Interstate 189 Vermont


Interstate 189 is the only spur route from Interstate 89, and it connects Interstate 89 with U.S. 7 in South Burlington.


Interstate 189 opened to traffic on November 29, 1962, from Interstate 89 west to U.S. 7. The freeway was originally planned to connect to the Burlington Beltline Highway, which would have connected U.S. 7 south of the city of Burlington, then extended north along the Lake Champlain waterfront. This freeway would have served industrial areas and downtown Burlington. This plan was curtailed due to adamant neighborhood opposition and a resurgence in the city economy; however, rights of way from the former freeway alignment can be seen in certain sections of the city. This freeway cancellation also orphaned a section of divided highway north of the city, which is now part of Vermont 127 (Winooski Valley Parkway). The state route represents what was to be the northern reaches of the beltline freeway, as it was to have connected with unconstructed Interstate 289.

A look at Interstate 189 and the unopened freeway segment between U.S. 7 (Shelburne Road) and Home Avenue in South Burlington.

Additionally, a half-mile segment of orphaned freeway was constructed from the current terminus of Interstate 189 at U.S. 7. This unused freeway continues for a few blocks northwest across Pine Street to Home Avenue in the South End neighborhood of Burlington. This four-lane freeway remnant was built in 1980, but cannot open due to the ongoing clean up of a Super Fund site. If ever completed, the highway may open as a four-lane parkway with provisions for bicycle lanes between U.S. 7 (Shelburne Road) and Battery Street in central Burlington. However, no construction was underway on the potential extension. See Interstate 189 Vermont @ AARoads for a photo tour of the abandoned freeway and for more information on the cancelled Burlington Belt Line Freeway.

