In 1994, the Federal Government identified a network of important regional routes as the National Highway System, or NHS. These routes can range from cross-country interstate highways to short connecting two-lane routes.
NHS routes are eligible for 80/20 funding (80% federal funds matching 20% state funds). The guidelines are more flexible than those for interstate funding: funds can be applied to transit, ridesharing, or other transportation projects in the corridor.
For more NHS information, see the Public Roads Spring 1996 issue, or Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) information.
Connecticut's highways in the National Highway System are:
- All interstate routes: I-84, I-91, I-95, I-291, I-384, I-395, I-684, I-691.
- US 5, East Hartford center to I-91 at East Windsor.
- US 6, from I-84 in Farmington to CT 8 in Thomaston.
- US 6, from I-384 in Bolton to the Rhode Island state line.
- US 7, from US 44 to the Massachusetts state line.
- US 7, from New Milford to Norwalk.
- US 44, from Hartford to the New York state line.
- US 202, from US 44 in Canton to US 7 in New Milford (overlaps with I-84, US 7, US 44, and CT 10 are effectively included).
- CT 2, entire length.
- CT 2A, between I-395 and CT 12.
- CT 3, between CT 2 and I-91 (Putnam Bridge and approaches).
- CT 8, from I-95 in Bridgeport to US 44 in Winchester.
- CT 9, entire length.
- CT 10 and CT 40, from I-91 to the Massachusetts state line.
- CT 11, CT 82, and CT 85, from Colchester to New London.
- CT 12, from Norwich to Groton.
- CT 15, entire length.
- CT 20 and SSR 401, from I-91 to Bradley International Airport.
- CT 25 and SSR 490, from Bridgeport to Newtown.
- CT 32, from Willimantic to CT 2 in Norwich.
- CT 32, from SR 693 in Montville to New London.
- CT 34, from New Haven to CT 8 in Derby.
- CT 72, from CT 9 to US 6 in Plymouth.
- SR 695 (north end of CT Turnpike between I-395 and US 6, Killingly), entire length.
US 7 from New Milford to Canaan is not included in the system (a conspiracy against the town of Kent? :-). This omission evokes parallels to US 7's early years, when it spurned the area for New York's Route 22 corridor until about 1929. Although mid-20th century planners once proposed a freeway along its entire route, US 7 north of New Milford is now known more for scenery and antique shops than access to strategic areas.
Why Routes 32 and 12, serving both banks of the short Thames River? Probably because Route 12 serves submarine facilities and a Navy training area, and Route 32 serves the Coast Guard Academy (and connects New London to I-395).
SSR 490 in Newtown has been upgraded to eventually connect Route 25 to Interstate 84's Exit 11, now that full freeway plans for 25 have been scrapped.
Finally, I confess mild surprise that CT 74 and US 44 are not included as a northern route
to Rhode Island. US 6 shoulders that burden alone.
sources Sources Sources
- Department of Transportation, State of Connecticut. "1998-2020 Long-Range Transportation Plan." Newington, Conn.; ConnDOT, 1998.