U.S. Route 5 in Connecticut

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U.S. Route 5

U.S. Route 5 is highlighted in red.
Route information
Maintained by CTDOT
Length54.59 mi[1] (87.85 km)
Historydesignated Route 2 in 1922
Major junctions
South end I-91 in New Haven
Major intersections
North end US 5 at the Massachusetts state line in Enfield
CountryUnited States
CountiesNew Haven, Hartford
Highway system
  • Connecticut State Highway System
Route 4 US 5A

U.S. Route 5 (US 5), a north–south United States Numbered Highway that is generally paralleled by Interstate 91 (I-91), begins at the city of New Haven in Connecticut and heads north through western Massachusetts and eastern Vermont to the international border with Canada. Within Connecticut, US 5 proceeds north from New Haven and passes through Meriden and Hartford toward Springfield, Massachusetts.

US 5 begins at exit 5 of I-91 northeast of Downtown New Haven, heading north through the suburbs of New Haven. It crosses the Quinnipiac River in North Haven, shifting eastward to a different road. US 5 continues north through the town of Wallingford before entering the city of Meriden. North of Meriden, it becomes a four-lane expressway known as the Berlin Turnpike, where a long overlap with Route 15 also begins. US 5 continues through the southern suburbs of Hartford along the Berlin Turnpike, shifting just south of the city line to the Wilbur Cross Highway, a freeway. The Wilbur Cross Highway bypasses Downtown Hartford and crosses the Connecticut River on the Charter Oak Bridge into East Hartford. From here, US 5 exits the Wilbur Cross Highway and runs along a four-lane, divided surface road to South Windsor before returning to a two-lane road the rest of the way to the Massachusetts state line in Enfield.

US 5 roughly follows the route used by the Upper Post Road, an early colonial highway for transporting mail between New York City and Boston. The route was first improved in 1798 as the Hartford and New Haven Turnpike, which ran in a nearly straight line between the court houses of New Haven and Hartford. In 1922, the Upper Boston Post Road corridor was designated as Route 2 of the New England road marking system, crossing to the east of the Connecticut River in Hartford before continuing north to the Massachusetts state line. In 1926, Route 2 was redesignated as US 5. Several realignments have been made in the cities of New Haven and Hartford with the opening of several expressways in these areas. Because it is closely paralleled by I-91 between New Haven and Hartford, US 5 serves mainly as a secondary route today.

Route description

New Haven County

US 5 begins on State Street at exit 5 of I-91 in New Haven. State Street continues southwest into downtown as a local, unnumbered street. US 5 starts out as an undivided four-lane road, becoming two lanes just before crossing into Hamden. State Street continues north through Hamden and the industrial section of North Haven, closely paralleling the Amtrak railroad tracks on the west side of the Quinnipiac River. It has an interchange with Route 40 in this area. US 5 then turns right at the intersection with Bishop Street in North Haven and crosses the Quinnipiac River, the railroad tracks, and I-91 (at exit 11) overlapped with Route 22 on a four-lane wide road.[1][2]

The bridge ends at a four-way intersection where US 5 turns left on Washington Avenue, Route 22 continues straight on Clintonville Road, and Route 103 begins on the right along Washington Avenue. The four-lane Washington Avenue runs through the commercial areas of North Haven still paralleling the railroad tracks, crosses under I-91 (at exit 12) and continues into Wallingford as South Colony Street. At the town line is Wharton Brook State Park, just north of which is a short expressway connector (Wharton Brook Connector) to I-91 (at exit 13). South Colony Street narrows to two lanes within Wallingford Center.[1][2]

After crossing Center Street (Route 150) near Wallingford station, the road becomes North Colony Street and heads out of the town center. The road crosses Route 68 at a one-quadrant interchange about two miles (3.2 km) later, followed by a series of junctions about half a mile (0.80 km) apart each: an interchange with the Wilbur Cross Parkway (at exit 66), a split to the left where Route 71 begins and a merge from the left where Route 150 ends.[1][2]

South end of the overlap between Route 15 and US 5. US 5 is signed as an unnumbered exit indicating "To I-691, Route 66"

