Interstate 89

Interstate 89 New Hampshire Interstate 89 Vermont
History
North End
South End

Overview

Interstate 89 is a scenic highway serving the states of Vermont and New Hampshire in northern New England. The freeway joins the capital cities of Montpelier and Concord as part of its northwestern route from outside Concord to Lebanon, Burlington and Lake Champlain. Continuing northward from Swanton, Interstate 89 transitions into Quebec Route 133, which leads north to Autoroute 35 (A-35).

Autoroute 35 (Forts Valley Highway) extends 25 miles south from A-10 and Chambly in the Montréal suburbs to Route 133 in Saint-Sébastien, Quebec. Long proposed to link directly with Interstate 89, construction will finally get underway in 2020 on the 8.9 kilometer section between Saint-Sébastien and the U.S. border at Highgate, Vermont. Costing over $202 million, phase III of A-35 takes the freeway southeast to Route 133 at Champlain and du Moulin in Saint-Armand, where an interchange will be built. Work should be finished in 2023.

Phases I and II previously extended A-35 south from Route 133 at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu to Route 133 west of Pike River. Completed in 2014, the projects totaled around $200 million.5

Parallel U.S. Routes

Interstate 89 follows an independent alignment northwest from Concord to Lebanon, where U.S. 4 ties in from Enfield to the east. U.S. 4 parallels I-89 for 11 miles to White River Junction and Hartford in Vermont. Northwest from there, I-89 replaced VT 14 as the main route to Barre and Montpelier.

U.S. 2 accompanies the freeway west from Montpelier to South Burlington, shifting sides with I-89 several times. U.S. 7 combines with U.S. 2 north from Burlington to Colchester. U.S. 2 turns west through the Lake Champlain Islands while U.S. 7 remains along the I-89 corridor to the Canadian border at Highgate.

History

Interstate 89 opened initially in New Hampshire between Warner and New London in November 1967. Completion within the state followed a year later.`

Within Vermont, Interstate 89 was built in stages through the 1960s:1

  • Montpelier to Middlesex (6.287 miles) – November 21, 1960
  • Middlesex to Waterbury (5.106 miles) – December 31, 1960
  • Waterbury to Bolton (7.049 miles) – November 20, 1961
  • South Burlington to Winooski (3.388 miles) – November 29, 1962
  • Winooski to Colchester (1.184 miles) – November 1, 1963
  • Richmond to South Burlington (8.723 miles) – November 6, 1963
  • Bolton to Richmond (6.745 miles) – October 30, 1964
  • Colchester (6.486 miles) – November 1964
  • Swanton to Highgate (5.538 miles) – 1965
Central Vermont 1966
Interstate 89 between White River Junction and Montpelier, Vermont – 1966 Vermont Official Highway Map.

The last stretch of Interstate 89 constructed ran south from Memorial Drive at Montpelier to the temporary end at VT 14 by West Hartford.

North Carolina

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) submitted an application for designating Interstate 89 at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering meeting on May 24, 2016.3 The new route number was proposed to join Raleigh with Hampton Roads, Virginia along the U.S. 64 freeway corridor between Knightdale and Williamston, and U.S. 17 northeast from Williamston to the Virginia state line. AASHTO ultimately approved Interstate 87 for the new corridor.4

Route Information

  • North End – Highgate, VT

  • South End – Concord, NH
  • Branch Routes – 1

  • Total Mileage – 191.12

Mileage

New Hampshire – 60.87

  • Cities – Concord, Lebanon

  • Junctions

Vermont – 130.25

  • Cities – Montpelier, Waterbury, Burlington, St. Albans, Swanton

  • Junctions

Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List

I-89 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)

Burlington area, VT 1963
Interstate 89 between Burlington and Montpelier – 1963 Vermont Official Highway Map.

Interstate 89 was complete by 1963 from a temporary end west of Bolton to Memorial Drive at Montpelier, and from I-189 to U.S. 2 (Main Street) at South Burlington. Construction was underway north to Winooski and from Swanton to the Canadian border.

Highway Guides

North End – Canadian International Border – Highgate, Vermont

north at US 7

I-89 north at US 7 - Highgate, VT

Advancing north from Rock River Bay, Interstate 89 and U.S. 7 converge at a folded diamond interchange (Exit 22) in three quarters of a mile. 10/08/14

I-89 north at US 7 - Highgate, VT

Exit 22 to U.S. 7 in the town of Highgate represents the last departure point from Interstate 89 north ahead of the port of entry into Quebec, Canada. 10/08/14

I-89 north at US 7 - Highgate, VT

U.S. 7 loops southward to Rock River off Lake Champlain en route to the community of Highgate Springs. Local roads, Borderview Road and Country Club Road, tie into the exchange as well. 10/08/14

I-89 north at Canadian Border

Interstate 89 north at the International Border and transition to Quebec Route 133. 08/01/07

US 7 at

US 7 north at I-89 - Highgate, VT

U.S. 7 north at the entrance ramp for I-89 north to Quebec Route 133. 08/01/07

US 7 north at I-89 - Highgate, VT

U.S. 7 north concludes at Country Club Road and the southbound entrance ramp to Interstate 89 in Highgate. 10/08/14

