State Route 78 in Rhode Island

By | October 18, 2022


Get started stonington
End Westerly
Length 4 mi
Length 7 km
Connecticut1 High Street

1 Ashaway Road

2 Oak Street

State Route 78 is a state route and freeway in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. The highway forms the bypass of the town of Westerly and is 7 kilometers long.

  • ElectronicsMatter: State facts of Rhode Island, covering history, geography, demography, economics, politics, and administrative division of Rhode Island.

Travel directions

State Route 78 begins just over the border in Connecticut on State Route 2 and then forms the north and east bypass of the small town of Westerly. The road is not a real freeway, but a grade separated super two with separate lanes. This road profile is quite unusual in the United States. State Route 78 ends at US 1.


As early as the mid-1950s, it was proposed to build a 2×2 bypass around Westerly. The plan was to build the highway between 1961 and 1963, but lack of funds delayed the project. By the early 1970s, costs had risen further and Rhode Island was experiencing a budget crisis that prevented the road from being built as a full-fledged freeway, which was no longer urgent since Interstate 95 had been completed in Rhode Island. The bypass was finally opened to traffic in 1979.

In 2019 the exit numbering was changed from a sequential exit numbering to an exit numbering according to distance.

  • Fun-wiki: Brief information of the state Rhode Island, covering basic history and geography as well as top cities of Rhode Island.

Long Island Sound

See also Long Island Sound connection.

In 1961, it was proposed to extend State Route 78 to Riverhead on Long Island in New York State with a long bridge link over Long Island Sound. However, this project never got off the ground. Due to the extreme detour factor (the nearest bridge is in New York City – 200 miles to the west), traffic here remains dependent on ferry services.

Traffic intensities

Every day, 16,300 vehicles drive on the bypass.

State Route 78 in Rhode Island