Interstate 289 Vermont

Vermont Route 289
History
East End
West End

Overview

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 VT 2A (Colchester Road), VT 15 (Center Road) and VT 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 – VT 127 (Heinburg Drive)
  • Exit 3 – Interstate 89
  • Exit 5 – U.S. 2/7 (Theodore Roosevelt Highway)
  • Exit 7 – VT 2A
  • Exit 9 – VT 15
  • Exit 11 – Allen Martin Parkway
  • Exit 12 – VT 117
  • Exit 13 – Redmond Road
  • Exit 15 – Interstate 89

History

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, VT Map

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, VT 15, VT 117 and VT 127 and upgrades at interchanges along Interstate 89.3

Route Information

  • East End – Essex, VT

  • West End – Essex, VT

  • Mileage – 2.30

  • Cities – Burlington

  • Junctions – none

Source: 2015 (Route Log) AADTs State Highways – Vermont Agency of Transportation Highway Division

Vermont 289 – Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)

Source: 2015 (Route Log) AADTs State Highways – Vermont Agency of Transportation Highway Division

1965 Greater Burlington Urban Area Hwy Plan

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.

East End VT 117 – Essex, Vermont

VT 289 East at VT 117

VT 289 east at VT 117 - Essex

VT 289 curves southward from the turnaround at the planned interchange (Exit 11) with Allen Martin Parkway to Exit 12 with VT 117. 07/22/05

VT 289 east at VT 117 - Essex

Entering the half diamond interchange (Exit 12) with VT 117 (River Road) on VT 289 east. 07/22/05

VT 289 east at VT 117 - Essex

Grading and a roadway stub lie beyond a set of barriers at the Exit 12 gore point for the unconstructed three mile link between VT 117 and Interstate 89 in the town of Williston. 07/22/05

VT 289 east at VT 117 - Essex

VT 117 loops eight miles northwest from U.S. 2 and Interstate 89 in the town of Richmond to VT 2A/15 in Essex Junction. 07/22/05

VT 117 North at VT 289

VT 117 north at VT 289 - Essex

VT 117 (River Road) crosses the Essex town line two miles ahead of the entrance ramp for VT 289 west. 07/22/05

VT 117 north at VT 289 - Essex

VT 289 heads northwest from VT 117 (River Road) around Essex Junction. VT 117 continues west into the village along Maple Street, meeting VT 2A (Park / Lincoln Streets) and VT 15 (Pearl / Main Streets) in 2.4 miles. 07/22/05

VT 117 South at VT 289

VT 117 south at VT 289 - Essex

VT 117 (River Road) straddles the north banks of the Winooski River through the partially built diamond interchange with VT 289. 07/22/05

VT 117 south at VT 289 - Essex

A VT 15 trailblazer referenced the VT 289 connection with Centre Road (Exit 9), located 2.4 miles to the northwest. 07/22/05

West End VT 2A / Suzie Wilson Road – Essex, Vermont

VT 289 West at VT 2A

VT 289 west at VT 2A - Essex

VT 289 arcs west 1.9 miles from the VT 15 overpass at Butlers Corners to VT 2A (Colchester Road) at Exit 7. 07/31/07

VT 289 west at VT 2A - Essex

Rock cuts line both sides of VT 289 preceding the half diamond interchange (Exit 7) with VT 2A (Colchester Road). 07/31/07

VT 289 west at VT 2A - Essex

Exit 7 separates from the VT 289 mainline for Colchester Road. Grading and a roadway stub were completed for the unbuilt western extension of the Chittenden County Circumferential Highway. 07/22/05

VT 289 west at VT 2A - Essex

VT 2A loops through the Essex Junction village center north from U.S. 2 at Williston to U.S. 2/7 at Colchester. 07/22/05

Suzie Wilson Road – East at VT 2A VT 289

Suzie Wilson Road east at VT 2A/289 - Essex

Suzie Wilson Road winds northeast from VT 15 (College Parkway) to VT 2A (Colchester Road) at VT 289. 07/22/05

Suzie Wilson Road east at VT 2A/289 - Essex

Suzie Wilson Road connects with VT 2A opposite the eastbound entrance ramp for VT 289. The controlled access link from Kellogg Road to Colchester Road was completed in 1993. 07/22/05

Sources:

  1. VTrans Project Page: Chittenden County Circumferential Highway (CCCH). http://www.aot.state.vt.us/EIS/Default.htm.
  2. VTrans/FHWA Williston EIS website. http://www.circeis.org/
  3. “Chittenden County Circumferential Highway (CCCH) Right of Way & Mitigation Site Management Plan.” State of Vermont, memorandunm. September 21, 2016.

Page updated July 23, 2021.