U.S. Route 7 in Connecticut

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This article is about the section of U.S. Route 7 in Connecticut. For the entire length of the highway, see U.S. Route 7.

U.S. Route 7 marker

U.S. Route 7
Route information
Maintained by ConnDOT
Length: 78.29 mi[1] (126.00 km)
Major junctions
South end: I‑95 / Conn. Tpk. in Norwalk
  US 1 in Norwalk
Route 15 / Merritt Pkwy. in Norwalk
I‑84 / US 6 in Danbury
US 202 from Danbury to New Milford
US 44 in Canaan
North end: US 7 at the Massachusetts state line in Canaan
Highway system
US 6 Route 8

U.S. Route 7 (US 7) is a north-south U.S. Highway which runs 78 miles (126 km) in the state of Connecticut. The route begins at Interstate 95 in Norwalk and proceeds north to the Massachusetts border in Canaan. US 7 was aligned to its current route around 1930, and since then three sections totaling around 12 miles (19 km) have been upgraded to freeway standards.

Route description[edit]

US 7 in Connecticut is also known as Route 7, the Ethan Allen Highway, and Super 7. It is mostly a surface road but has three short expressway sections in the Norwalk and Danbury areas. US 7 begins in Norwalk with a 4-mile (6.4 km) expressway that runs nearly to the Wilton town line. There are three exits on this short section, signed as "The Forty Third Infantry Division Memorial Highway". Exit 1, just past the southern terminus at Interstate 95, leads to the Central Norwalk Business District and US 1. Exit 2 leads to Route 123 which extends from US 1 in Norwalk through the town of New Canaan to the New York State line. After Exit 2, the expressway reduces to four lanes from six. Exit 3 leads to the Merritt Parkway (Route 15) southbound. This interchange was half built and only allows southbound access from the expressway; northbound access is gained via Route 123 at Exit 2. The expressway section ends at Grist Mill Road in Norwalk, about one-half mile past Exit 3.

Near Danbury, another expressway section was built beginning 1-mile (1.6 km) south of Interstate 84 near the Danbury Airport. This section is also signed as "The Forty Third Infantry Division Memorial Highway". Through Danbury proper, Route 7 overlaps with I-84 for about 4 miles (6 km). Through this section of expressway, Routes I-84, US 7, US 6 and US 202 are concurrent. Routes 7 and 202 then leave I-84 at exit 7 and travel on their own expressway for approximately 7 miles (11 km) to just south of the New Milford line. On this section there are two exits. At Exit 11, US 202 exits the expressway and at Exit 12, Route 202 crosses back over Route 7. On southbound Route 7, the exit for Interstate 84 Eastbound is signed as exit 10. There is no exit number for I-84 West because of the concurrency. The Route 7 expressway then bypasses Brookfield to the west and terminates at an intersection with Route 202 at the Fairfield/Litchfield county line.

Route 7 is cosigned with US 202 until central New Milford, where Route 202 turns east with Route 67 while Route 7 continues north. Recent construction has also made large parts of Route 7 between the terminus of the expressway and New Milford a four-lane divided highway with at-grade intersections. North of New Milford center, Route 7 remains a two-lane road through the rest of Connecticut.

History[edit]

The precursor to US 7 was New England route NE-4. When US 7 was commissioned, it followed the whole route of NE-4. It entered Connecticut from the north in North Canaan (as today) and then followed Route 41 southwest to Sharon and into New York State. This alignment had US 7 follow NY 22 to a southern terminus in New York City rather than in Norwalk. This southern terminus was shifted to Norwalk around 1930, and was rerouted onto other existing state highways of the time to get from Canaan to Norwalk. From Canaan to New Milford, the road was known as State Highway 134, and from there to Danbury was State Highway 128. From Danbury to Ridgefield, the road was part of another New England route, NE-3, which was paved in 1924. From Ridgefield to Norwalk was State Highway 126.[2]

The entire section between I-95 in Norwalk and I-84 in Danbury was originally planned to be bypassed by a freeway. Construction on the initial freeway segments in Norwalk began in 1969, but lawsuits brought on by residents within the highway's path and environmental groups halted construction north of Route 123 in 1972. With an approved environmental impact statement, construction resumed in 1986 between Route 123 and Grist Mill Road in Norwalk and from I-84 to Sleepy Hollow Road in Danbury. The Danbury section opened in 1987, while the extension of the Route 7 freeway to Grist Mill Road opened in 1992. Lack of funding and continued opposition to the freeway has prevented construction of the remainder of the proposed highway between Grist Mill Road and Danbury. Instead, from 2003 to 2008 the existing Route 7 was widened from 2 to 4 lanes from Grist Mill Road to Wolfpit Road in Wilton, and from the Route 35 intersection in Ridgefield to the freeway terminus at Sleepy Hollow Road in Danbury.

Construction on the section between I-84 and Exit 12 began in 1974 and was completed in 1976. The Brookfield bypass segment between Exit 12 and the current expressway terminus opened in November 2009, after two years of construction. The former US 7 route through Brookfield is now signed solely as US 202.

Junction list[edit]

County Location Mile[1] km Destinations Notes
Fairfield Norwalk 0.00 0.00 I‑95 / Conn. Tpk. – Bridgeport, Stamford I-95/CTTP Exit 15, southern terminus
1.18 1.90 US 1 – Westport, Darien
2.93 4.72 Route 15 / Merritt Pkwy. – Bridgeport, Stamford CT 15/Merritt Parkway Exits 39 N-S, southbound access only
Wilton 6.03 9.70 Route 33 south – Westport Begin concurrencey with CT 33
6.47 10.41 Route 106 – Weston, New Canaan
7.30 11.75 Route 33 north – Ridgefield End concurrencey with CT 33
Branchville 12.56 20.21 Route 102 west – Ridgefield
16.88 27.17 Route 35 south – Ridgefield
Danbury 21.56 34.70 I‑84 west – Ridgebury Begin overlap, I-84 Exit 3
25.21 40.57 US 6 / US 202 west (Lake Ave.) Begin US 6 and 202 overlap, I-84 Exit 4
25.43 40.93 I‑84 / US 6 east – Newtown, Waterbury End of I-84 and US 6 overlap, Exit 7
Brookfield 27.04 43.52 Route 133 north – Brookfield, Bridgewater
29.17 46.94 Route 25 south – Hawleyville, Newtown
Litchfield New Milford 37.24 59.93 US 202 east – New Preston, Litchfield East end of US 202 overlap
37.24 59.93 Route 67 south – Roxbury
39.93 64.26 Route 37 south – Sherman, New Fairfield
44.36 71.39 Route 55 west – Sherman
Kent 50.88 81.88 Route 341 – Warren, Macedonia
Cornwall 58.74 94.53 Route 45 south – Warren
59.91 96.42 Route 4 east – Goshen Begin concurrencey with CT 4
60.12 96.75 Route 4 west – Sharon End concurrencey with CT 4
64.27 103.43 Route 128 – Sharon, Goshen
Lime Rock 68.83 110.77 Route 112 west – Lakeville
Canaan 70.62 113.65 Route 126 – South Canaan, Falls Village
71.90 115.71 Route 63 south – Goshen
76.46 123.05 US 44 – Salisbury, East Canaan
78.29 126.00 US 7 north – Sheffield Massachusetts border
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Connecticut Department of Transportation, Highway Log PDF (1.80 MiB) as of December 31, 2009
  2. ^ "Connecticut US 7". Kurumi.com. 30 November 2009. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 

External links[edit]


U.S. Route 7
Previous state:
Terminus
Connecticut Next state:
Massachusetts