Interstate 189 Vermont

Interstate 189 Vermont
History
East End
West End

Overview

I-189 South Burlington, VT Map
Interstate 189 and the unopened Southern Connector between U.S. 7 (Shelburne Road) and Home Avenue in South Burlington.

Interstate 189 is the lone branch route for I-89. The freeway spur connects U.S. 7 (Shelburne Road) with Interstate 89, Dorsett Street and Kennedy Drive north to Burlington International Airport (BTV).

History

Interstate 189 opened to traffic from I-89 west to U.S. 7 on November 29, 1962. The freeway was originally planned to connect with the Burlington Belt Line Highway as part of the 1965 Greater Burlington Urban Area Highway Plan. Serving industrial areas and Downtown Burlington, the Belt Line was proposed south from Burlington to U.S. 7 and north along the Lake Champlain waterfront. Northern reaches of the expressway extended along Winooksi Valley Parkway (Vermont 127) toward the Colchester town line. Despite right of way acquisition already made, plans for the expressway succumbed to adamant neighborhood opposition and a resurgence in the city economy. They were subsequently cancelled.

Route Information

  • East End – South Burlington, VT

  • West End – Burlington, VT

  • Mileage – 1.49

  • Cities – Burlington, South Burlington

  • Junctions

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

I-189 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)

Location Vehicles per day
US 7 to I-89 33,927

Source: 2019 (Route Log) AADTs – Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans)

US 7 south at I-189 - 1995
US 7 south at I-189 - 1995
Previous signage for I-189 on U.S. 7 (Shelburne Street) south out of Burlington in July 1995.

Southern Connector

The Southern Connector was proposed as a four-lane boulevard by a consultant for the city of Burlington in 1974. Generally following the former Belt Line route north from I-189 and U.S. 7 to Pine Street at Flynn Avenue, the Southern Connector also outlined expanding Pine Street north to Pine Place, where it would shift northwest to connect with Battery Street in the Central Business District.1

An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was prepared for the Southern Connector starting in 1976. Subsurface geotechnical borings in the vicinity of the Pine Street Barge Canal recorded in the 1977 DEIS revealed oil-contaminated soil along the projected right of way. Coal gasification waste was also recorded during project development. The Pine Street Barge Canal area was subsequently included in the Environnmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste sites. It was identified as the Pine Street Barge Canal Superfund Site in October 1981.1

The Final EIS (FEIS) for the Southern Connector was completed in July 1979 and approved by the FHWA. The Selected Alternative included a half mile long segment of roadway (Section C-1). Section C-1 was constructed in the late 1980s northwest from the I-189/U.S. 7 exchange across Pine Street to Home Avenue in the South End neighborhood of Burlington. Work on Section C-2 (Home Avenue to Lakeside Avenue) and C-8 (Lakeside Avenue to Battery Street) never broke ground due to the Pine Street Barge Canal Superfund Site.1

Studies in the late 1980s looked at route alternatives that would bypass the Pine Street Barge Canal Superfund Site. The project was rebranded Champlain Parkway by Burlington City Council in the 1990s. A Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) was conducted by VTrans and FHWA from January 1995 to February 1997. It selected a preferred interim alternative that avoided the superfund site. FHWA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) on the Selected Alternative in August 1997.1

Champlain Parkway Map

Envisioned to provide traffic relief between the City Center District (CCD) and South Burlington, construction on Champlain Parkway was pushed back from a potential late 2019 start date while a Limited Scope Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (LS DSEIS) was completed. Barring any requested changes, FHWA could issue a Record of Decision (ROD) on the project by the end of 2020. Costing $43 million, the two-lane, at-grade roadway will run north from Home Avenue over Batchelder and Briggs Streets to Flynn Avenue, then follow a new terrain alignment to Lakeside Avenue.2

Highway Guides

East End / Dorset St and Kennedy Dr – South Burlington, Vermont

I-189 East at I-89

I-189 east at I-89 - South Burlington, VT

Interstate 189 concludes eastbound at a modified trumpet interchange with I-89 in three quarters of a mile. Photo by Peter Johnson (09/24/19).

I-189 east at I-89 - South Burlington, VT

I-189 separates in three ramps at the exchange with Interstate 89. The southbound exit leads to the suburb of Williston located along U.S. 2. The capital city of Montpelier lies 37 miles to the southeast along the Winooski River. 10/07/14

I-189 east at I-89 - South Burlington, VT

A left exit joins I-189 east with Interstate 89 north to the city of Winooski, St. Albans and Montreal, Quebec via Autoroute 35. Photo by Peter Johnson (09/24/19).

