The Eastern Interstate 84 follows the U.S. 6 corridor between Scranton, Pennsylvania and Hartford, Connecticut and the Wilbur Cross Highway northeast from U.S. 6 to Interstate 90 (Mass Pike) at Sturbridge, Massachusetts. I-84 is a well traveled freeway, and serves as part of a long distance alternative between eastern Pennsylvania and New England.
I-84 begins at the exchange between I-81, I-380 and U.S. 6 in Dunmore, initially following I-380 before branching eastward to New York. The freeway enters the Empire State at Port Jervis on a northeast course to NY 17 at Middletown and I-87 (New York Thruway) at Newburgh. Beyond Shenandoah, I-84 dips southeast to meet I-684 at Brewster before turning back east into Connecticut. Interstate 684 extends south to White Plains and Interstate 95.
I-84 enters Connecticut along the Yankee Expressway near Danbury, where U.S. 7 joins the freeway on a brief overlap. Beyond Newtown, Interstate 84 angles northeast to Waterbury and Interstate 691. I-691 branches eastward to Meriden as the Yankee Expressway reaches Southington. I-84 continues on a northeast course to the Hartford metro area, entering near West Hartford. The freeway arcs north of Downtown Hartford to meet Interstate 91 on the banks of the Connecticut River. As I-84 continues eastward from Hartford, it follows the Wilbur Cross Highway. A second branch of I-84 (I-384) spokes east near Manchester as the Wilbur Cross Highway bends northeast for its remaining course to Massachusetts. Interstate 84 passes through Sturbridge on its final stretch, ending at a trumpet interchange with Interstate 90 (Mass Turnpike) opposite Wells State Park.
Interstate 84 generally traverses a hilly course, including the Poconos in Pennsylvania, the historic Hudson Valley and the foothills of Connecticut. It also forms part of an outer loop of New York City via I-684 and I-287 and is a major thoroughfare for Connecticut-based commuters.
I-84/380 replaced U.S. 611 southeast from Dunmore to their split near Elmhurst. East from Milford, Pennsylvania, I-84 parallels or overlays U.S. 6 to Hartford, Connecticut. The freeway also intertwines with U.S. 202 between Brewster, New York and Danbury, Connecticut while briefly overlapping with U.S. 7. Further east U.S. 44 travels nearby between Downtown Hartford and Manchester.
Northeastern Pennsylvania – 1970.
Interstate 84 opened initially in Pennsylvania as a short freeway spur from I-81 to Tigue Street in Dunmore in 1961. The next section to open was the Delaware River bridge in 1970.1
Interstate 84 combines with Interstate 380 for 4.2 miles from their mutual beginning at Interstate 81 at Dunmore, Pennsylvania. Original plans called for Interstate 84 to cut across the Moosic Mountains to meet up with I-81 at Moosic. Cancellation of the freeway south of Lake Scranton due to engineering difficulties with traversing the mountains led to the realignment of I-84 westward along side I-380 to Dunmore.1
I-81E was redesignated as I-380 by AASHTO on June 20, 1972. The same meeting also extended I-84 west along I-380 on an overlap to the current terminus at Interstate 81 in Dunmore. The freeway within the Keystone State was completed in 1978, with the opening of I-84 between I-380 and PA 247 at Mount Cobb.1
As originally designated in Connecticut, the easternmost segment of Interstate 84 ran from Hartford, Connecticut to Sturbridge, Massachusetts. This course was altered at the AASHTO meeting held June 23, 1969, when I-84 was shifted east to connect Hartford with Providence, Rhode Island, along the Manchester and Willimantic bypasses. I-86 overtook the former routing of I-84 along the Wilbur Cross Highway to Massachusetts.
With the 1969 AASHTO decision, I-84 was planned to continue east along the U.S. 6 corridor from Hartford to Providence, connecting to either U.S. 6 (formerly Rhode Island 195) or Rhode Island 37 at Interstate 295 in the Ocean State. The Manchester bypass was completed in 1971 and the Willimantic bypass opened in 1973, with both signed as I-84. The remainder of the freeway was never built due to environmental concerns surrounding Nathan Hale State Forest in Connecticut and Scituate Reservoir in Rhode Island.2 This ultimately led to the cancellation of I-84 between the Willimantic Bypass and I-295 / RI 195 at Johnston.
Interstate 84 was officially eliminated by AASHTO within the state of Rhode Island on October 1, 1983. During the following AASHTO meeting on May 23, 1984, I-84 was returned to follow its original alignment between Hartford and Sturbridge while I-86 was decommissioned. The same meeting also established Interstate 384 along the Manchester bypass to Bolton while U.S. 6 was moved to the Willimantic bypass.