Interstate 95 in Connecticut
Interstate 95 (I-95) is the main north–south Interstate Highway on the East Coast of the United States, running in a general east–west compass direction for 111.57 miles (179.55 km) in Connecticut, from the New York state line to the Rhode Island state line. I-95 from Greenwich to East Lyme is part of the Connecticut Turnpike, during which it passes through the major cities of Stamford, Bridgeport, and New Haven. After leaving the turnpike in East Lyme, I-95 is known as the Jewish War Veterans Memorial Highway and passes through New London, Groton, and Mystic, before exiting the state through North Stonington at the Rhode Island border.
I-95 highlighted in red
|Maintained by ConnDOT|
|Length||111.57 mi (179.55 km)|
|South end||I-95 in Port Chester, NY|
|North end||I-95 in Hopkinton, RI|
|Counties||Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex, New London|
Interstate 95 enters the state as the Connecticut Turnpike in Greenwich at the New York state line. The Turnpike stretches for 128 miles (206 km) across the state, but only the first 88 miles (142 km) is signed as I-95. This portion of the highway passes through the most heavily urbanized section of Connecticut along the shoreline between Greenwich and New Haven, going through the cities of Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport, and New Haven, with daily traffic volumes of around 150,000 throughout the entire 48-mile (77 km) length between the New York state line and the junction with I-91 in New Haven. The Turnpike intersects with several major expressways, namely US 7 at Exit 15 in Norwalk, Route 8 and Route 25 at Exit 27A in Bridgeport (quickest way to I-84 from southwest CT), the Merritt and Wilbur Cross Parkways at Exit 38 (via the Milford Parkway) in Milford, and Interstate 91 at Exit 48 in New Haven.
North (east) of I-91, the Turnpike continues along the Connecticut shoreline with a smaller amount of volume. The six-lane highway is reduced to four lanes in Branford, interchanges with Route 9 at Exit 69 in Old Saybrook, crosses the Connecticut River on the Raymond E. Baldwin Bridge in a concurrency with US 1, and continues until the interchange with Interstate 395 at Exit 76 near the East Lyme-Waterford line. After Exit 76, the Turnpike continues on I-395, while I-95 continues east through New London, Groton, Stonington, and North Stonington towards the Rhode Island state line.
Going southbound, the last exit before the Connecticut Turnpike segment is Exit 80 for Oil Mill Road. The first exit northbound is Exit 81 for Cross Road. Just before the Cross Road exit is a weigh station. The road then enters Waterford and intersects with Route 85 at Exit 82. Exit 82A northbound is for a Frontage Road of I-95 and has access to shopping malls. Exit 83 differs in each direction. Going southbound, Exit 83 is for US 1 South, the Frontage Road, and the shopping malls. Going northbound, however, Exit 83 is for Route 32 and downtown New London.
Exits 84S, 84N, and 84E, only going southbound, are for Route 32, Norwich, and downtown New London. Exit 85 is northbound only and is for US 1 North as it leaves a concurrency with I-95 over the Gold Star Bridge, which crosses the Thames River. Exit 86 is in both directions for Routes 12 and 184 in Groton. Accessible from Exit 86 is the Groton Sub Base. Exit 87 is for Route 349, also known as the Clarence B. Sharp Memorial Highway. A mile after Exit 87, Exit 88 leaves for Route 117 and Noank. Just short of three miles (5 km) later, I-95 enters Mystic and interchanges with Allyn Street at Exit 89 and Route 27 at Exit 90. Route 234 interchanges three miles (5 km) after Exit 90 at Exit 91. Exit 92 is for Routes 2 and 49. Route 2 East provides access to Route 78, which leads to the beaches of southwestern Rhode Island, while Route 2 West provides access to Foxwoods Casino. Exit 93 is the final exit before Rhode Island and is for Routes 216 and 184. Interstate 95 then enters Rhode Island after 111.57 miles (179.55 km).
Interstate 95 in Connecticut has far more exits than typical Interstate Highways, particularly in Fairfield and New Haven Counties, with some exits less than one mile (1.6 km) apart. State transportation officials have said that the reason for the many exits stems from the state's original justification for building parts of the highway — to ease traffic congestion on Route 1 by providing a faster alternate route, even for drivers traveling short distances within the same community. To overcome potential opposition to the highway from towns through which the route would traverse, the State of Connecticut agreed to guarantee each affected town a certain number of access points to the highway. Rather than skirting urban areas, the highway was built directly through the most dense sections of Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport, and New Haven.
