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The forum just turned ten years old! Where has all the time gone?

Author Topic: CT's Defunct I-86  (Read 2535 times)

Pete from Boston

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Re: CT's Defunct I-86
« Reply #25 on: November 26, 2017, 07:14:17 PM »

Although changing the I-86 designation between Hartford to Sturbridge back to I-84 was approved by AASHTO in mid-1984, signs weren't changed until early 1985.  I recall that MassDPW issued a press release announcing the change.  They also formally removed the MA 15 designation from the highway, with the result that the MA 15 shields on the signs at MassPike Interchange 9 were changed to US 20 shields - something I always found curious, as US 20 doesn't go to either Hartford or NY City.

And the road north (east) of Hartford was designated the Wilbur Cross Highway, not the Wilbur Cross Parkway.

I thought I had seen I-84 shields (re-)applied to the Wilbur Cross Highway in the '84 edition of the RmcN atlas; did not have the opportunity to drive on that highway until '89 (thus my extrapolation of the designation-change dates as preceding publication of that years' atlas).  Since I was also corrected on the actual name of the facility -- and didn't have any personal experience prior to the rebuilding/expansion of the highway -- was there any quantitative difference in standards, geometry, or details between the Wilbur Cross Parkway and Highway prior to the reconstruction east of Hartford?  I have driven on the Wilbur Cross Parkway (the same trip that ended up on the "Highway" portion) and noted that, in terms of physical standards, seemed similar to the Merritt Parkway close to that highway, but as it progressed NE, it began to "open up" with wider medians and more convention interchanges.  Just wondering what it looked like heading up into MA in its early days!

There were still pit latrines at the "rest areas" on the pre-reconstruction Rte 15/I-86 in the early/mid seventies as i recall.   The bridges (overpasses) in the extreme NE Connecticut stretch appear to have been replaced prior to the mid seventies-mid eighties overhaul.  Possibly mid sixties.   

Question to anyone who may know:  were the original bridges (pre first replacement in the '60's) on the Cross Highway/CT 15 in NE CT similar to the brick/stone structures found on the Merritt and the lower (SW) segments of the Cross Parkway?  If so, and any historic pix are available, that would be pretty neat!

"Original" is a tough call, but the pre-1984 overpasses in Manchester and Vernon were not.


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