Connecticut Road Network

By | October 13, 2022

Connecticut has a dense road network due to the high degree of urbanization. Numerous freeways crisscross the state, as well as a dense network of minor roads.

Road management

The state highway authority is the Connecticut Department of Transportation, ConnDOT for short. ConnDOT manages 6,601 miles of road, a relatively large amount given the small size of the state. The state has a total of 34,417 kilometers of road, most of which is managed at the local level. Despite this, ConnDOT manages a relatively large network relative to the geographic size of the state.

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Interstate Highways

A small number of Interstate Highways traverse Connecticut. Interstate 84 forms an east-west route through the center and north of the state, passing through Danbury, Waterbury and Hartford. This is part of a regional bypass of the New York City area. Interstate 91 is the state ‘s main north-south route, starting in New Haven and looping north through Hartford to Springfield, Massachusetts. Interstate 95 forms an east-west route along the coast, passing mostly through built-up areas, via Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport and New Haven to the border with Rhode Island.

In addition, there are some auxiliary routes of the system of Interstate Highways. Interstate 291 forms an incomplete northern bypass of Hartford. Interstate 384 is the remnant of a plan to build a highway from Hartford to Providence that was only partially constructed as a bypass of Manchester. Interstate 395 is a north-south route through the sparsely populated eastern part of the state, from New London to Worcester, Massachusetts. Interstate 691 is an incomplete southern bypass of Hartford, between Waterbury and Meriden.

Around Hartford are many remnants of originally planned highways that have only been partially built or not built at all, such as a ring road and numerous suburban connections, often only the interchanges with Interstate Highways have been built.

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US Highways

A small number of US Highways cross the state, most of which are secondary in nature, but a few are better developed. US 1 forms an east-west route along the coast, paralleled by I-95. US 1 runs largely through built-up areas. US 5 forms a north-south route through the center of the state, with I-91 running parallel to it. US 5 begins in New Haven and runs through all centers between New Haven and Hartford. US 6 forms an east-west route through the middle of the state, and is part of the main route to Providence east of Hartford. US 7 forms a north-south route through the west of the state that has been partly developed as a freeway at Norwalk and Danbury. The US 44 forms an east-west route through the north of the state, but curves further south through Hartford. Beyond that, the road has a secondary importance. US 202 forms a diagonal connection through the northwest of the state.

State routes

The state routes complement the network of Interstate Highways and US Highways. Many state routes have only a local or small regional level, but some state routes have been developed as freeways. The state routes are numbered from 1 to 399. In addition, there are so-called ‘special service roads’ (SSR) that are numbered from 400 to 499. However, these are not signposted. In addition, there are so-called ‘State Roads’ numbered from 500 to 999, which are also not signposted. These are mostly feeders to the main roads. All state routes, US Highways and Interstate Highways are numbered in one system, with I-684 and I-691 being exceptions within the system which is further numbered from 1 to 399. The state routes have their origin in the trunk line system that was established in 1913.

The following state routes in Connecticut are operated as freeways;

  • Route 2: Hartford – Norwich
  • Route 3: Wethersfield – East Hartford
  • Route 8: Bridgeport – Winsted (the longest state route freeway in the state)
  • Route 9: West Hartford – Old Saybrook
  • Route 11: Colchester – Salem
  • Route 15: Merritt Parkway, Wilbur Cross Parkway
  • Route 72: New Britain – Bristol

Toll roads

Connecticut currently has no toll roads, but has had one, I-95 was originally the Connecticut Turnpike, with an open toll system.


As early as 1900, the State Highway Department proposed a network of trunk roads, which was established in 1913 as the trunk line system. This consisted of 10 north-south routes and 4 east-west routes, with a combined length of 2,300 kilometers. These roads were only numbered on paper, but not signposted. In 1922, the New England Highways were introduced, the first signposted tracks in Connecticut. This was a regional numbering system, with 9 routes running through Connecticut. In 1926 the US Highways were introduced, which in many cases ran over the routes of the New England Highways. In 1932 almost the entire system was renumbered. In 1935, two more new US Highways were introduced in Connecticut, US 44 and US 202.

Construction of Connecticut’s highway network is among the first in the United States, construction of the first highway, the Merritt Parkway, began in 1935, and on June 29, 1938, the first section opened for 28 miles around Stamford and Norwalk. This stretch of highway is sometimes considered the United States’ first proper freeway, although parkways already existed on Long Island and New York City at the time, but the design standard of those roads was lower than that of the Merrit Parkway, which in turn was substandard. relative to contemporary design requirements. In 1940, the last section of the Merrit Parkway was opened. Work began on the extension, the Wilbur Cross Parkway, in 1939. This one was complete in 1949. The first highway of what would later become an Interstate Highway was a stretch of highway in downtown Hartford that opened in 1945. This would later become Interstate 91.

In the 1950s, several short stretches of highway were opened up in the state. In 1958 a long stretch of highway, the Connecticut Turnpike, later I-95 and I-395, followed from Stamford to the Rhode Island border at South Killingly. In 1964, the eastern portion of I-95 opened to the Rhode Island border. Most of Connecticut’s remaining highways were built during the 1960s, continuing through the early 1970s, but by 1979 nearly all remaining plans had been scrapped, especially around the capital Hartford.. Hartford is sometimes referred to as the “freeway stub capital of the United States” because of the many traces of never-executed plans, such as unused interchanges and connecting roads. In recent years, a number of highways have been widened or upgraded, but progress has been slow and Connecticut has many congested highways.


There are two large agglomerations in the state that have actually grown together. Several New York City suburbs are located in Connecticut and are among the most expensive places in the United States. The capital Hartford also overlaps and is an extension of the New York City suburbs.

Connecticut Road Network