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. A well traveled freeway, I-84 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 I-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. I-384, the second branch of I-84, spokes east near Manchester as the Wilbur Cross Highway bends northeast toward 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 commuters based out of Connecticut.
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 I-380 for 4.2 miles from their mutual beginning at Interstate 81 at Dunmore, Pennsylvania. Original plans called for I-84 to continue west across the Moosic Mountains to I-81 at the borough of Moosic. Cancellation of the freeway south of Lake Scranton due to engineering difficulties with traversing the mountains resulted in the realignment of I-84 westward along side I-380 to Dunmore.1
I-81E was redesignated as I-380 by the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) on June 20, 1972. The same action also extended I-84 west along I-380 on an overlap to a shared end at Interstate 81 in Dunmore. Within the Keystone State, a section of I-84 opened in the Lake Region of the Poconos on November 21, 1973.2 Funds for construction of a 2.79 mile segment of I-84 between Mount Cobb and I-380 near Elmhurst were secured by presidential action of freeing Highway Trust Fund money in February 1975. This stretch included high level bridge spanning Roaring Brook gorge and the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad and the realignment of PA 435. Ongoing work at the time included I-84 from Newfoundland to Mount Cobb Road.3
Interstate 84 was two thirds complete in Pennsylvania by Summer 1975. The temporary west end was at the exchange with PA 191 in Sterling Township. Construction along seven miles west from PA 191 to Mount Cobb was anticipated for a late 1975 or Spring 1976 completion.4 The final link in Pennsylvania however was not completed until December 6, 1977, when a ribbon cutting ceremony took place.5
Within New York State, the final section of Interstate 84 opened to traffic on July 2, 1971. The last segment built was the 6.7 mile stretch from Newburgh to Maybrook.6
As originally designated in Connecticut, the easternmost segment of Interstate 84 ran from Hartford, Connecticut to Sturbridge, Massachusetts. With approval by AASHO on June 23, 1969, the course of I-84 shifted east to connect Hartford with Providence, Rhode Island, along the Manchester and Willimantic bypasses. Interstate 86 overtook the former routing of I-84 along the Wilbur Cross Highway to Massachusetts.
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 Route 195) or Rhode Island Route 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.7 This ultimately led to the cancellation of I-84 between the Willimantic Bypass and I-295 / Route 195 at Johnston.
Interstate 84 was eliminated in the state of Rhode Island by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) on October 1, 1983. Action taken by AASHTO on May 23, 1984 returned I-84 to 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.