Interstate 289 Vermont


Vermont State Route 289 navigates through pronounced rock cuts along a 2.3 mile course around the village of Essex Junction. The two lane freeway with climbing lanes has interchanges with Vermont 2A (Colchester Road), Vermont 15 (Center Road) and Vermont 117 (River Road). Provisions were built at both ends for the extensions west to Colchester and south to Williston. Kilometer based exit numbers are derived from the original planned build out of the Chittenden County Circumferential Highway:

  • Exit 1 - Vermont 127 (Heinburg Drive)
  • Exit 3 - Interstate 89
  • Exit 5 - U.S. 2/7 (Theodore Roosevelt Highway)
  • Exit 7 - Vermont 2A
  • Exit 9 - Vermont 15
  • Exit 11 - Allen Martin Parkway
  • Exit 12 - Vermont 117
  • Exit 13 - Redmond Road
  • Exit 15 - Interstate 89


The Chittenden County Circumferential Highway (CCCH) was a 15.8 mile long freeway bypass of Interstate 89 planned around the Burlington metropolitan area. Congress devoted $50 million to the project through a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Demonstration Grant as part of the 1982 Surface Transportation Act. The state of Vermont overtook the highway in 1986 following completion of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Record of Decision (ROD).1,2

Origins of the bypass go as far back as 1967 with local municipalities adding provisions in their comprehensive plans. The Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) formally included the circumferential highway within their regional plan in 1975.1,2

Burlington, Vermont Road Map including Vermont 289 - AARoads

Benefits cited for the CCCH included the redistribution of traffic on radial routes serving northern and eastern areas of the Burlington area. The highway was divided into ten segments, labeled Segments A through J. Design and land acquisition was completed by the end of 1986 for the entire alignment and construction advanced on Segments C through F at Essex Junction to completion in October 1993.1,2

Remaining sections of the Chittenden County Circumferential Highway (Segments A/B in Williston and Segments G through J at Colchester) in the 1986 EIS were contested in 2003. Litigation on the original EIS determined that new EIS were necessary on all remaining unbuilt segments. Preparations began on an EIS for the section in Williston on November 26, 2004, with a completion date anticipated for Spring 2006.1,2 Legal and environmental permitting issues however prevented construction on the remaining sections. Furthermore, Governor Peter Shumlin (D) announced that the highway as originally planned would not be built in 2011.3

Vtrans and the CCRPC embarked on a number of projects meant to reduce traffic congestion and and traffic demand in the CCCH corridor. Known as the Circ Alternatives and started in 2011, the program included additional transit services, intelligent transportation system (ITS) improvements, modifications to intersections along VT 2A, 15, 117 and 127 and upgrades at interchanges along Interstate 89.3