While most of I-95 was built as the Connecticut Turnpike, the route incorporated several pieces of already-built relocations, some to freeway standards, of U.S. Route 1 (the Turnpike split from the US 1 relocation in East Lyme, along the Old Lyme-New London section):
- Darien bypass, opened ca. 1952
- New Haven east of the Quinnipiac River, opened ca. 1951
- Old Saybrook-Old Lyme Raymond E. Baldwin Bridge over the Connecticut River and approaches, opened 1948
- Old Lyme-New London, opened by 1950 as a two-lane road
- New London-Groton Gold Star Bridge over the Thames River and approaches, opened 1943
Other improvements in the corridor included the New York-Meriden Merritt Parkway/Wilbur Cross Parkway, New Haven-Old Saybrook Route 80, and Groton-Rhode Island Route 184, the latter connecting in Rhode Island to Route 3, a shortcut to Providence.
Most of the Turnpike opened January 2, 1958, and was designated I-95 south/west of the split with the relocated US 1 by 1959. The rest of I-95 from I-395 to the Connecticut-Rhode Island border opened December 12, 1964. The Gold Star Bridge was twinned circa 1975, along with a reconstruction of its approaches, and in 1993 the Raymond E. Baldwin Bridge was replaced with a wider span.
The state installed cameras to watch traffic along the highway in the early 1990s. As of 2007, about 100 cameras have been set up and are monitored by state police and the state Department of Transportation. In Fairfield County, local emergency responders (fire departments and ambulance services) that serve the highway in individual towns have asked for direct feeds from the cameras to avoid mistakes. When travelers report an accident, they sometimes tell authorities that it occurred near an exit that is actually not the nearest to the scene, slowing down response time. The traffic feed from the cameras is available on the World Wide Web, but the service can be spotty, according to the Stamford, Connecticut and Norwalk, Connecticut fire chiefs, who said they were hoping that a proposed $40 million upgrade of the camera system, under consideration by the state in 2007, would provide them access. Feeds from these cameras are also used by local media outlets, as part of traffic report segments in news programming, and in some instances as a part of a designated "Traffic and Weather" Channel.
In January 1983, a truck with a brake failure slammed into a line of cars waiting to pay a toll on I-95 in Stratford, Connecticut. Seven people were killed. This accident helped lead to the removal of toll barriers throughout Connecticut, which was completed six years after.
On the morning of June 28, 1983, a 100 foot (30 m) section of the Mianus River Bridge in Cos Cob collapsed, plunging northbound I-95 traffic into the Mianus River below, killing three. The collapse was blamed on the failure of the steel pins to hold the horizontal beams together and inadequate inspection prior to the collapse. Northbound traffic was diverted on this section of I-95 for 25 days. Southbound traffic was unaffected.
On March 26, 2004, a bridge on I-95 in Bridgeport, Connecticut was partly melted by the explosion of a tanker truck carrying over 11,900 gallons (45,000 L) of fuel oil. Repairs were estimated to take at least two weeks, but the highway was opened to northbound traffic in only a few days. Southbound traffic resumed about a week later after a temporary bridge was installed to carry traffic while the destroyed bridge was rebuilt.
At 10:20 AM on November 2, 2007, a tanker truck carrying heating oil plowed over the divider, knocking the side of a tractor trailer and striking several other cars in its path. Three people were killed, including the driver of the tanker and the occupants of two cars that were completely destroyed in the crash. The driver of the tractor trailer survived (his Pit Bull canine companion emerged completely unharmed) but the trailer was split open. At least three other cars were involved in this accident. A part of the road was damaged and took until the next morning to fully reopen, partly due to a cleanup after the accident.
While the corridor was designated "High Priority Corridor 65" in 2005, work along Interstate 95 in Connecticut has been ongoing for nearly 20 years.