At the merge with Route 150 just before the town line, US 5 then follows South Broad Street (the alignment of the old Hartford and New Haven Turnpike) into the city of Meriden. South Broad Street becomes Broad Street after the intersection with Hall Avenue as it passes by the eastern part of the city, avoiding the downtown area. Past Olive Street, the road becomes divided with a wide grassy median. At the north end of the divided section, it has an intersection with East Main Street, the main east–west business route through the city. About 0.7 miles (1.1 km) north of East Main Street, US 5 has an interchange with I-691 (at exit 8). At the intersection with Brittania Street, the road becomes North Broad Street, which climbs up on a slope as it meets with the north end of the Wilbur Cross Parkway. The northbound roadway overpasses the parkway and then merges onto it from the right. This is the beginning of a 15-mile (24 km) overlap with Route 15. Southbound at the beginning of the parkway, US 5 is signed as an exit (with no number) from the main roadway. North Broad Street continues north from the merge as a divided four-lane surface road for another 1.1 miles (1.8 km) up to the Berlin town line, where the road becomes the Berlin Turnpike.[1][2]

Hartford County

North end of the Route 15/US 5 overlap on the Wilbur Cross Highway

US 5 and Route 15 run for 10 miles (16 km) along the Berlin Turnpike within the towns of Berlin, Newington, and Wethersfield. The Berlin Turnpike is mostly a four-lane expressway with some six-lane sections and is the alignment of the old Hartford and New Haven Turnpike. In Berlin, it has an interchange with the Route 9 freeway. In Wethersfield, Route 5 and Route 15 leave the Berlin Turnpike to travel along the Wilbur Cross Highway, an expressway bypass along the south of Downtown Hartford. The Wilbur Cross Highway runs through Wethersfield and Hartford, then crosses the Connecticut River into East Hartford on the Charter Oak Bridge. Just prior to the river crossing in Hartford, the Wilbur Cross Highway runs parallel to and interconnects with I-91 near the vicinity of Hartford–Brainard Airport. Just after the crossing, US 5 exits from the Wilbur Cross Highway on exit 90, ending the long overlap with Route 15. US 5 continues north to East Hartford center along Main Street.[1][3]

From East Hartford northward to the Massachusetts state line, US 5 runs along the east bank of the Connecticut River. Main Street in East Hartford is mostly a four-lane divided surface road. It crosses under I-84 about 0.5 miles (0.80 km) north of the split with Route 15 with access to the westbound direction only. Main Street continues through the town center, intersecting (and briefly overlapping) US 44. North of the town center, US 5 leaves Main Street to go on Ellington Road (via a short segment of King Street) until the South Windsor town line, where the road becomes known as John Fitch Boulevard (a four-lane expressway). About half a mile (0.80 km) further north, US 5 has an interchange with I-291 (at exit 4) that also includes access to Route 30, the main road to the South Windsor town center. John Fitch Boulevard continues through the rest of South Windsor, passing through the village of East Windsor Hill near the East Windsor town line.[1][4]

After crossing into the town of East Windsor, the roadway becomes two lanes wide with auxiliary left turn lanes and is known as South Main Street. It intersects with Route 191 (Phelps Street), which leads to the East Windsor town center. About half a mile (0.80 km) north of this junction, US 5 leaves Main Street to go on Prospect Hill Road, bypassing the Warehouse Point area. There is also a partial interchange with I-91 in this area (at exit 44). Just south of the Enfield town line, US 5 intersects with Route 140, which crosses the Connecticut River into the town of Windsor Locks and Bradley International Airport.[1][4]

In Enfield, the road becomes known as King Street, crossing over I-91 with a full interchange (exit 46). As it approaches the town center, the road becomes known as Enfield Street. It has a grade-separated intersection with Route 190 in this area. Just before going across the state line, US 5 crosses over I-91 again (at exit 49) and becomes Longmeadow Street as it enters the town of Longmeadow, Massachusetts.[1][4]


The Upper Post Road was established in 1673 between New York City and Boston via New Haven, Hartford, Springfield, and Worcester. From New Haven to Hartford, it ran at various times via Middletown (now roughly Route 17 and Route 99) and via Meriden (now very roughly US 5). North of Hartford, the road remained on the west side of the Connecticut River, following the general path of present Route 159.[5]