Vermont 289 Western Terminus - Vermont 2A - north of Essex Junction, Vermont
Perspective from Vermont 289 west
Vermont 289 constitutes a three-lane freeway between Vermont 15 (Upper Main Street) and Vermont 2A (Colchester Road). The eastbound direction includes a truck climbing lane for the stretch between Colchester and Suzie Wilson Road and Vermont 15. Pictured here is the 0.50-mile guide sign for the ramp to Vermont 2A (Exit 7). Photo taken 07/22/05.
Generous rock cuts are found along the scenic Vermont 289 alignment between Vermont 117 and Vermont 2A. The Exit 7 guide sign directs motorists to Vermont 2A (Colchester Road) well in advance of the Vermont 289 ending. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Road ends 1,500 feet warning sign posted on Vermont 289 westbound as it nears Vermont 2A (Colchester Road). Similar signs are posted along Interstate 189 westbound in South Burlington. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Traffic finally reaches the Exit 7 off-ramp to Vermont 2A (Colchester Road). Grading work and some pavement already are ready for the western extension of Vermont 289 between the Exit 7 on and off-ramps. Photo taken 07/22/05.
A set of traffic signals govern the movements between the end of Vermont 289 and Vermont 2A (Colchester Road). Vermont 2A comprises a surface bypass route for U.S. 2 between Williston and Colchester through the Essex Junction town center. The highway ends at U.S. 2 & 7 3.1 miles to the north near the north end of Vermont 127. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Perspective from Suzie Wilson Road east
Traveling Suzie Wilson Road eastbound on the approach to Vermont 2A (Colchester Road) and the eastbound beginning of Vermont 289. Suzie Wilson Road saw extension in 1993 to tie into Colchester Road opposite of the eastbound on-ramp to Vermont 289. Photo taken 07/22/05.
The intersection of Suzie Wilson Road intersection with Vermont 2A (Colchester Road) and the on-ramp to Vermont 289. At present Vermont 289 ends at a half-diamond interchange at Colchester and Suzie Wilson Roads. Vermont 2A travels between the town centers of Essex Junction and Colchester otherwise. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Vermont 289 Eastern Terminus - Vermont 117 - east of Essex Junction, Vermont
Perspective from Vermont 289 east
Vermont 289 eastbound nears its conclusion at Vermont 117 (Pearl Street) near the Winooski River. The super-two freeway sees a Road Ends 1,500 Feet warning sign on the approach to the half-diamond interchange with Pearl Street. Photo taken 07/22/05.
One half mile north of the Vermont 117 (Pearl Street) ramp of Vermont 289 eastbound. Vermont 117 loops eight miles northwest from U.S. 2 at Richmond to Vermont 2A & 15 at the Essex Junction town center. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Eastbound at the Exit 12 off-ramp to Vermont 117 (Pearl Street) in eastern Essex Junction. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Looking at the premature end of Vermont 289 at the Exit 12 ramp departure. An EIS is underway involving the three-mile extension of Vermont 289 to Interstate 89 within the town of Williston. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Descending along the Exit 12 off-ramp to Vermont 117 (Pearl Street). Travelers destined to Interstate 89 should use Vermont 117 southbound. The state highway ends at U.S. 2 adjacent to the Exit 11 interchange with Interstate 89 six miles to the southeast. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Perspective from Vermont 117 south
Vermont 117 (Pearl Street) widens in anticipation of the eventual full-diamond interchange with Vermont 289. Pictured here is the approach to the westbound beginning of Vermont 289 on Pearl Street eastbound. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Traffic to Vermont 15 (Centre Road) is advised to take Vermont 289 westbound from Vermont 117 (Pearl Street) in east Essex Junction. Vermont 289 interchange with Vermont 15 2.4 miles to the north. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Perspective from Vermont 117 north
Westbound along Vermont 117 (Pearl Street) on the approach to Vermont 289. Vermont 117 constitutes a two-lane rural highway between Richmond, Williston, and Vermont 289 in Essex Junction. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Traffic interests are again advised to use Vermont 289 west to Vermont 15 from Vermont 117 (Pearl Street). Vermont 117 continues west 2.3 miles to Vermont 2A (Park / Lincoln Streets) and Vermont 15 (Pearl / Main Streets). Use Vermont 289 west to Suzie Wilson Road west for Vermont 15 (College Parkway) and the city of Burlington. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Planned Western Terminus - Vermont 127 - north of Burlington, Vermont
The current thinking is that the Chittenden County Circumferential Highway will end at the Winooski River crossing of Vermont 127 (Winooski Valley Parkway). Planning for Vermont 289 takes the super-two freeway to a merge with the Winooski Valley Parkway at the Winooski River. Vermont 127 intersects Plattsburg Avenue at a signalized intersection to the south before upgrading to a super-two expressway into north Burlington. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Vermont 127 (Winooski Valley Parkway) northbound between Plattsburg Avenue and the Winooski River bridge. The Winooski Valley Parkway, originally envisioned as the northernmost extant of Interstate 189, represents a controlled-access expressway between Manhattan Drive in central Burlington to the Colchester town line at the Winooski River. VTRANS will conduct an Environmental Impact Statement on the western extension of Vermont 289 to Vermont 127 sometime after 2006. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Planned Eastern Terminus - Interstate 89 - South Burlington, Vermont
Planning for the Chittenden County Circumferential Highway brings the southern terminus of the super-two freeway at Interstate 89 one half mile east of the Exit 12 diamond interchange with Vermont 2A (Essex Road). VTRANS is presently preparing an EIS for the Vermont 289 extension from Vermont 117 to Interstate 89. The future Exit 11A should lie between Vermont 2A and a rest area within the town of Williston. Photo taken 07/22/05.
Interstate 89 northbound one half mile east of the Exit 12 off-ramp to Vermont 2A (Essex Road). The grassy area just east of Essex Road is the likely location for the Vermont 289 eastern terminus. Construction on the southward extension of the Chittenden County Circumferential Highway may begin in 2007. Photo taken 07/22/05.


  1. VTrans Project Page: Chittenden County Circumferential Highway (CCCH).
  2. VTrans/FHWA Williston EIS website.
  3. "Chittenden County Circumferential Highway (CCCH) Right of Way & Mitigation Site Management Plan." State of Vermont, memorandunm. September 21, 2016.

Page updated February 15, 2019.

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State Vermont
Mileage 2.30
Cities Burlington
Junctions --
Source: 2015 (Route Log) AADTs State Highways - Vermont Agency of Transportation Highway Division
Vermont 289 Annual Average Daily Traffic
Location AADT Composite
Exits 7 to 9 16,900
Exits 9 to 10 5,900
Exits 10 to 11 3,300
Exits 11 to 12 5,800
Source: 2015 (Route Log) AADTs State Highways - Vermont Agency of Transportation Highway Division
The 1965 Greater Burlington Urban Area Highway plan for the Essex Junction Belt Line outlined a realignment of VT 15 closer to the village center. It also included a number of other new highways, including an expressway through Downtown Burlington.