- Replace the bridge over the Connecticut River in Saybrook (completed in 1993)
- Replace the bridge over the Saugatuck River in Westport (completed in 2001)
- Widening and reconstruction of I-95 through Bridgeport (completed in 2006)
- Upgrade the median divider from New York state line to Waterford to meet current safety standards (segmented construction ongoing since 1993)
- Construction of a new extradosed Q Bridge (Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge) over the Quinnipiac River (completed in 2015)
- Reconfiguring the interchange between I-91, I-95, and Route 34 in New Haven (completed in 2016)
- Replace bridge over the West River in New Haven (completed in June 2018). Exit 44, southbound, was closed in April 2015, and the remaining ramps at Exit 45, northbound, and southbound were realigned and renumbered Exit 44.
- Reconstruct I-95/I-395 interchange in Waterford to accommodate proposed Route 11 Expressway connection (proposed).
- Replacement of the Moses Wheeler Bridge over the Housatonic River (underway)
- Widening and reconstruction of I-95 between Norwalk and Stamford — in December 2007 a 15-month, $5.5 million project was completed to add fourth (or "operational") lanes in each direction between the entrances and exits at Exits 10 and 11 in Darien. This project was completed in 2007. A similar project between Exits 11 and 13 began in 2008 and was completed in 2010. An earlier project added a fourth lane on the southbound side from the entrance at Exit 10 to Exit 8. After that lane was added, a state Department of Transportation study concluded that accidents were down on that stretch of the highway by 20 percent, amounting to about 160 fewer accidents per year.
- Widen I-95 mainline from Branford to the Rhode Island state line (proposed)
- Adding an operational lane between exits 14 and 15 in Norwalk (completed in 2016)
- From 2011 to 2015, all 10 of the service plazas along I-95 were rebuilt (pairs of plazas are located in Darien, Fairfield, Milford, Branford, and Madison, with a separate plaza for each direction of I-95). All of the renovated plazas feature modernized Mobil gas stations, Alltown convenience stores, Dunkin Donuts, and Subway shops. McDonald's is also available at eight of the ten plazas, while the largest plazas additionally feature Sbarro, Panda Express and various other quick-service options. The last of the plazas to be rebuilt, southbound in Madison, opened in August 2015.
Mass transit upgradesEdit
These projects have been undertaken in large part to reduce traffic on the highway, which is often congested, particularly in Fairfield County:
- New train station near the Fairfield/Bridgeport city line (completed in 2011, fully operational in January 2012)
- Intermodal Transportation Center in Bridgeport (completed)
- New train station in West Haven (completed)
- Upgrade catenary power lines along the New Haven Line (underway through the 2010s)
- New train station in Madison
- Purchase new railroad cars and refurbish existing cars to increase capacity and reliability
- Construct new container barge ports at Bridgeport and New Haven
- Expansion of freight service on the New Haven Line
- Replace outdated bridges and straighten various sections of the New Haven Line to allow higher operating speeds for Amtrak and Metro-North trains
Exit numbers are currently sequential, but will be changed to mileage-based in the future.
|Fairfield||Greenwich||0.00||0.00||–||I-95 south (New England Thruway) to I-287 – New York City||Continuation into New York|
|0.80||1.29||2||Delavan Avenue – Byram|
|2.00||3.22||Former toll plaza|
|2.54||4.09||3||Arch Street – Greenwich|
|3.73||6.00||4||Indian Field Road – Cos Cob, Greenwich|
|Mianus River Bridge over the Mianus River|
|5.53||8.90||5||US 1 – Riverside, Old Greenwich, Mianus|
|Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
Southbound exit and northbound entrance
|7.34||11.81||7||To Route 137 north / Greenwich Avenue||Access via Washington Boulevard (SSR 493); southbound exit is via exit 8|
|Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
Southbound exit and northbound entrance
|9.28||14.93||9||US 1 / Route 106 – Glenbrook|
|Darien||10.75||17.30||10||Noroton||Access to Noroton Avenue via Hecker Avenue northbound, Ledge Road southbound|
|11.61||18.68||11||US 1 – Darien, Rowayton||Southbound entrance via Ledge Road|