Along this route between New Haven and Hartford, the Hartford and New Haven Turnpike was chartered in 1798 and opened in 1799, beginning at Grove Street in New Haven and leaving on Whitney Avenue, passing via Meriden and Berlin, and entering Hartford on Maple Avenue. This was one of the first turnpikes to be built on a straight line rather than along existing roads.[6]

In the 1910s, Connecticut and Massachusetts adopted a system of marking major roads by colors. The route from New Haven to Springfield, crossing the Connecticut River at Hartford, was marked with blue bands, signifying a major north–south route. This route crossed the Quinnipiac River in New Haven, heading north along an old road (now Route 103 and US 5) to Tracy, crossing the turnpike and running through downtown Meriden on Old Colony Road, Cook Avenue, and Colony Street. It then used the turnpike alignment from Lamentation State Park into Hartford. From East Hartford north to Springfield, another older road was used.[7]

New England Route 2 shield

When the New England road marking system was adopted in 1922, Route 2 was assigned to a route from New Haven north via Hartford and Springfield toward Sherbrooke, Quebec. This route followed the older blue-banded route from New Haven north to Hartford. At Hartford, Route 2 crossed the Connecticut River on the Bulkeley Bridge and ran north from East Hartford to Springfield on the east side of the river.[8][9]

US 5 was designated in 1926 along the Route 2 alignment.[10] Between 1926 and 1932, US 5 and Route 2 were cosigned throughout the length of the route.[11] In the 1932 state highway renumbering, the Route 2 designation was removed, leaving only the US 5 designation. Only a small number of changes have been made since then, the most prominent being in the cities of New Haven and Hartford.

US 5 initially used Temple Street, Whitney Avenue, Edwards Street, and upper State Street in New Haven, beginning at US 1 (Chapel Street).[12] By the 1940s, it had been moved onto a bypass of the downtown area, consisting of Edwards Street, Hillside Place, Munson Street, Henry Street, Sherman Avenue, Winthrop Avenue, and Davenport Avenue, ending at US 1 west of downtown. At the time, it still crossed the river on Middletown Avenue; the route leaving to the north on State Street was signed as an alternate route.[13] The main and alternate routes were swapped by the mid-1950s, and US 5 was sent down East Street to US 1. (The alternate is now Route 103.) The old bypass became extensions of Route 80 and Route 10[14] but is now unnumbered. The final changes truncated US 5 to I-91 when I-91 opened in 1966 in New Haven[15] and relocated US 5 to the new Route 22 connector across I-91 in North Haven in 1973, leaving the old route on Broadway as unsigned State Road 729.[16]

In Hartford, the original alignment of US 5 entered the city on Maple Avenue and made its way to the Bulkeley Bridge via Main Street, Central Row, and Columbus Boulevard.[12] The route was shifted slightly eastward to Wyllys Street and Columbus Boulevard by 1941.[17] The opening of the Charter Oak Bridge and Hartford Bypass on September 5, 1942[18] led to US 5 bypassing downtown Hartford on its current alignment; US 5 Alternate, an alternate route on the west side of the Connecticut River to Springfield, was extended south along Main Street to the beginning of the bypass.[19]

In the early 1940s, several sections of US 5 in the Hartford area were upgraded to four-lane boulevards. The Berlin Turnpike segment was reconstructed as a four-lane expressway, with several segments also straightened out. In East Hartford and South Windsor, a new four-lane expressway, John Fitch Boulevard, was also constructed. Both of these roadways opened in 1942.[20] In 1948, Route 15 was designated on the Berlin Turnpike and Hartford Bypass segments of US 5 in order to connect the Merritt Parkway and Wilbur Cross Parkway to the Wilbur Cross Highway, providing a continuous high-speed route between New York and Massachusetts.[21]

Special designations

Many sections of various state highways in Connecticut have commemorative designations for various veterans organizations or groups, as well as military servicemembers and Connecticut state troopers killed in the line of duty. In the case of US 5, most of its non-expressway alignment except for the Berlin Turnpike has been given a commemorative designation by the Connecticut General Assembly over the years. The following segments of US 5 have such designations:

