Wilbur Cross Highway

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Not to be confused with the Wilbur Cross Parkway.
Wilbur Cross Highway
Map of northern Connecticut with Wilbur Cross Highway highlighted in red
Route information
Length: 46.41 mi[1][2] (74.69 km)
Existed: 1940 – present
Component
highways:
US 5 / Route 15 from Wethersfield to E. Hartford
I-84 from E. Hartford to Sturbridge, MA
Major junctions
South end: Route 314 in Wethersfield
 
North end: I‑90 in Sturbridge, MA
Location
Counties: Hartford, Tolland, Windham, Hampden, Worcester
Highway system
  • Routes in Connecticut

The Wilbur Cross Highway is the designation for the portion of Connecticut Route 15 from Wethersfield to East Hartford, and for the section of I-84 from East Hartford to the Massachusetts Turnpike in Sturbridge, Massachusetts formerly numbered as CT/MA 15.

Route description[edit]

The signs for the intersection of CT 15/US 5 and I-91

After splitting from I-84 in East Hartford, the WCH continues in a southwesterly direction to the Charter Oak Bridge. After crossing the Connecticut River it intersects I-91 in southern Hartford. It then changes to a southerly direction and intersects with the Hartford–Brainard Airport access road. After leaving I-91, it reverts to a southwesterly direction and intersects with Route 99 (Old Route 9). After that it merges with the Berlin Turnpike, at which the highway ends.

History[edit]

Highway History[edit]

The highway was built in the 1940s before the Interstate Highway era as a continuation of the Wilbur Cross Parkway, itself a continuation of the Merritt Parkway. Originally, the parkways were to span continuously from Greenwich to Union, but with the opening of Interstate 91, the planned segment between Meriden and Hartford was never built, and Connecticut Route 15 was instead routed along the Berlin Turnpike.[3][4] In 1958, the East Hartford-Union portion of the parkway, as well as an extension to the Massachusetts Turnpike was cosigned as I-84 as part of its planned route through Connecticut. In 1968, the I-84 designation east of East Hartford was given to the proposed highway to Providence, and the portion from East Hartford to Sturbridge was renumbered to I-86. The CT 15 designation remained cosigned on the I-86 section to the MA line until October 1, 1980, when it was truncated back to its current northern terminus at I-84 Exit 57. In 1984, the planned extension of I-84 to Providence was cancelled and the I-84 designation returned to its original East Hartford-Sturbridge route. US 6 is also signed along the highway from the I-84/CT 15 junction to Exit 60. From 1948 to 1982, US 44 was signed along the highway from current Exit 60 to current Exit 69.

Charter Oak Bridge History[edit]

Main article: Charter Oak Bridge

The Charter Oak Bridge, which carries the highway was originally opened 1942 and carried the Hartford Bypass. Due to clogging on the Bissell Bridge and the Founder's Bridge in the late 1980s and the failing condition of the bridge itself, the bridge and approach was completely rebuilt in 1991 to its current form.[5]

Exit list[edit]

Exits 85-91 correspond to those of Connecticut Route 15, while Exits 58-74 in CT and all MA exits correspond to I-84. Old CT 15 Exit numbers along I-84 are in parentheses. An old exit to Forbes St. in East Hartford (former exit 91), was closed to make way for construction of I-84 Exit 59. Exit 61 to I-291 was not in the original exit numbers for CT 15, as this interchange did not open until 1994. Mileposts in CT are in reference to the length of the Wilbur Cross Highway along CT 15 and I-84



