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 0.53 mile long ramp links Route 218 (Putnam Highway) with the eastbound beginning of Interstate 291 at I-91. 05/30/22
Mile marker zero for Interstate 291 appears where the ramps from Route 218 and I-91 south converge. 05/30/22
The first confirming marker for Interstate 291 precedes Route 159 (Windsor Avenue) and the half diamond interchange (Exit 3) with Deerfield Road. 05/30/22
Interstate 291 spans AMTRAK ahead of the Caption John Bissell Memorial Bridge crossing the Connecticut River. 05/30/22
The Connecticut River separates the towns of Windsor and South Windsor. 05/30/22
U.S. 5 (John Fitch Boulevard) meets Interstate 291 at Exit 4 and Route 30 (Ellington Road) at half mile north of the East Hartford town line. 05/30/22
U.S. 5 and Interstate 91 commingle northward from New Haven to the Canadian border at Derby Line, Vermont. Within the Hartford area, U.S. 5 crosses the Connecticut River over the Charter Oak Bridge into East Hartford. 05/30/22
Route 30 begins at the folded diamond interchange joining I-291 and U.S. 5 (John Fitch Boulevard). Following Ellington Road, Route 30 heads east across South Windsor to Wapping. U.S. 5 continues northward from Exit 4 to East Windsor Hill and the town of East Windsor. 05/30/22
Interstate 291 (Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway) advances east from U.S. 5/Route 30 to the tripoint where East Hartford, Manchester and South Windsor come together. 05/30/22
The half diamond interchange at Exit 5 links I-291 with Tolland Turnpike. Tolland Turnpike leads west from Wickham Park in Manchester to East Hartford as Tolland Street. 05/30/22
Burnham Street spans I-291 a half mile from Exit 5 to Tolland Turnpike. I-291 ends in another half mile at Interstate 84 next to Wickham Park. 05/30/22
East from Exit 5, Tolland Turnpike crosses over I-84 ahead of Buckland and N Main Street. 05/30/22
Traffic at the east end of I-291 partitions into single lane ramps for I-84 east toward Boston, Massachusetts and a distributor roadway along I-84 west to I-384. 05/30/22
Interstate 84 follows Wilbur Cross Highway northeast from Hartford to I-90 (Masschusetts Turnpike) at Sturbridge, Massachusetts. 05/30/22
An unnumbered directional T interchange joins Interstate 291 with I-84 in northwest Manchester. 05/30/22
Downtown Hartford lies 6.2 miles west of I-291 along Interstate 84. 05/30/22
The exit ramp from I-84 west to U.S. 44 (Middle Turnpike W) parallels the distributor roadway leading to Interstate 384 east. 05/30/22
The exit ramp to Interstate 384 east includes access to Spencer Street (Route 502) east into Manchester and Silver Lane (Route 502) west into East Hartford. 05/30/22
The distributor roadway separates into ramps for I-84 west and I-384 east through the parclo interchange connecting I-84 with U.S 6/44 (Middle Turnpike W). 05/30/22
Interstate 384 travels 8.53 miles east to U.S. 6/44 at Bolton Notch. The Manchester Bypass was originally built as a part of a planned realignment of I-84 east to Providence, Rhode Island. 05/30/22
Interstate 291 West
The first confirming marker for Interstate 291 west appears between the Chapel Road entrance ramp and Burnham Street overpass. 05/31/22
Advancing west through an S-curve in South Windsor, I-291 meets U.S. 5 (John Fitch Boulevard) at a folded diamond interchange (Exit 4) in one mile. 05/31/22
U.S. 5 (John Fitch Boulevard) heads south from Exit 4 into East Hartford along Ellington Road. 05/31/22
North from I-291, U.S. 5 (John Fitch Boulevard) parallels the Connecticut River into the town of East Windsor. Route 30 (Ellington Road) ties into the exchange at Exit 4 from Wapping to the northeast. 05/31/22
Interstate 291 is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway. 05/31/22
The half diamond interchange at Exit 3 joins I-291 with Deerfield Road and Putnam Highway 0.08 miles east of Route 159 and Route 218. 05/31/22
Exit 2 B follows Route 159 (Windsor Avenue) for Interstate 91 north toward Bradley International Airport (BDL) at Windsor Locks. 05/31/22
Connecticut Route 159 runs 16.82 miles north from I-91 at Exit 34 in Windsor to the state line at the town of Suffield. MSR 159 continues north to Agawam, Massachusetts. 05/31/22
The Captain John Bissell Memorial Bridge is a steel stringer bridge crossing the Connecticut River and AMTRAK. The four lane span was built in 1958 and tolled until 1983.1 05/31/22
Exit 3 leaves I-291 west for Route 159 (Windsor Avenue) and Putnam Highway. Route 218 lines Putnam Highway west from Windsor Avenue and through a diamond interchange with I-91 adjacent to I-291. 05/31/22
Exit 2 B departs from I-291 west next for Interstate 91 north to Springfield, Massachusetts. 05/31/22
I-291 partitions with a single lane continuing west beyond Exit 2 B to Exit 2 A for I-91 south into Hartford and Exit 1 to Route 218 (Putnam Highway) west of Matianuck Avenue. 05/31/22
Interstate 91 travels south from Hartford to New Haven. Route 218 leads west from Windsor into the town of Bloomfield. 05/31/22
Exit 1 ties into Route 218 (Putnam Highway) 0.49 miles west from the trumpet interchange with Interstate 91. 05/31/22
Route 218 forms a 7.00 mile long loop southwest to U.S. 44 and N Main Street in West Hartford. 05/31/22
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
Trailblazers for Interstate 291 line Buckland Street south from Pleasant Valley Road and west along Tolland Turnpike in Manchester. 05/31/22

  1. Bissell Bridge.

Photo Credits:

07/24/00, 05/30/22, 05/31/22 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 84
Interstate 91

Page Updated 03-10-2023.

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