The Wilbur Cross Parkway
is a limited access road
, comprising the portion of Route 15
. It is named after the former governor of the state, Wilbur Lucius Cross
. Being classified as a parkway
, commercial vehicles are prohibited from using the road. The Wilbur Cross Parkway had two toll barriers until 1988
; these were located in Milford
The four-lane Wilbur Cross Parkway begins at the Sikorsky Bridge
over the Housatonic River
at the town line between Milford
as a direct continuation of the Merritt Parkway
. Immediately after crossing the Housatonic River is the exit for the Milford Parkway
, which connects to the Connecticut Turnpike
) and the Boston Post Road
). The Wilbur Cross Parkway runs east northeast through the towns of Milford, Orange
, and New Haven
. At the town line between New Haven and Hamden
, the parkway passes through the West Rock Tunnel
, which is the only road tunnel through a natural obstacle in Connecticut
. The tunnel is lighted solely using low pressure sodium vapor lamps
, rare for the United States. From the West Rock Tunnel, the parkway proceeds north through the towns of Hamden, North Haven
, 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
On the parkway, there are two service stations. They are located in Orange and North Haven. There are also three abandoned rest areas along its length. These were located 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). 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 Wilibur Cross Parkways in 1988.
Note: Exit numbers and mileposts continue those of the Merritt Parkway
||Wilbur Cross Parkway ends — Road continues as the Merritt Parkway|
Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Bridge (Housatonic River crossing)
||To Interstate 95, U.S. Route 1 — Milford, New London
||Milford Parkway |
||Wheelers Farms Road
||Southbound exit is unsuffixed. |
||Wolf Harbor Road
||Northbound exit only. |
|| Route 121 — Orange
|| Route 34 (east) — New Haven, Orange
||Single cloverleaf interchange.
|| Route 34 (west) — Derby |
|| Route 63, Route 69 — Woodbridge, New Haven
||West Rock Tunnel
|| Route 10 — Hamden, New Haven
||Whitney Avenue — Hamden, New Haven
||Split southbound into 61 and 62 (not the same interchange as northbound 62). |
||Northbound exit only.
|| Route 22 — North Haven
||Quinnipiac Street to U.S. Route 5 |
|| Route 150 — Yalesville
|| U.S. Route 5 — Wallingford, Meriden
||ConnDOT Maintenance Facility
||Unnumbered exit to Miller Avenue. |
|| Interstate 91 (south) — New Haven, New York City
||Southbound junction only. |
||East Main Street
||To downtown Meriden; To Route 66.|
Northbound exit ramp is 0.3 miles earlier.
Southbound exit ramp is 0.6 miles later (signed as Exit 67W).
|| Interstate 91 (north), Route 66 (east) — Hartford, Middletown
||Northbound junction only. |
|| Interstate 691 (west) — Meriden, Waterbury
||Northbound junction only.|
Exit ramp is 0.3 miles earlier.
|| U.S. Route 5
||US 5 joins northbound and leaves southbound.|
Southbound junction only.
Limited access ends.
|Wilbur Cross Parkway ends — Road continues as North Broad Street then Berlin Turnpike