State County Location mi km Exit Destinations Notes
Connecticut Hartford Wethersfield 0.00 0.00 US 5 / Route 15 south (Berlin Turnpike)
Route 314 east
to maple avenue
US 5/CT 15 designations continue southbound
Berlin Turnpike continues north on CT 314 East
1.92 3.09 85 Route 99 south – Wethersfield, Rocky Hill
Hartford 2.50 4.02 86 I-91 south – New Haven, NY City
2.89 4.65 87 Brainard Rd, Airport Rd. Ramps shared with I-91 Exit 27. Southbound exit offers alternate access to I-91 South
3.38 5.44 89 I-91 north to I-84 west – Springfield, Waterbury Northbound exit only. Southbound exit eliminated with Charter Oak Bridge reconstruction
Connecticut River 3.67–
4.32
5.91–
6.95
Charter Oak Bridge
East Hartford 4.86 7.82 90 US 5 north (Main St.) / E. River Dr.
Route 2 east – Norwich, New London
Northern terminus of US 5/CT 15 overlap.
Direct access to CT 2 East is from northbound only. All other movements to/from CT 2 use East River Dr.
5.08 8.18 91 Silver Lane Northbound exit, southbound entrance.
Unsigned SR 502.
5.64 9.08 I-84 / US 6 east – Manchester, Boston Wilbur Cross Highway transfers to/from I-84 to/from CT 15 via I-84 Exit 57
6.01 9.67 58 Roberts Street (Route 518) / Silver Lane (Route 502) / Burnside Avenue – East Hartford HOV exit to Silver Lane westbound. Eastbound access to HOV lane for traffic from CT 15 North
7.23–
9.41
11.64–
15.14
59 I-384 east / Silver Lane / Spencer Street – Bolton, Willimantic, Providence HOV exit to I-384 eastbound
Manchester 8.85 14.24 60 (92) US 6 east / US 44 (Middle Turnpike West) / Burnside Avenue – Manchester, East Hartford Eastern end of US 6 overlap; westbound exit shares a ramp with exit 62
8.97–
9.83
14.44–
15.82
61 I-291 west – South Windsor, Windsor
10.64 17.12 62 (93) Buckland Street – South Windsor, Manchester
12.40 19.96 63 (94) Route 30 / Route 83 – Manchester, South Windsor
Tolland Vernon 13.80 22.21 64 (95) Route 30 / Route 83 – Vernon, Rockville, Talcottville Eastbound exit 65 shares a ramp with exit 64
14.07 22.64 I-84 west (Restricted Lanes) Eastern end of I-84 HOV lanes
13.84–
14.73
22.27–
23.71
65 (96) Route 30 – Vernon Center Eastbound exit is shared with exit 64
15.60 25.11 66 (97) Tunnel Road – Vernon, Bolton
18.08 29.10 67 (98) Route 31 – Rockville, Coventry
Tolland 21.86 35.18 68 (99) Route 195 – Tolland, Mansfield, Storrs Access to the University of Connecticut
24.79 39.90 69 (100) Route 74 to US 44 – Willington, Tolland, Rockville, Putnam
Willington 26.38 42.45 70 (101) Route 32 – Stafford Springs, Willington, Mansfield, Willimantic
28.59 46.01 71 (102) Route 320 south (Ruby Road) – Willington
WindhamTolland
county line
AshfordUnion
town line
32.85 52.87 72 (104) Route 89 – Stafford Springs, Westford, Ashford
Tolland Union 34.21 55.06 73 (105) Route 190 – Union, Stafford Springs
38.18 61.44 74 (106) Route 171 / Holland Road – Union, Holland, MA
  38.70
0.00
62.28
0.00
ConnecticutMassachusetts state line
Massachusetts Hampden Holland 0.29 0.47 Mashapaug Road Westbound entrance only; former Route 15
Worcester Sturbridge 3.25 5.23 1 Mashapaug Road – Southbridge, Sturbridge Former Route 15
5.08 8.18 2 To Route 131 – Sturbridge, Southbridge
6.55 10.54 3A US 20 east – Worcester
6.87 11.06 3B US 20 west – Palmer
7.50 12.07 Toll plaza
7.71 12.41 I‑90 / Mass Pike – Boston, Springfield Exit 9 on I-90
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.ct.gov/dot/LIB/dot/Documents/dpolicy/hwylog/hwylog.pdf
  2. ^ http://services.massdot.state.ma.us/mrla/RouteSelection.htm
  3. ^ "Wilbur Cross Highway (I-84)". www.bostonroads.com. Retrieved 2016-09-11. 
  4. ^ Oglesby, Scott. "The Wilbur Cross Parkway". www.kurumi.com. Retrieved 2016-09-11. 
  5. ^ Oglesby, Scott. "The Charter Oak Bridge". www.kurumi.com. Retrieved 2016-09-11. 
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