• Summary A short-lived numbering for I-84 heading to Providence.
  • From Dec. 13, 1968
  • To 1969

The 1968 Federal Aid Highway Act authorized 1,500 additional miles for the nation's Interstate highway system. Among the added routes was an interstate connection between Hartford and Providence. Many long-time residents remember this as the proposed Interstate 84 realignment that created Interstate 86; but the original number for this route was Interstate 82.

Interstate 82 didn't last long; my guess is that Connecticut found it unsuitable and requested a change. (Reasons follow.) By early 1969, work was underway to rename I-82 to part of I-84, and another part of I-84 to I-86. On June 21, 1971, before any segments of future I-82 were open, the FHWA made this change official.

Here's a scan from the Interstate system status map as of March 31, 1969:

I-82 shown in I-state status map, 1969Detail of 1969 FHWA Interstate system status map shows I-82 proposed from Hartford to Providence

This is an interesting wrinkle to the I-84/86/84 renumbering saga. Let's examine what would have happened if the I-82 number had prevailed:

Interstate 82 is now a mere footnote in Connecticut history: the Providence connection was cancelled in the early 1980s. For more information, see From Hartford to Providence.

Another short-lived numbering conflict: 87

Around the same time (1970) as I-82/86, a new interstate passing through Greenwich created the same conflict with another state route: Interstate 87, which had a grand total of 1.4 miles in Connecticut, versus state route 87 east of Hartford. CT 87 was not renumbered, probably because the chance for confusion was small, and I-87 was maintained by New York state. (About a year after the highway opened, I-87 was rerouted, and former I-87 became I-684.)

I-82 Sources