wilbur cross

Wilbur Cross Parkway

The Wilbur Cross Parkway is a limited access road in Connecticut, comprising the portion of Route 15 between Milford and Meriden. 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 and Wallingford.

Route description

The four-lane Wilbur Cross Parkway begins at the Sikorsky Bridge over the Housatonic River at the town line between Milford and Stratford 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 (I-95) and the Boston Post Road (US 1). The Wilbur Cross Parkway runs east 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 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, 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.

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.

History

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.

Exit list

Note: Exit numbers and mileposts continue those of the Merritt Parkway

Town Exit # Mile Destinations Notes
Stratford/Milford line 37.5 Wilbur Cross Parkway ends — Road continues as the Merritt Parkway
Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Bridge (Housatonic River crossing)
Milford 54 37.8 To Interstate 95, U.S. Route 1Milford, New London Milford Parkway
55A 38.4 Wheelers Farms Road Southbound exit is unsuffixed.
55B 38.5 Wolf Harbor Road Northbound exit only.
Orange 56 41.5 Route 121 — Orange
57 42.8 Route 34 (east) — New Haven, Orange Single cloverleaf interchange.
58 Route 34 (west) — Derby
New Haven 59 46.7 Route 63, Route 69Woodbridge, New Haven
47.1 West Rock Tunnel
Hamden 60 50.2 Route 10 — Hamden, New Haven
61 51.6 Whitney Avenue — Hamden, New Haven Split southbound into 61 and 62 (not the same interchange as northbound 62).
62 52.0 Dixwell Avenue Northbound exit only.
North Haven
63 53.3 Route 22 — North Haven
Wallingford 64 58.4 Wallingford Quinnipiac Street to U.S. Route 5
65 58.7 Route 150Yalesville
66 61.1 U.S. Route 5 — Wallingford, Meriden
Meriden 63.1 ConnDOT Maintenance Facility Unnumbered exit to Miller Avenue.
67S 64.1 Interstate 91 (south) — New Haven, New York City Southbound junction only.
67 64.3 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).
68N-E 64.7 Interstate 91 (north), Route 66 (east) — Hartford, Middletown Northbound junction only.
68W 65.2 Interstate 691 (west) — Meriden, Waterbury Northbound junction only.
Exit ramp is 0.3 miles earlier.
66.7 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

References

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