Interstate 291

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Interstate 291 represents the northeastern leg of the Hartford Beltway system in central Connecticut. The short freeway spans the Connecticut River across the Bissell Bridge between Windsor and East Windsor. I-291 provides a bypass route of Hartford between I-84/384 at Manchester and I-91 at Windsor.

The Hartford Beltway was a grandiose plan to encircle the Connecticut Capital City with a loop freeway. Interstate 291 was to comprise three quarters of the route between I-84 east of the city, and I-91 south of the city. The southeastern leg of the beltway was to be numbered Interstate 491. However as costs and community opposition rose, only the northeastern portion of the bypass route was ever built.

Interstate 291 east
A look at the first eastbound reassurance marker of Interstate 291. The freeway begins at the junction with Interstate 91 and Connecticut 218 (Putnam Highway) within the city of Windsor. East from there Interstate 291 crosses over Connecticut 159 (Windsor Avenue). 08/09/04
A half diamond interchange joins Connecticut 159 (Windsor Avenue) with Interstate 291 just west of the Connecticut River. A second reassurance shield resides between the Windsor Avenue on-ramp and the Bissell Bridge. 08/09/04
Interstate 291 eastbound crosses the Connecticut River between the cities of Windsor and East Windsor. U.S. 5 (John Fitch Boulevard) meets the freeway at Exit 4 and Connecticut 30 (Ellington Road). The US highway travels north along Main Street in East Hartford to Ellington Road and John Fitch Boulevard in East Windsor. 08/09/04
One half mile west of the folded diamond interchange with U.S. 5 (Exit 4) on Interstate 291 east. U.S. 5 and Interstate 91 commingle throughout their respective routings between New Haven and Derby Line, Vermont. Within the Hartford area, U.S. 5 crosses the Charter Oak Bridge south of Downtown from East Hartford. 08/09/04
Traffic to U.S. 5 (John Fitch Boulevard) leaves Interstate 291 east at Exit 4. U.S. 5 and Connecticut 30 (Ellington Road) split just south of their interchange. Connecticut 30 arcs east to South Windsor and Interstate 84 at Exit 63. The state route continues northeast from there to Vernon and West Stafford. U.S. 5 meanwhile progress northward to East Windsor Hill and Warehouse Point. 08/09/04
Continuing eastbound along Interstate 291 between U.S. 5 (Exit 4) and Tolland Turnpike (Exit 5). Interstate 291 crosses into the Manchester city limits ahead of Exit 5 and the eastern terminus. 08/09/04
Nearing the half diamond interchange (Exit 5) with Tolland Turnpike on Interstate 291 east. Tolland Turnpike continues Tolland Street east from East Hartford to Manchester. The surface road passes The Shoppes at Buckland Hills mall en route to Main Street east of I-291. 08/09/04
Interstate 291 ends its final mile near the Burnham Street over crossing. The freeway ends at Interstate 84 two exits north of Interstate 384. Tolland Turnpike meanwhile ties into Interstate 291 in one half mile near Wickham Park and Buckland. 08/09/04
Drivers bound for Tolland Turnpike depart Interstate 291 east at the Batson Drive overpass. The southbound on-ramp meets Tolland Turnpike just west of the intersection with Chapel Road. Chapel Road stems north from Tolland Turnpike along Interstate 291 west to Burnham Street, Long Hill Road, and Connecticut 30 (Ellington Road). The westbound on-ramp from Tolland Turnpike departs from Chapel Road. 08/09/04
Interstate 291 eastbound partitions into ramps for Interstate 84 just south of the Tolland Turnpike under crossing. Interstate 84 westbound meets Interstate 384 (Exit 59) just southwest of Interstate 291.
Interstate 384 comprises an 11-mile freeway east through Manchester to Bolton Notch. The freeway spur was originally intended to carry Interstate 84 east on its planned route between Hartford and Providence, Rhode Island. 08/09/04
A set of reflectorized overheads precedes the Interstate 291 ramp split for Interstate 84 east and west. Interstate 84 follows the Wilbur Cross Highway northeast from Hartford to Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Travelers can continue east from the end at Interstate 90 along the Massachusetts Turnpike to the city of Boston. 08/09/04
Interstate 84 and 384 shield assembly posted at the Interstate 291 eastern terminus. A tri-level stack interchange joins the two freeways to the west of Downtown Manchester. Drivers using the westbound ramp can also access Spencer Street in addition to Interstate 384 east. 08/09/04
Continuing along the westbound ramp to I-84 from I-291 east at the split with the ramp to Interstate 384 east. Traffic from U.S. 44 (Middle Turnpike) west joins the ramp leading to the Interstate 84 mainline.
Interstate 84 west reaches Downtown East Hartford in 4.4 miles and Downtown Hartford in 5.4 miles. 07/24/00
Interstate 291 scenes
U.S. 5 (John Fitch Boulevard) north splits with Route 30 (Ellington Road) just ahead of a folded diamond interchange (Exit 5) with Interstate 291. 07/24/00
Former button copy sign on U.S. 5 north at the eastbound entrance ramp for I-291. The replacement sign stands across the four lane divided highway. 07/24/00

Photo Credits:

    07/24/00 by AARoads. 08/09/04 by AARoads and Carter Buchanan.

Connect with:
Interstate 84
Interstate 91

Page Updated 01-15-2015.

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