|12.23||19.68||12||Route 136 (Tokeneke Road) – Rowayton||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|13.16||21.18||13||US 1 (Post Road)||Northbound entrance via Old Kings Highway|
|Norwalk||14.83||23.87||14||US 1 (Connecticut Avenue) – South Norwalk||Northbound exit via Fairfield Avenue, entrance via Scriber Avenue|
|15.50||24.94||15||US 7 north – Norwalk, Danbury||Southern terminus of US 7|
|Yankee Doodle Bridge over the Norwalk River|
|16.24||26.14||16||East Avenue – East Norwalk|
|18||29||Former toll plaza|
|Westport||18.14||29.19||17||Route 33 / Route 136 – Westport, Saugatuck|
|20.36||32.77||18||Sherwood Island Connector (SSR 476)||To US 1 and Sherwood Island State Park|
|19||US 1 (southbound) / Center Street (northbound) – Southport||Access via local roads|
|23.72||38.17||20||Bronson Road||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|24.38||39.24||21||Mill Plain Road|
|25.03||40.28||22||Round Hill Road / Service Plaza||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|25.22||40.59||Route 135 (North Benson Road)||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|25.73||41.41||23||US 1 (Kings Highway)|
|26.70||42.97||24||Black Rock Turnpike||Access via local roads|
|Bridgeport||27.44||44.16||25||Commerce Drive / State Street||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|27.66||44.51||Route 130 (Fairfield Avenue)||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|29.00||46.67||27||Lafayette Boulevard – Downtown Bridgeport||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|29.03||46.72||27A||Route 8 north / Route 25 north – Trumbull, Waterbury||Southern termini of Routes 8 and 25|
|29.15||46.91||27B||Lafayette Boulevard – Downtown Bridgeport||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|27C||Transportation Center, Long Island Ferry, Harbor Yard||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|P.T. Barnum Bridge over the Pequonnock River|
|29.87||48.07||28||Route 127 (East Main Street)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|30.19||48.59||29||Route 130 (Stratford Avenue) / Seaview Avenue||Access via Seaview Avenue|
|Bridgeport–Stratford line||31.07||50.00||30||Route 113 (Lordship Boulevard)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|31.30||50.37||Surf Avenue||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|31||Honeyspot Road /Stratford Avenue|
South Avenue /Stratford Avenue
|Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
Southbound exit and northbound entrance
|32.87||52.90||32||West Broad Street – Stratford|
|33||53||Former toll plaza|
|34.00||54.72||33||US 1 / Route 110 / Ferry Boulevard /East Main Street||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Moses Wheeler Bridge|
|New Haven||Milford||35.37||56.92||34||US 1 – Milford|
|35.85||57.69||35||School House Road / Sub Way / Bic Drive||To Subway headquarters|
|37.45||60.27||37||High Street||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|37.60||60.51||38||To Route 15 (Merritt Parkway / Wilbur Cross Parkway)||Access via Milford Parkway|
|39.13||62.97||39||US 1 – Downtown Milford, Orange||Signed as exits 39A (south) and 39B (north)|
|40.25||64.78||40||Old Gate Lane / Woodmont Road||No southbound signage for Old Gate Lane|
|Orange||41.80||67.27||41||Marsh Hill Road|
|West Haven||43.93||70.70||42||Route 162 (Saw Mill Road)|
|44||71||Former toll plaza|
|44.87||72.21||43||Campbell Avenue – Downtown West Haven||Northbound exit and southbound entrance; no commercial vehicles|
|45.19||72.73||Route 122 (First Avenue / SR 745)||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|New Haven||46.06||74.13||44||Route 10 north (Ella Grasso Boulevard)||Southern terminus of Route 10; former exit 45 southbound|
|46||Long Wharf Drive / Sargent Drive|
|47||MLK Boulevard – Downtown New Haven||Eastern terminus of Route 34 (no longer signed)|
|48||I-91 north – Hartford||Southern terminus of I-91|
|Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge over the Quinnipiac River|
|49.21||79.20||50||Woodward Avenue – Lighthouse Point||To Port Area and Route 337; northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|51||US 1 (Frontage Road) – East Haven||Southbound exit also signed for Lighthouse Point Park|
|50.53||81.32||52||Route 100 (North High Street) – East Haven||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|Branford||51||82||Former toll plaza|
