Route 99 follows former Route 9 in Cromwell, Rocky Hill and Wethersfield. The northern half is also known as the Silas Deane Highway; this segment is heavily commercialized and is four lanes wide.

CT 99 History

In 1922, Route 99 was first numbered as part of New England Interstate Route 10 (NE-10), the ancestor of today's Route 10. The Silas Deane Highway portion wasn't built yet; instead, traffic followed Church Street, Old Main Street and Middletown Avenue from Rocky Hill into Old Wethersfield; and then followed Hartford Avenue into Hartford. The Silas Deane Highway, a wider, more direct route, opened to traffic on Dec. 20, 1930.

On Jan. 1, 1932, NE-10 in the area was redesignated Route 9, a road leading from Granby, through Hartford and Middletown, ending at Old Saybrook.

In the 1960s, Route 9 was upgraded to a freeway between I-91 and I-95. The soon-to-be "old Route 9" in Cromwell, Rocky Hill and Wethersfield would need a new number. In November 1965, the Highway Department said it planned to call this segment Route 18, reusing an old designation for West Street in Cromwell (and related to the number 9).

In February 1966, however, the state decided the new route number should be 99. When the new Route 9 opened on May 29, 1969, Route 99 was created.

Boulevard plan not yet achieved

In Wethersfield, Route 99 (the Silas Deane Highway) is a busy four-lane commercial arterial road. Since at least the 1980s, Wethersfield has mulled reconstructing it into a boulevard, for better traffic flow and better aesthetics.

In early 1989, the state held a public hearing on this plan, and had tentatively scheduled advertising for bids in November. The project would improve drainage, perform minor widening, and add a raised median with openings approximately 1,500 feet apart. The tentative schedule was to advertise for bids in November 1989.

However, no median has been constructed. Over the years, much of Route 99 in Wethersfield has been reconstructed to five lanes: four travel lanes and alternating left turn lanes, some of them quite long.

In December 2002, town officials announced a plan to revamp the Silas Deane Highway between the Hartford town line and Nott Street (SR 422). Landscaping would be added to the short existing median, along with other scenery enhancements, to provide a better gateway into Wethersfield. However, many details were yet to be fleshed out.

CT 99 Kurumi Suggests

I wouldn't mind seeing Route 99 as a Great River Road, following the Connecticut River's west bank from Long Island Sound into Massachusetts. This route would incorporate:

CT 99 More...

Not many Connecticut routes can boast of their own headline in the New York Times; but Route 99 can (see "Sources"). The article describes Silas Deane as a "Wethersfield lawyer and merchant who played a vital role in enlisting French aid during the American Revolution."

CT 99 Sources