Berlin Turnpike

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Berlin Turnpike
Map of central Connecticut with Berlin Turnpike highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by ConnDOT
Length: 12.17 mi (19.59 km)
Existed: 1909 – present
Component
highways:
US 5 / Route 15 from Berlin to Wethersfield
Major junctions
South end: US 5 / Route 15 in Meriden
  Route 9 in Berlin
North end: US 5 / Route 15 in Wethersfield
Location
Counties: New Haven, Hartford
Highway system
  • Routes in Connecticut

The Berlin Turnpike is a 4-lane/6-lane divided arterial road carrying U.S. Route 5 and Route 15 through the towns of Meriden, Berlin, Newington, and Wethersfield, Connecticut, United States. The road begins south of the Meriden-Berlin town line. The official length of the Berlin Turnpike is 12.17 miles (19.58 km) but the northernmost 1.07 miles (1.72 km) does not carry US 5 or Route 15. The northernmost section runs partly along Route 314 for 0.69 miles (1.11 km), and then on State Road 543 for 0.38 miles (0.61 km) to the HartfordWethersfield town line, where it continues as a local road known as Maple Avenue.

Route description[edit]

A view of the Berlin Turnpike

The Berlin Turnpike connects the Wilbur Cross Parkway with the Wilbur Cross Highway.

The main office of the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) is located on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington on land originally purchased for Interstate 291, which was subsequently cancelled.

The road was originally part of the Hartford and New Haven Turnpike. The new road, and the new name, was officially dedicated between Hartford and Berlin[citation needed] on October 22, 1909.[1]

The Berlin Turnpike is a popular road for shopping in the greater Hartford area; many national and regional retail chains, including Target, Stew Leonard's, Best Buy and Sam's Club have outlets on the turnpike.

In 2011, a 525 page book entitled, "The Berlin Turnpike: A True Story of Human Trafficking in America," was written by author, Raymond Bechard. The book explains a federal trial that took place in Hartford, Connecticut during which it was revealed that two young women were "sold" from one man to another in a motel on the Berlin Turnpike. According to the book, there were over 1000 motel rooms on the Berlin Turnpike as of 2011. [2]

History[edit]

The Hartford and New Haven Turnpike was a toll road (turnpike) that was built in 1798-1799 to connect the cities of New Haven and Hartford in the U.S. state of Connecticut.

The Hartford and New Haven Turnpike was chartered in 1798.[3]

The turnpike was built along the principle of a straight line and connected the courthouses of New Haven and Hartford in as straight a route as the terrain allowed. Its southern end was at Grove Street,[3] which forms the northern boundary of the original nine squares of New Haven. Because of the straight line principle, several intermediate town centers are bypassed by the turnpike.

The roads used by the turnpike still exist today but the route is no longer a main road in the New Haven area. In the Hartford area, the turnpike road has been substantially widened and straightened out as the Berlin Turnpike, a major commercial thoroughfare.

Major intersections[edit]

County Location mi km Destinations Notes
New Haven Meriden 0.00 0.00 US 5 south / Route 15 south to I-91 south – Wallingford, New Haven, NY City Southern terminus of US 5/CT 15 overlap. US 5 becomes North Broad Street and CT 15 becomes the Wilbur Cross Parkway
Hartford Berlin 4.69 7.55 Route 9 / Route 372 – East Berlin, Middletown, New Britain Full interchange
5.05 8.13 Worthington Ridge Road (SR 572)
5.87 9.45 Route 160 east – Rocky Hill
Newington 7.37 11.86 Route 173 north – West Hartford
7.99 12.86 Route 176 north – Newington
9.38 15.10 Route 287 west – Newington Western terminus of CT 287 overlap
9.45 15.21 Route 287 east – Wethersfield Eastern terminus of CT 287 overlap
NewingtonWethersfield line 10.08 16.22 Route 175 – Newington, New Britain, Wethersfield Grade separated interchange
Wethersfield 11.10 17.86 US 5 / Route 15 north – East Hartford Western terminus of CT 314
11.79 18.97 Route 314 east Southern terminus of unsigned SR 543
WethersfieldHartford line 12.17 19.59 Maple Ave (local) Hartford Northern terminus of Berlin Turnpike and SR 543 at Hartford city line. Road becomes Maple Avenue.
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Popularity of Turnpike[edit]

For many years, "Hot Rodders" of all types have converged on the Turnpike to "Run what you Brung", and have proved to be the bane of the local Law Enforement's existence. There have been numerous articles in local news outlets about the spate of Illegal street racing over the years that have detailed what has been transpiring on the Turnpike, and the various steps the local Law Enforcement was taking to curtail the issue. However, the long, straight roadway, which in some places has no access roads, has proven irresistible to some street racers.[4][5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hartford Courant, Opening State's Best Road Today, October 22, 1909
  2. ^ Droney, Christopher (9 June 2008). "Federal Judge". Court Testimony of United States vs. Dennis Paris. 
  3. ^ a b William Phipps Blake (1888). History of the Town of Hamden, Connecticut. pp. 93–94. 
  4. ^ "Police try to keep Drivers in Line"- Sportbike.net
  5. ^ "Police have Eyes on the Road"

External links[edit]

KML is from Wikidata