US 7 north at I-89 - Highgate, VT

The ramp from U.S. 7 and Country Club Road is the first access point for I-89 within the U.S. The freeway mainline extends south from the U.S. customs station and Quebec Route 133. 10/08/14

US 7 south at I-89 - Highgate, VT

U.S. 7 crosses over Interstate 89 ahead of the loop ramp for the connection with Quebec Route 133 north into Saint-Armand, Canada. 08/01/07

South End F.E. Everett Tpk – Concord, New Hampshire

south at I-93 F.E. Everett Tpk

I-89 south at I-93 - Concord, NH

Interstate 89 runs southeast between Silver Hill and Cilley State Forest on the two mile approach to I-93 outside Concord. 10/06/14

I-89 south at I-93 - Concord, NH

Entering the town of Bow, I-89 curves eastward to a folded diamond interchange (Exit 1) with Logging Hill Road. The exchange with Interstate 93 and the access road to NH 3A at Bow Junction follows. 10/06/14

I-89 south at I-93 - Concord, NH

A pair of end signs for Interstate 89 stand three quarters of a mile west of the half cloverleaf interchange with I-93 and the F.E. Everett Turnpike south. 10/06/14

I-89 south at I-93 - Concord, NH

Exit 1 departs I-89 south for Logging Hill Road south to Bow and north to South Street in Concord. Interstate 93 parallels the Merrimack River nearby between the capital city and Manchester. 10/06/14

I-89 south at I-93 - Concord, NH

Traffic to I-93 (F.E. Everett Turnpike) south to Boston, Massachusetts leaves I-89 south. The toll road coincides with I-93 to Hooksett and the split with I-293 around Manchester. 10/06/14

I-89 south at I-93 - 2005

Overpasses carrying Interstate 93 and the c/d roadway for I-89 were replaced during freeway expansion competed by 2014. Traffic separates with a loop ramp joining I-93 north into Concord and the access road linking with NH 3A at Hall Street in Bow. 06/27/05

I-93 F.E. Everett Tpk north at

I-93 north at I-89 - Bow, NH

Interstate 93 (F.E. Everett Turnpike) heads north from the Hooksett Rest Area along an uninterrupted stretch into the town of Bow. The unnumbered exit for Interstate 89 departs next. 10/06/14

I-93 north at I-89 - Bow, NH

Interstate 89 branches northwest from I-93 along a winding and hilly course to Sunapee Lake, Shaker Mountain and Lebanon near the Vermont state line. 10/06/14

I-93 north at I-89 - Bow, NH

A collector distributor roadway separates from I-93 north in half mile for Interstate 89 north. I-89 connects the Boston area with Canada via I-91 at White River Junction, Vermont and Quebec Route 133 north of Highgate Springs. 10/06/14

I-93 north at I-89 - Bow, NH

Grandview Road crosses over I-93 north at the c/d roadway for Interstate 89 north. I-93 continues north toward Downtown Concord while I-89 passes through western reaches of the city to Little Turkey Pond. I-393 stems east from I-93 in four miles along side U.S. 4/202 toward Portsmouth. 10/06/14

I-93 south at F.E. Everett Tpk

I-93 south at I-89 - 2005

NH 3A (S Main Street) crosses over I-93 at a six-ramp parclo interchange (Exit 12) just ahead of Bow Junction and the south end of Interstate 89. The NH 3A overpass was replaced during construction in 2014-15. 06/27/05

I-93 south at I-89 - 2005

Curving southward across the Bow town line, I-93 approaches the half cloverleaf interchange with Interstate 89 north. The forthcoming exchange represents the north end of the tolled F.E. Everett Turnpike as well. The Turnpike extends south to Hooksett and from I-293 at Manchester to U.S. 3 at Nashua. 06/27/05

I-93 south at I-89 - 2005

A third southbound lane was added along Interstate 93 from NH 3A to I-89 and the F.E. Everett Turnpike in 2015. Interstate 89 initially heads west to Hopkinton, connecting with U.S. 202 to Henniker. 06/27/05

South End Throwback

All guide signs for Interstate 89 on I-93 (F.E. Everett Turnpike) northbound were replaced by 2007. 06/27/05

I-93 north at I-89 - 1977

A diagrammatic sign formerly outlined the loop ramp from the c/d roadway to I-89 north at the Grandview Road overpass. Photo taken by Michael Summa (1977).

I-89 south at I-93 - 2002

A previous end sign was posted for I-89 a half mile west of Interstate 93. Photo taken by Jeff Royston (12/02).

Sources:

  1. “100th Anniversary Series Part III – The Interstate Highway System.” New Hampshire Highways, May / June 2004 edition.
  2. Outline History of Vermont State Highways – National Highway Week, September 19-25, 1965. Prepared for informational purposes only by the Vermont Department of Highways.
  3. Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering meeting scheduled for May 24, 2016, agenda packet, AASHTO 2016 Spring Meeting in Des Moines, Iowa.
  4. “North Carolina Gains Names for Two New Interstate Designations.” North Carolina Department of Transportation, press release. May 25, 2016.
  5. “L’autoroute 35 sera complétée d’ici 2023.” TVA Nouvelles, October 9, 2019.

Page updated January 26, 2020.