U.S. Route 7 in Connecticut
|Maintained by ConnDOT|
|Length:||78.29 mi (126.00 km)|
|South end:||I-95 / Conn. Turnpike in Norwalk|
|North end:||US 7 at the Massachusetts state line in Canaan|
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 North 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.
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. Route 7 has a short 0.35-mile concurrency with US 44 in North Canaan before continuing north for another 1.5 miles to the Massachusetts state line.
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.
Early planning of the Interstate highway system in the late 1940s and early 1950s envisioned an interstate route (I-89) paralleling US-7 from Norwalk Connecticut to the Canada–US border north of Burlington, Vermont. Connecticut's portion of this freeway was to have paralleled US-7 from Norwalk to Danbury, then followed I-84 around Danbury before branching off to the north and paralleling US-7 and US-202 to New Milford. North of New Milford, the proposed freeway would have continued northward paralleling US-7 through the remainder of Connecticut and into Massachusetts. Of the proposed freeway plan, the section from I-95 to Grist Mill Road in Norwalk, and the segment from Sleepy Hollow Road in Danbury to US-202 at the Brookfield/New Milford town line were built. Construction on the initial freeway segments in Norwalk began in 1969 and in Danbury and Brookfield in 1970, 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. The Connecticut Department of Transportation has stated its intent to eventually extend the southern section of the US-7 freeway from Grist Mill Road in Norwalk to Route 33 in Wilton (approximately 3 miles), but no timetable or funding source has been defined for this project.
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.
|Fairfield||Norwalk||0.00||0.00||I-95 / Conn. Turnpike – Bridgeport, New York City||Exit 15 on I-95 / Conn. Turnpike|
|1.18||1.90||1||US 1 (Belden Avenue) – Norwalk|
|1.83||2.95||2||Route 123 (New Canaan Avenue)|
|2.93||4.72||3||Route 15 south / Merritt Parkway south – New York City||Exit 39 on Route 15 / Merritt Parkway|
|4.10||6.60||Main Ave. To Route 15 north / Merritt Parkway north|
|Wilton||6.03||9.70||Route 33 south (Westport Road)||Southern end of concurrency with Route 33|
|6.29||10.12||Route 106 south (Wolfpit Road)||Southern end of concurrency with Route 106|
|6.47||10.41||Route 106 north (Sharp Hill Road)||Northern end of concurrency with Route 106|
|7.30||11.75||Route 33 north – Wilton Center, New Canaan, Ridgefield||Northern end of concurrency with Route 33|
|11.65||18.75||Route 107 / Route 57 – Redding, Weston, Westport||Village of Georgetown|
|Ridgefield||12.56||20.21||Route 102 west – Ridgefield, Weir Farm||Village of Branchville|
|16.88||27.17||Route 35 south – Ridgefield, Aldrich Museum|
|Danbury||20.43||32.88||7||– Danbury Airport|
|21.09||33.94||8||Park Avenue||No southbound entrance|
|21.56||34.70||9||I-84 west – Newburgh||Left exit northbound; southern end of concurrency with I-84; Exit 3 on I-84|
|21.63||34.81||4 (I-84)||US 6 / US 202 west (Lake Avenue)||Southern end of concurrency with US 6 / US 202|
|23.14||37.24||5 (I-84)||Route 37 / Route 39 / Route 53 – Downtown Danbury, Bethel||Route 37 only appears on northbound signage|
|23.71||38.16||6 (I-84)||Route 37 – New Fairfield||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|10||I-84 / US 6 east – Waterbury||Left exit southbound; northern end of concurrency with I-84 and US 6; Exit 7 on I-84|
|Brookfield||26.55||42.73||11||US 202 east to Federal Road||Northern end of concurrency with US 202|
|29.88||48.09||12||US 202 – Brookfield|
|31.82||51.21||US 202 west – Brookfield Center||Southern end of concurrency with US 202|
|Litchfield||New Milford||37.24||59.93||US 202 east / Route 67 south – Roxbury, Litchfield, Washington||Northern end of concurrency with US 202|
|39.93||64.26||Route 37 south – New Fairfield, Sherman, Connecticut Wine Trail|
|44.36||71.39||Route 55 west (Webatuck Road)|
|Kent||50.88||81.88||Route 341 – South Kent, Warren, Macedonia Brook State Park|
|Cornwall||58.74||94.53||Route 45 south – Litchfield, Warren|
|59.87||96.35||Route 4 east – Cornwall, Goshen, Ski Area, Torrington||Southern end of concurrency with Route 4|
|60.12||96.75||Route 4 west – Sharon, Audubon Center, Millerton NY||Northern end of concurrency with Route 4|
|64.27||103.43||Route 128 – West Cornwall, Covered Bridge|
|Lime Rock||68.83||110.77||Route 112 west – Lime Rock, Salisbury|
|Canaan||70.62||113.65||Route 126 – Falls Village, Goshen|
|71.90||115.71||Route 63 south – Cornwall, Goshen|
|North Canaan||76.46||123.05||US 44 east – Winsted||Southern end of concurrency with US 44|
|76.80||123.60||US 44 west – Salisbury||Northern end of concurrency with US 44|
|78.29||126.00||US 7 north – Sheffield||Continuation into Massachusetts|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
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|U.S. Route 7|