly, to end at Route 43 in the Cornwall Hollow section of Cornwall (see map scan at right).

The Hollenbeck Road segment of today's Route 63, leading to US 7, was improved in 1951, and was designated part of Route 63 on Sept. 11, 1951. Hautboy Hill Road is now locally maintained.

Also in 1951, Route 63 was officially extended along part of Route 43 and all of Route 126 to end at US 44 in Canaan, for a length of 52.62 miles. I don't know if this extension had a chance to be signed; in 1952, the Route 126 portion was retracted. Route 63 now terminated at US 7, and Route 126 was restored. Route 63 was now 47.74 miles long.

On May 1, 1954, Route 63 was extended south from its terminus with Route 67 in Woodbridge, to overlap with Route 67 along Whalley Avenue into New Haven. The Route 63/67 southern terminus was now Sherman Avenue (Route 10 at the time). Route 63 grew to 53.40 miles long.

In 1962, Route 63 was moved from Church Street to Meadow Street in Naugatuck.

Circa 1963, Route 63 was extended south along an overlap with Route 10 along the Boulevard, to end at US 1 in New Haven. A state Special Act in 1967 (SA 67-315) even refers to the planned Boulevard Bridge over the Metro North railroad tracks as the "Route 63 Extension." This extension was removed in 1976, leaving Route 63 at its current southern terminus with Route 10. (The Boulevard Bridge opened in 1978 as part of Route 10, so Route 63 never extended as far south as I-95.)

In 1965, a project to relocate more than 2 miles of Route 63 in Waterbury, Middlebury and Naugatuck went to bid. This was completed around 1968. The result was the 2.3 miles of limited access 2-lane highway, from Country Club Road to Field Street. At the intersection with Route 188 in Middlebury, you can see (from aerial photos) the older alignment of Route 63, to the east of the current roadway. The road is not marked on current maps, and may be inaccessible.

Around 1968, Route 63 was realigned near Route 42 in Bethany; in other words, the Straits Turnpike made straighter. Grant Road and the short segment of Litchfield Turnpike are part of the old alignment. In the 1970s, Grant Road was even called "Old Rt. 63."

CT 63 Sources