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Only a completist would drive Route 372 end to end; there are eight opportunities to get on a freeway to speed you along (84, 91, 72 twice, and 9 multiple times). Avoiding the freeways would take you through downtown Plainville, New Britain, Kensington, a complicated interchange at the Berlin Turnpike, and a busy commercial strip in Cromwell.

CT 372 History

Almost all of today's Route 372 follows an old alignment of Route 72. West Street in Cromwell is the exception; for a while it was Route 18, and in 1963 became unsigned SR 525.

72 becomes 372

On Nov. 22, 1978, Route 72 was completed through downtown New Britain, creating a continuous freeway from the Berlin Turnpike to I-84. Route 372 was designated along the old alignment: Corbin Avenue from Route 72 to Route 71A; and the Willow Brook Connector freeway from there to Route 72 (today's Route 9). Its length was about 2.8 miles.

On Nov. 6, 1980, a segment of Route 72 freeway opened in Plainville, and Route 372 was extended along former Route 72. Route 372 was now 7.51 miles long:

I believe Route 372 is the only state highway that was once signed on a freeway but no longer is.

On Dec. 21, 1989, an extension of Route 9 opened from I-91 in Cromwell to the Berlin Turnpike, at the start of the Route 72 freeway. Route 9 was extended along Route 72 into downtown New Britain, and in 1992 was extended to the stack interchange at I-84 in Farmington. Route 372 was then removed from the SR 571 freeway and extended along Farmington Avenue (an older Route 72 alignment), former Route 72 east of the Berlin Turnpike to Route 3 in Cromwell, and West Street to end at Route 99. (The DOT spreadsheet shows this designation change taking place in 1990.)

CT 372 Quotes

Route 372, formerly 72, was the topic of this state general assembly exchange, discussing a bill to name a section of highway:

JIM BURNES: ...In the second case, on 5423, the language of the bill and the heading of the bill are inconsistent in that the title suggests I-84. The language of the bill designates Route 372. I-84 again is already named as the Yankee expressway and a technical correction, Route 372 runs easterly from Plainville to Berlin, not the other direction. So, it's something that you might want to have the staff just look at. The second bill...excuse me, any questions? Those were just technical in nature.

SEN CIOTTO: You say I-84 has already been named, Jim?

JIM BURNES: Yes, it's the Yankee expressway by Special Act 166 of the 1961 General Assembly. From the New York State line to the Connecticut River in Hartford.

SEN. CIOTTO: (mike not on).

JIM BURNES: (laughter). Again, the language says Route 372, which is not an expressway. That's old Route 72. So we're not exactly sure what the intent is here.

SEN. CIOTTO: (mike not on).

JIM BURNES: Chester Bowles highway from 91 down, you know...that was 1978.

SEN. CIOTTO: (mike not on).

JIM BURNES: Find an unnamed section perhaps, yes.