  • The portion from the Hamden–North Haven town line to Devine Street (SR 720) in North Haven is also known as the "Korean War Veterans Chapter 204 Memorial Highway".[22]
  • The portion from Devine Street (SR 720) to Bishop Street in North Haven is also known as the "VFW Post 10128 Memorial Highway".[22]
  • The Route 5/Route 22 connector between State Street and Washington Avenue in North Haven is also known as the "Officer Timothy W. Laffin Memorial Highway". Timothy Laffin was a North Haven Police officer who lost his life in a motor vehicle accident while pursuing a wanted suspect.[23]
  • South Colony Street in Wallingford, running from the North Haven–Wallingford town line to Route 150 in Wallingford Center, is also known as the "American Legion Shaw-Sinon Post 73 Memorial Highway".[24]
  • South Broad Street from the northern Route 150 junction in Wallingford to the Meriden town line is also known as the "VFW Connecticut Ladies Auxiliary Highway".[25]
  • The portion from the I-84 junction in East Hartford to the East Windsor–Enfield town line is also known as the "Purple Heart Highway".[26]

Junction list

New HavenNew Haven0.000.00
I-91 south / I-95 – New London, New York City
Southern terminus; exit 1E on I-91
North Haven4.667.50Dixwell Avenue (SR 717)
4.747.63 Route 40 (Bailey Road) / I-91 – Hartford, New Haven, Mount Carmel, CheshireExit 1D on Route 40
4.817.74Devine Street (SR 720)
5.699.16Broadway (SR 729)Old US 5 and Route 22
Route 22 west (Bishop Street) – Mount Carmel
South end of Route 22 overlap
I-91 south – New Haven
Exit 7 on I-91

Route 22 east (Clintonville Road) / Route 103 south (Washington Avenue) – Clintonville, Montowese
North end of Route 22 overlap
7.1911.57 I-91 – Hartford, New HavenExit 8 on I-91
Wallingford9.4015.13Wharton Brook Connector (SR 702)Connects to exit 10 on I-91
11.4218.38 Route 150 – Yalesville, Northford
13.5821.85 Route 68 (Church Street) – Cheshire, DurhamOne-quadrant interchange
13.9622.47 Route 15 (Wilbur Cross Parkway) – Hartford, New HavenExit 66 on Wilbur Cross Parkway
Route 71 north (Old Colony Road) – Meriden
Old US 5A
Route 150 south (Broad Street) – Yalesville

I-691 to I-84 / Route 66 east – Middletown, Waterbury
Exit 2A on I-691
19.3031.06South end of expressway section

Route 15 south (Wilbur Cross Parkway) to I-91 south – New Haven
Interchange; south end of Route 15 / Berlin Turnpike overlap; south end of Berlin Turnpike; southbound exit and northbound entrance
Route 9 / Route 372 – Middletown, New Britain, East Berlin, KensingtonInterchange; exits 31-32 on Route 9; southbound access to Route 372 via Worthington Ridge Road (SR 572)
Route 160 east – Rocky Hill
Route 173 north – West Hartford
Route 176 west – Newington
Route 287 west – Newington
South end of Route 287 overlap
Route 287 east – Wethersfield
North end of Route 287 overlap
Wethersfield29.3847.28 Route 175 – Newington, New Britain, WethersfieldInterchange
Route 314 east (Berlin Turnpike) to Maple Avenue
Interchange; north end of Berlin Turnpike overlap; northbound exit and southbound entrance; southern end of freeway section
Route 99 south – Wethersfield, Rocky Hill
Exit numbers follow Route 15

I-91 / Brainard Road / Airport Road to I-84 west – New Haven, New York City, Hartford, Springfield
Signed as exits 86 (I-91 south), 87 (Brainard) and 89 (I-91 north); no southbound access to I-91 north; exits 35B-36 on I-91
Connecticut River33.97–
Charter Oak Bridge
East Hartford34.3655.3090

Route 15 north (Wilbur Cross Highway) to I-84 east – Boston
North end of Route 15 overlap
Route 2 / East River Drive – NorwichExit 1D on Route 2; northbound exit and entrance
North end of expressway section
East River Drive Extension (SR 502 west)South end of SR 502 overlap (southbound only)
35.1456.55Silver Lane (SR 502 east)North end of SR 502 overlap (southbound only)
I-84 west (US 6 west) – Hartford
Interchange; northbound exit only; no access to I-84 east