Highway Guides

Eastern Terminus - Interstate 89 - South Burlington, Vermont
Perspective from Interstate 189 east
Interstate 189 ends its short journey at a modified trumpet interchange with Interstate 89. Additional ramps are incorporated from Kennedy Drive west to Interstate 189 west, and from Interstate 189 east to Kennedy Drive east. These ramps tie into Dorsett Street in the suburb of South Burlington. This eastbound photograph shows the guide signs for the Interstate 89 north and southbound ramps. The state of Vermont generally uses multiple control cities, and this junction is no exception. Williston is a growing suburb to the east along U.S. 2, while the capital city of Montpelier rests 37 miles to the east along the Winooski River. Winooski lies just north of downtown Burlington along the banks of the Winooski River. Photos taken 07/22/05.
Continuing on the Interstate 189 east to the partition of the northbound ramp to Interstate 189 and eastbound ramp to Kennedy Drive and Dorsett Street. Use Kennedy Drive east from Interstate 189 for Vermont 116 (Hinesburg Road) and Burlington International Airport. Dorsett Street travels north-south between U.S. 2 (Williston Road), University Mall, and Swift Street. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Perspective from Interstate 89 north
Interstate 89 travels in an east-west fashion through most of Williston and South Burlington on the way to Burlington and Interstate 189. The four-lane freeway passes under Vermont 116 (Hinesburg Road) one mile east of the Interstate 189 eastern terminus of Exit 13. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Long distance travelers destined for the U.S. 7 southbound control points of Middlebury and Vergennes are directed to use Interstate 189 west for the connection at Exit 13. U.S. 7 represents a major thoroughfare between Burlington and the south suburbs of Shelburne and South Burlington en route to Middlebury. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Interstate 89 makes its turn toward the city of Burlington one half mile south of Interstate 189 (Exit 13). Interstate 189 provides a direct connection between Interstate 89 and the four-lane U.S. 7 surface arterial. Travelers destined for downtown Burlington can use either Interstate 189 west to U.S. 7 (Shelburne Road) north or Interstate 89 north to U.S. 2 (Main Street) west. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Attached to the westbound on-ramp to Interstate 189 from Kennedy Drive is the Exit 13 overhead for Interstate 89 north. Drivers departing Interstate 89 merge with the Kennedy Drive ramp one mile to the east of the U.S. 7 half-diamond interchange. There is no access to Kennedy Drive or adjacent Dorsett Street from Interstate 89 north. Use Exit 14E onto U.S. 2 (Williston Road) east for Dorsett Street south. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Perspective from Interstate 89 south
Interstate 89 passes through the Exit 14 full-cloverleaf interchange with U.S. 2 (Main Street/Williston Road) one mile north of the junction with Interstate 189 (Exit 13). Pictured here is the one-mile guide sign for the directional cloverleaf interchange with the 1.50-mile freeway spur. Photo taken 07/22/05.
In addition to serving the suburb of Shelburne and town of Middlebury, U.S. 7 is a long-distance route to Vergennes (Vermont 22A) and Rutland (U.S. 4). Photo taken 07/22/05.
Travelers to Interstate 189 depart the Exit 13 off-ramp to Interstate 189 west into South Burlington. U.S. 7 continues 31 miles south from its junction with the freeway spur to Middlebury. Drivers destined for the Empire State can follow U.S. 7 south to Vergennes and take Vermont 22A and Vermont 17 to the Crown Point Bridge, the first Lake Champlain bridge since U.S. 2 at Alburg. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Perspective from Dorsett Street south
Dorsett Street southbound on the approach to the signalized intersection with Kennedy Drive and Interstate 189. Kennedy Drive travels east from the Interstate 189 ramps to U.S. 2 (Williston Road) and Airport Drive at Burlington International Airport. Dorsett Street continues southbound underneath Interstate 89 ahead through South Burlington. Photo taken 07/00.
Western Terminus - U.S. 7 - Burlington, Vermont
Perspective from Interstate 189 west
Interstate 189 departs Interstate 89 and draws to within three-quarter miles of U.S. 7 (Shelburne Road). There are no interchanges on the 1.50-mile drive between the Interstate 189 endpoints. Photo taken 07/22/05.
An auxiliary guide sign is posted for U.S. 7 south on Interstate 189 west. It displays the long-distance control cities of Vergennes and Rutland, both of which are significant. Vergennes is the U.S. 7 split with Vermont 22A, a state highway that ultimately leads to the Crown Point Bridge and New York state. Rutland (pop. 17,292), the second largest city in Vermont to that of Burlington, marks the junction of U.S. 4. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Warning signs advise motorists of the freeway end along Interstate 189 westbound. The freeway ends prematurely at a half-used partial-cloverleaf interchange. Abandoned ramps to the unopened Interstate 189 freeway west of U.S. 7 remain in tact as well. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Nearing the Exit 1 half-diamond interchange with U.S. 7 on Interstate 189 westbound. Note the jersey barrier shunting all traffic onto the Shelburne Road off-ramp. A pair of unused roadways continue northwest one half mile to Pine Street and Home Avenue beyond the barriers. Photo taken 07/22/05.
All traffic on westbound Interstate 189 is diverted to U.S. 7 via the original northbound only ramp. At one time traffic dispersed between independent north and southbound ramps. The southbound ramp used the westbound roadway of Interstate 189 to a connection with Queen City Boulevard. For one reason or another, that connection was closed and a traffic light was installed to handle to the left-hand turns from the northbound on-ramp to U.S. 7 south. Photo taken 07/22/05.
The retaining wall of an adjacent shopping center lines the U.S. 7 (Shelburne Road) off-ramp of Interstate 189 west. A standard VTRANS set of mileage signs directs motorists to the respective directions of U.S. 7 ahead. The Burlington city line lies along the northern edge of the interchange. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Interstate 189 traffic partitions at the signalized intersection with U.S. 7 (Shelburne Road). U.S. 7 constitutes a five-lane surface arterial between south of downtown Burlington through South Burlington to Shelburne. Moderate to heavy traffic uses the US highway through a number of commercial developments along the stretch. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Perspective from U.S. 7 south
A series of sign bridges guides motorists southward along U.S. 7 (Shelburne Road) toward the junction with Interstate 189. Interstate 189 provides a connection to Interstate 89 and Burlington International Airport for South Burlington and the city of Burlington itself. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Southbound U.S. 7 approaching the eastbound loop ramp to Interstate 189. Below are the now abandoned westbound lanes of Interstate 189. Not visible in this photograph, is the also abandoned and never opened return ramp to westbound. Interstate 189 pavement continues northwest to Home Avenue. Photo taken 07/22/05.
The signs in the above photo were installed sometime after 1995. This vidcap takes a look at the signage that preceded the replacement. Control points are those of Interstate 89. Vidcap taken 07/95.
The eastbound beginning of Interstate 189 departs U.S. 7 (Shelburne Road) for Interstate 89. Interstate 189 provides four-lanes of capacity between the two busy north-south routes. Ahead Shelburne Road continues 9.7 miles through several signalized intersections to Vermont F-5 (Ferry Road). Widening of the US highway is underway to bring the entire stretch up to four lanes. Photo taken 07/22/05.
A look at the original overheads posted at the U.S. 7 (Shelburne Road) southbound on-ramp to Interstate 189 east. The sign bridge pictured here is the same viewed in the above photobox. Vidcap taken 07/95.
Interstate 189 to Interstate 89 shields posted at the eastbound on-ramp from south U.S. 7. With the above sign replacement, these shields were removed. Vidcap taken 07/95.
Perspective from U.S. 7 north
The second in a series of overheads directing motorists on U.S. 7 (Shelburne Road) northbound toward the eastbound beginning of Interstate 189. The junction between the two highways lies just 2.2 miles south of downtown Burlington. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Northbound U.S. 7 at the Interstate 189 eastbound ramp. Note that the placard of Airport is affixed to this guide sign for the Kennedy Drive connection to Burlington International Airport. Interstate 189 follows several creeks including the Potash Brook on the brief trek to Interstate 89. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Perspective from Interstate 189 east
Interstate 189 eastbound reassurance shield. This is the only shield posted in either direction of the Interstate 189 mainline and by 2005, it was replaced with a new shield featuring Highway Gothic Series B font. Photo taken 07/00.

Page Updated April 16, 2008.

Additional Info

State Vermont
Mileage 1.49
Cities Burlington
Junctions I-89
Source: December 31, 2016 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
Interstate 189 Annual Average Daily Traffic

State Location AADT Composite Year
Chittenden U.S. 7 I-89 39,600
Source: 2002 (Route Log) AADTs State Highways (VTRANS)