CT 175

Route 175 is an important east-west route in Newington and Wethersfield and offers a few points of interest to the roadgeek.

In the mid-1980s, the section between Route 9 and the Berlin Turnpike was widened to four lanes. Leaving downtown Newington heading east, there is a grade separation at Mountain Road (SSR 405). At the Berlin Turnpike, there is a 1940s-vintage six-ramp interchange.

CT 175 History

Route 175 was commissioned in 1932, along the following route, west to east:

Route 176 at the time followed Main Street throughout Newington, and overlapped Route 175 between Cedar Street and Hartford Avenue.

Around 1940 the north-south section of Route 175 was relocated to Wells Road, to end at the Silas Deane Highway in Wethersfield: its current alignment.

Widening an important arterial

For decades, Route 175 has served as a critical east-west route, with few alternatives between New Britain Avenue to the north, and the old Route 72 to the south. In the 1960s, it became apparent that the road, two lanes wide at the time, would have to be widened.

In 1967, State Sen. Paul Amenta submitted a bill asking for $2.5 million to widen the route between Stanley Street and Hawley Street (east of Route 176). Gov. Dempsey had already budgeted $1.3 million to fix a shorter segment, between today's Fenn Road and Maple Hill Avenue, including two narrow railroad overpasses. However, this plan would lay fallow for several years.

In the east side of Newington, Route 175 was significantly improved. On Oct. 21, 1968, a relocated segment of Route 175 opened in Newington and Wethersfield. The four-lane roadway lies to the north of the old alignment, which includes today's Patricia M. Genova Dr. and an abandoned section of former Route 175 leading up Cedar Mountain. The new roadway, with a safer, gentler curve up the ridge, also overpasses Mountain Road (SSR 405).

At some point between 1971 and 1975 the original widening plan was expanded so that Route 175 would be four lanes wide throughout Newington; but it was then cut back, so the four-lane section would only extend as far east to nearly reach Alumni Road. Local officials protested the plan, saying it would only create a bottleneck where the road narrowed. Town and state came to an agreement later, and public hearings were held in 1980 to discuss a continuous four-lane profile throughout Newington.

In November 1983, a bid was awarded to widen Route 175 for about 1.5 miles, from 400 feet west of Maple Hill Ave. to Hawley Street, completing the four-lane section. Work finished around 1985.

Until around 2004, in New Britain, Allen Street (and Route 175) took a little curve on the west side of the railroad tracks (now the CTFastrak busway) to meet East Street at Clayton Court. Now, Allen Street passes under the busway to meet East Street at a T-intersection, so Route 175 crosses under the busway twice. The new intersection is safer, though.

CT 175 Future

Berlin Turnpike interchange with Route 175Berlin Turnpike interchange with Routes 9 and 372, Berlin.

Residents near Route 9, where Route 175 is called Cedar Street, are calling for narrowing Route 175 to two lanes because they don't like the traffic.

In 1997, the Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) studied the Route 175 corridor, as well as the Berlin Turnpike in the area. Improvements considered include closing some curb cuts and eliminating some left-hand turns. In Wethersfield, where Wells Road traffic is projected to triple to 30,000 vehicles per day, the emphasis is on retaining the road's residential character.

Six proposals for modifying the interchange at Route 175 (see diagram) were rejected, among them a full cloverleaf deemed too massive for the area.

In early 2001, CRCOG released its summary of recommendations for Route 175. The proposed roadway improvements include adding turn lanes and fixing intersections. No traffic lanes would be added, except at intersections.

The most interesting proposal: modifying the interchange at the Berlin Turnpike into a single-point urban interchange (SPUI), and adding landscaping to create a "gateway" into Wethersfield and Newington.

CT 175 Sources