US 44 west (Connecticut Boulevard) to I-91 north / I-84 west – Hartford
South end of US 44 overlap
US 44 east (Burnside Avenue) – Manchester
North end of US 44 overlap
South Windsor38.6362.17
Route 30 east (Ellington Road) – Rockville, Ellington
I-291 to I-84 – Manchester, Windsor
Exit 2 on I-291
Route 194 east (Sullivan Avenue) – South Windsor, Manchester
East Windsor44.9672.36
Route 191 east (Phelps Road) – Broad Brook, Melrose
46.4774.79Main Street (SR 510)
46.7375.20 I-91 – Hartford, SpringfieldExit 50 on I-91
47.7576.85 Route 140 (Bridge Street / North Road) – Bradley International Airport, Windsor Locks, Ellington, Broad Brook
Enfield48.6078.21Depot Hill Road (SR 510)Old Route 20
49.3179.36 I-91 – Hartford, SpringfieldExit 52 on I-91
51.9883.65Frew Terrace (SR 515)
Route 190 (Hazard Avenue) to I-91 – Suffield, Hazardville
Access via SR 514 and SR 515
52.0983.83Franklin Street (SR 514)
Route 220 east (Elm Street) – E. Longmeadow MA
Old Route 190
54.2587.31 I-91 – Hartford, SpringfieldExit 57 on I-91
US 5 north – Longmeadow, Springfield
Massachusetts state line
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Highway Log: Connecticut State Numbered Routes And Roads" (PDF). Connecticut Department of Transportation. December 31, 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 8, 2014. Retrieved February 16, 2023. {{cite web}}: |archive-date= / |archive-url= timestamp mismatch; October 8, 2018 suggested (help)
  2. ^ a b c d Google (2008-04-09). "overview map of US 5 south of Meriden" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2008-04-09.
  3. ^ Google (2008-04-09). "overview map of US 5 from Meriden to Hartford" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2008-04-09.
  4. ^ a b c Google (2008-04-09). "overview map of US 5 north of Hartford" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2008-04-09.
  5. ^ S. Jenkins, The Old Boston Post Road (G.P. Putnam and Sons, New York and London, 1914)
  6. ^ Frederic James Wood, The Turnpikes of New England and Evolution of the Same Through England, Virginia, and Maryland, 1919, pp. 349-351, 386-387
  7. ^ Porter E. Sargent, A Handbook of New England, 1916, pp. 65, 106-130
  8. ^ New York Times, Motor Sign Uniformity, April 16, 1922, page 98
  9. ^ Rand McNally, Tydol Trails: New England Trails Road Marking System and Color Band Routes, 1922
  10. ^ Bureau of Public Roads & American Association of State Highway Officials (November 11, 1926). United States System of Highways Adopted for Uniform Marking by the American Association of State Highway Officials (Map). 1:7,000,000. Washington, DC: United States Geological Survey. OCLC 32889555. Retrieved November 7, 2013 – via Wikimedia Commons.
  11. ^ Automobile Legal Association Green Book, 1931/32 edition, (Scarborough Motor Guide Co., Boston, 1931)
  12. ^ a b Automobile Blue Book, Vol. 1, 1927 (Automobile Blue Books Inc., New York, 1927).
  13. ^ U.S. Geological Survey, New Haven, 1943/1947
  14. ^ U.S. Geological Survey, New Haven, 1949/1954
  15. ^ "Rte. I-91 opened in to New Haven", Hartford Times, 1966-01-06
  16. ^ National Bridge Inventory Database: Structure No. 2648
  17. ^ Connecticut Department of Transportation, 1941 official highway map
  18. ^ New York Times, Hartford Opens Charter Oak Span, September 6, 1942, page 30
  19. ^ U.S. Geological Survey, Hartford North, 1943/1945
  20. ^ "Scott Oglesby, Connecticut Roads, US 5". Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  21. ^ Larry Larned, Route 15: The Road to Hartford, (Arcadia, 2002)
  22. ^ a b "Connecticut General Assembly, Public Act 03-115". Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  23. ^ "Connecticut General Assembly, Public Act 05-210". Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  24. ^ "Connecticut General Assembly, Public Act 01-105". Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  25. ^ "Connecticut General Assembly, Public Act 07-232". Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  26. ^ "State roads and bridges with names commemorating veterans organizations or groups". Retrieved 6 October 2014.

External links

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