|52.33||84.22||53||US 1 / Route 142 / Route 146 – Short Beach||Northbound exit and southbound entrance via Branford Connector (SR 794)|
|53.24||85.68||54||Cedar Street (SR 740) – Branford|
|55.19||88.82||55||US 1 (East Main Street) – North Branford|
|56.25||90.53||56||Leetes Island Road – Stony Creek|
|Guilford||59.32||95.47||57||US 1 (Boston Post Road) – North Branford|
|60.23||96.93||58||Route 77 – Guilford, North Guilford|
|61.49||98.96||59||Goose Lane (SR 718)|
|Madison||63||101||Former toll plaza|
|63.48||102.16||60||Mungertown Road||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|Madison service plaza|
|64.73||104.17||61||Route 79 – Madison, North Madison|
|66.43||106.91||62||Hammonasset State Park||Access via Hammonasset Connector (SSR 450)|
|Middlesex||Clinton||68.61||110.42||63||Route 81 – Clinton, Killingworth|
|Westbrook||70.78||113.91||64||Route 145 (Horse Hill Road) – Clinton|
|73.14||117.71||65||Route 153 – Westbrook|
|Old Saybrook||74.40||119.74||66||Route 166 (Spencer Plain Road)|
|67||Route 154 (northbound) / Elm Street (southbound) – Old Saybrook|
|68||US 1 south – Old Saybrook||Southern terminus of concurrency with US 1; southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|78.07||125.64||69||Route 9 north – Essex, Hartford||Southern terminus of Route 9|
|78||126||Former toll plaza|
|Raymond E. Baldwin Bridge|
|New London||Old Lyme||79.16||127.40||70||US 1 north / Route 156 – Old Lyme||Northern terminus of concurrency with US 1 (not signed southbound)|
|83.49||134.36||71||Four Mile River Road|
|East Lyme||84.02||135.22||72||Rocky Neck State Park||Access via Rocky Neck Connector (SSR 449)|
|87.28||140.46||74||Route 161 – Flanders, Niantic|
|88.05||141.70||75||US 1 – Waterford, Flanders|
|88.48||142.39||76||I-395 north – Norwich, Plainfield||Northbound exit and southbound entrance; southern terminus of I-395 (former Connecticut Turnpike routing); provides access to Mohegan Reservation|
|Waterford||88.73||142.80||80||Oil Mill Road||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|91.81||147.75||82||Route 85 (Broad Street) – Waterford|
|New London||92.26||148.48||82A||Frontage Roads (SR 623) – New London||Southbound exit is via exit 83; to Coast Guard Academy and Mitchell College|
|83||US 1 south / Frontage Roads (SR 624) – New London, Shopping Malls||Southern terminus of concurrency with US 1; southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|84N||Route 32 north – Norwich||Signed as exit 83 northbound|
|84E||State Pier, Hodges Square||Southbound exit and northbound entrance via William Street (SR 635)|
|84S||New London Waterfront District||Southbound exit and northbound entrance via Route 32 south|
|Gold Star Memorial Bridge|
|Groton||94.63||152.29||85||US 1 north / Thames Street – Downtown Groton||Northern terminus of concurrency with US 1; southbound exit is via exit 87|
|95.33||153.42||86||Route 12 north / Route 184 east – U.S. Sub Base, Gales Ferry||Southern terminus of Route 12 and western terminus of Route 184|
|95.98||154.46||87||Route 349 south (Clarence B. Sharp Highway) to US 1 north||No northbound signage for US 1; northern terminus of Route 349|
|97.50||156.91||88||Route 117 – Groton, Groton Long Point, Noank|
|100.07||161.05||89||Allyn Street (SR 614) – Noank, Groton Long Point|
|Stonington||101.31||163.04||90||Route 27 – Mystic Aquarium, Mystic Seaport|
|91||Route 234 / North Main Street – Stonington Borough|
|92||Route 2 / Route 49 – North Stonington, Pawcatuck||Provides access to RI 78 and the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation|
|111.35||179.20||93||Route 216 – Clarks Falls, Ashaway, RI|
|111.57||179.55||–||I-95 north – Providence||Continuation into Rhode Island|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- "Route Log - Main Routes of the Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways - Table 1". Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- Dixon, Ken (2 February 2017). "Commission approves study for I-95 widening in SW CT". Connecticut Post. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
- Ginocchio, Mark, "Local leaders want access to DOT cameras", The Advocate of Stamford, Connecticut, July 15, 2007, pp 1, A6
- Lucas, Jonathan, "I-95 lanes open in time for holidays: Project aims to ease congestion in Darien", article in 'The Advocate of Stamford, Connecticut, December 8, 2007, pp 1, A4, Norwalk edition