I-189 east at I-89 - South Burlington, VT

Kennedy Drive extends east from the freeway end at Dorsett Street to Burlington International Airport (BTV). Dorsett Street parallels I-89 north to University Mall and U.S. 2 (Williston Road) in South Burlington. 10/07/14

I-89 South at I-189

I-89 south at I-189 - South Burlington, VT

I-89 advances south from a cloverleaf interchange (Exit 14) with U.S. 2 (Main Street) to Interstate 189 at Exit 13. I-189 west to U.S. 7 leads to the suburb of Shelburne, Middlebury and Rutland. 10/10/14

I-89 south at I-189 - South Burlington, VT

Exit 13 leaves I-89 south for I-189 west in South Burlington. U.S. 7 travels 19 miles south to VT 22A outside the city of Vergennes. VT 22A represents the first leg of a route to Upstate New York via the Lake Champlain Bridge at Crown Point. 10/07/14

I-89 North at I-189 Throwback

I-89 north at I-189 - 2005

I-89 travels westward across the Williston and the city of South Burlington to the exchange (Exit 13) with I-189. The one mile sign for Exit 13 was relocated to a point west of the VT 116 (Hinesburg Road) overpass. 07/22/05

I-89 north at I-189 - 2005

I-89 makes a gradual northern turn toward the city of Burlington to I-189 at Exit 13. Interstate 189 provides a direct connection to U.S. 7 south to Middlebury and Vergennes. 07/22/05

I-89 north at I-189 - 2005

Exit 13 loops onto I-189 west from Kennedy Drive. I-189 west to U.S. 7 (Shelburne Street) leads motorists north to the Burlington CBD. Champlain Parkway will provide a more direct route to Downtown when it is completed. 07/22/05

West End US 7 – Burlington, Vermont

I-189 West at US 7

I-189 west at US 7 - South Burlington, VT

A wide median separates the roadways of Interstate 189 leading away from I-89 and Kennedy Drive. There are no exits westbound ahead of the ramp to U.S. 7 (Shelbourne Street). 10/06/14

I-189 west at US 7 - South Burlington, VT

Interstate 189 converges with U.S. 7 at a parclo interchange in 0.75 miles. U.S. 7 joins the Burlington area with Vergennes, where VT 22A branches southwest toward the Lake Champlain Bridge, and Rutland, Vermont’s second largest city. 10/10/14

I-189 west at US 7 - South Burlington, VT

All traffic shifts from the freeway mainline onto the exit ramp for U.S. 7 (Shelburne Street). Three of the six ramps at the exchange are closed, as they were built for the unopened Southern Connector. 10/10/14

I-189 west at US 7 - South Burlington, VT

U.S. 7 constitutes a four lane commercial boulevard south from Burlington to the town of Shelbourne. 10/10/14

US 7 North at I-189

US 7 north at I-189 - South Burlington, VT

The second in a series of overheads for the upcoming exchange joining U.S. 7 (Shelburne Road) north with Interstate 189 east. 07/22/05

US 7 north at I-189 - South Burlington, VT

Two lanes depart from U.S. 7 north for Interstate 189 east to I-89 and Kennedy Drive in South Burlington. 10/07/14

US 7 South at I-189

US 7 south at I-189 - Burlington, VT

U.S. 7 (Shelburne Street) passes between a pair of retail plazas from Home Avenue south to the parclo interchange with Interstate 189 east. 08/03/07

US 7 south at I-189 - Burlington, VT

An unopened entrance ramp separates from U.S. 7 south ahead of the I-189 underpass. This ramp and other unopened connections will eventually link with Champlain Parkway from the South End neighborhood. 10/10/14

US 7 south at I-189 - Burlington, VT

A loop ramp lowers from U.S. 7 south to Interstate 189 east for I-89 to Montpelier and St. Albans and Kennedy Drive east to Burlington International Airport (BTV). 10/06/14

Sources:

  1. Champlain Parkway – Project History. City of Burlington, project web site.
  2. “Champlain Parkway construction could begin this year.” WCAX (Burlington, VT), January 5, 2019.

Page updated October 31, 2020.