Wilbur Cross Parkway

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Wilbur Cross Parkway

Map of New Haven County in southern Connecticut with Wilbur Cross Parkway highlighted in red
Route information
Length29.22 mi[1] (47.03 km)
Route 15 from Milford to Meriden
A Map of the Merritt Parkway Merritt Parkway
RestrictionsNo commercial vehicles, trailers, towed vehicles, buses, or hearses south of Interstate 91[2]
Major junctions
South end Route 15 / Merritt Parkway / Milford Parkway in Milford
Major intersections
North end US 5 / Route 15 (Berlin Turnpike) in Meriden
CountryUnited States
CountiesNew Haven
Highway system
  • Connecticut State Highway System

The Wilbur Cross Parkway (also known locally as "The Merritt" in conjunction with its counterpart) is a limited access road in Connecticut, comprising the portion of Route 15 between Milford and Meriden. It is named after Wilbur Lucius Cross, a former governor of the state (1931–1939).

Commercial vehicles, trailers, towed vehicles (except as provided in Connecticut state law Section 14.298.240),[3] buses, hearses, and large vehicles are prohibited from using the parkway.[2] The Wilbur Cross Parkway had two toll barriers located in Milford and Wallingford until 1988, which now serve as service plazas.

Route description

Traveling Wilbur Cross Parkway north toward Exit 59 and the West Rock Tunnel, dubbed "Heroes Tunnel" by the Connecticut legislature in 2003
The tunnel is the only route through a natural obstacle in Connecticut

The four-lane Wilbur Cross Parkway begins as a direct continuation of the Merritt Parkway at the Sikorsky Bridge over the Housatonic River at the town line between Milford and Stratford. Immediately after is the exit for the Milford Parkway, which connects to the Connecticut Turnpike (I-95) and the Boston Post Road (US 1). The Wilbur Cross Parkway runs northeast through the towns of Milford, Orange, Woodbridge, and New Haven. At the town line between New Haven and Hamden, the parkway passes through the West Rock Tunnel, which was renamed "Heroes Tunnel" in 2003 by the State of Connecticut to honor first responders. The only road tunnel through a natural obstacle in New England, it is lighted solely using low pressure sodium vapor lamps, rare in the United States. The parkway proceeds north through the towns of Hamden, North Haven, Wallingford, and Meriden. After connecting with I-91 in Meriden, the parkway ends, merging onto North Broad Street (US 5). North of Meriden, Routes 5 and 15 continue as the Berlin Turnpike.

Reflecting its history as a toll road, two pairs of service plazas lie opposite one-another along the parkway in Orange and North Haven. All were renovated since 2011, along with six further south on the Merritt Parkway. In addition to gas pumps and an Alltown convenience store at each plaza, they now include Dunkin' Donuts and Subway shops.[4] Prior to the renovations, no fast-food service had been available at any of the plazas. Three abandoned rest areas remain along the Parkway, in Woodbridge, New Haven, and Meriden.


The Wilbur Cross Parkway was originally planned in 1937 as route from US 1 in Milford to the Massachusetts state line in Union. The portion of the parkway south of Meriden was built largely as planned. Construction began in 1939 when federal funds were secured. The first section of the parkway to open was the Milford to Orange segment, from the Housatonic River (Exit 54) to Route 34 (Exit 57-58) at the end of 1941. Subsequent construction was delayed by World War II. After the war, two more sections of the parkway opened: the segment from US 5 in Wallingford (Exit 66) to US 5 in Meriden (Exit 68), bypassing the city center opened in 1946; and the segment from Route 10A in Hamden (Exit 61) to US 5 in Wallingford opened in 1947.

In 1948, the parkway was designated as part of a new Route 15, connecting New York to Massachusetts. Because the New Haven segment had not yet been completed, motorists were directed to temporarily follow Route 34, US 5, and Route 10A. In November 1949, the New Haven segment, from Exit 57-58 to Exit 61, including the West Rock Tunnel opened. The entire parkway was a toll road when it opened in 1941. Tolls were removed from both the Merritt and Wilbur Cross Parkways in 1988.

Exit list

Mileposts and exit numbers listed below continue from the Merritt Parkway.

The entire route is in New Haven County.

Locationmi[1]kmOld exitNew exitDestinationsNotes

Route 15 south / Merritt Parkway south – New York City
Route 15 continues south as the Merritt Parkway into Fairfield County

To I-95 / US 1 – Milford, New London
Access via Milford Parkway
55A38AWheelers Farms RoadSigned as exit 55 (38) southbound
55B38BWolf Harbor RoadNorthbound exit only
Orange41.3266.505641 Route 121 – Orange
57-5842 Route 34 – New Haven, DerbyCloverleaf interchange; signed as exits 57 (42A) (east) and 58 (42B) (west)
New Haven46.57–
5946 Route 69 / Route 63 – New Haven, Woodbridge
Heroes Tunnel (formerly West Rock Tunnel)
Hamden50.0080.476050 Route 10 – Hamden, New HavenNo northbound signage for New Haven
51.7283.246151Whitney Avenue – Hamden, New HavenSigned for Hamden exit 61 (51) northbound and 62 (52) southbound, New Haven exit 61 (51) southbound
6252Dixwell AvenueNorthbound exit and entrance
North Haven53.4586.026353 Route 22 – North Haven
Wallingford58.1793.626458AWallingfordNo Northbound entrance; access via South Turnpike Road / Quinnipiac Street
58.5594.236558B Route 150 – Yalesville
6661 US 5 – Wallingford, Meriden
Meriden63.02101.4262ConnDOT Maintenance FacilityAlso serves Miller Avenue
I-91 south – New Haven, New York City
Southbound exit and northbound entrance; exit 17 on (I-91) north; commercial vehicles must exit southbound
64.33103.5367W64BEast Main StreetSigned as exit 67 (64A) northbound

I-91 north / Route 66 east – Hartford, Middletown
Northbound exit and southbound entrance, signed as exits 68N (I-91) north and 68E (Route 66) east
I-691 west – Meriden, Waterbury
No southbound exit; exits 1B-C on I-691

Route 15 north / US 5 north (Berlin Turnpike)
Continuation north
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b State of Connecticut Department of Transportation (2012). "2012 Traffic Volumes, State Maintained Highway Network" (PDF). pp. 43–45. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "27862 Registering a Pick-up Truck with Passenger Plates". Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  3. ^ "Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies" (PDF). CT DMV. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  4. ^ "Rest Areas and Information Centers on Connecticut Highways". Connecticut Department of Transportation. Retrieved September 15, 2016.

External links