New England Interstate Route 8

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New England Route 8 marker

New England Route 8
Route information
Length: 147.08 mi (236.70 km)
Connecticut: 67.34[1] mi (108.37 km)
Massachusetts: 66.58[2] mi (107.16 km)
Vermont: 13.16 miles (21.18 km)
Existed: 1922 – 1930s
Major junctions
South end: Bridgeport, CT
  US 44.svg U.S. Route 44 in Winchester, CT
US 20.svg U.S. Route 20 in Becket, MA
MA Route 2.svg Route 2 in North Adams, MA
North end: Vermont 9.svg Route 9 in Searsburg, VT
Highway system
New England road marking system

Route 8 is a multi-state north–south state highway in the New England region of the United States, running from Bridgeport, Connecticut, through Massachusetts to Searsburg, Vermont. Its number dates from 1922, when it was a New England Interstate Route, also known as the Stratford-Waterbury-North Adams Route (for the cities the original route connected). Most of the old route in Connecticut has been upgraded to a freeway and is a major transportation link between the cities of Bridgeport and Waterbury.

The highway has kept its number for most of its routing, and in these sections now exists as Connecticut Route 8, Massachusetts Route 8, and Vermont Route 8. North of Searsburg, VT, the old routing exists as part of Vermont Route 100 and all of Vermont Route 155 (which both used to be part of VT-8).

Route description[edit]

Connecticut[edit]

Main article: Connecticut Route 8

Connecticut Route 8 begins as a freeway in the city of Bridgeport co-signed with Route 25. It has junctions with the Merritt Parkway in Trumbull and Interstate 84 in Waterbury. The freeway continues through the city of Torrington up to US 44 in Winsted. North of Winsted, Route 8 becomes a minor rural road through Colebrook into Massachusetts. The freeway portion of Route 8 is 58 miles (93 km) long.

Massachusetts[edit]

Main article: Massachusetts Route 8

Massachusetts Route 8 crosses the border from Connecticut into Sandisfield, Massachusetts. It runs for 66.6 miles (107.2 km) northward, through the western Massachusetts towns of Otis, Becket, Washington, Hinsdale, Dalton, Pittsfield, Lanesborough, Cheshire, Adams, North Adams and Clarksburg. The entire route in Massachusetts is in Berkshire County. An old alignment in North Adams is now the upper segment of Route 8A.

Vermont[edit]

Main article: Vermont Route 8

Vermont Route 8 begins in Stamford, Vermont, where a concurrency with Vermont Route 100 begins at the Massachusetts state line. VT Routes 8 and 100 split in Readsboro, with VT Route 8 continuing north to end at Vermont Route 9 in Searsburg. (VT Route 100, the original alignment of Route 8, takes a more circuitous route, heading southeast and east from the split before turning north to intersect VT Route 9 in Wilmington.)

History[edit]

The original Route 8 began in Stratford, Connecticut, running along the west bank of the lower Housatonic River until Shelton. The southern end of Route 8 was relocated in 1951 to its current Bridgeport terminus as part of the freeway upgrading. The old surface road is now parts of Route 113 and Route 110. North of Shelton, the old surface road (where it still exists) generally parallels the freeway, much of it still state-maintained.

In the late 1940s, a four-lane bypass was built south of North Adams, Massachusetts and designated as Route 8A. Around 1975, Routes 8 and 8A were swapped, with the original route now designated as Route 8A and the bypass route as Route 8.

Though the original Route 8 in Vermont did not run north of Wilmington, Route 8 was extended north to Londonderry by 1927 along present Vermont Route 100, and by 1938 to Weston and along Vermont Route 155 to Wallingford. This was still Route 8 in 1961, with Route 100 ending at Route 8 north of Weston. Route 100 was later extended south along Route 8 to the Massachusetts state line. The short piece of Route 8 between Weston and Wallingford became Vermont Route 155, and the Route 8 designation was assigned to its current alignment. (The piece of current Route 8 between Route 100 at Heartwellville and Route 9 at Searsburg had been unnumbered.)[3][4][5][6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing

Browse numbered routes
US 7 CT Route 9
Route 7A MA Route 8A
VT 7A VT VT 8A
Route 7 N.E. Route 9