This 2006 photo shows the ramps connecting I-84 EXIT 45 to Flatbush Avenue in Hartford. The wide right-of-way in the median was intended for the Cedar Ridge Connector, a short freeway that was to connect to the CT 71 Expressway nearby. (Photo by Steve Anderson.)

BEFORE THERE WAS I-291: In the mid-1950's, the Connecticut Highway Department proposed a short spur off the East-West Expressway (I-84, then known as "Relocated US 6") that was to be a relocation of the existing CT 71. The CT 71 Expressway was to be constructed from I-84 in West Hartford south along the New Britain-Newington border to Allen Street in downtown New Britain. The route was incorporated into the proposed I-291 in 1957, when the Federal Bureau of Public Roads allocated mileage for the freeway (and thus made it eligible for 90-percent Federal funding).

AN EAST-WEST ROUTE THROUGH NEWINGTON: In 1963, the Connecticut Highway Department announced a second plan for the CT 71 Expressway. The new proposal called for the construction of a four-mile-long, four-lane expressway from I-291 (now CT 9) in New Britain, continuing east through Newington, and ending at the Cedar Ridge Connector (unsigned CT 504) in Hartford. Intended to relieve congestion along the then-unfinished I-84, the CT 71 Expressway was scheduled for construction after 1975. However, in the next statewide plan released in 1968, the state did not include the CT 71 Expressway.

SOURCES: Connecticut Highway Needs, Connecticut Highway Department (1967); Planning for the Future, Connecticut Highway Department (1968); Scott Oglesby.

  • CT 71 shield by Barry L. Camp.


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