Interstate 291 Connecticut

Interstate 291 Connecticut
History
East End
West End

Overview

Hartford, CT Map

Linking I-91 in the town of Windsor with I-84 at the town of Manchester, Interstate 291 is a connector and commuter route north of Hartford. Route 218 (Wolcott Avenue) ties into the western end of the freeway from the town of Bloomfield. East from Route 159, I-291 spans the Connecticut River across the Bissell Bridge to U.S. 5 in South Windsor.

Route Information

  • East End – Manchester, CT

  • West End – Windsor, CT

  • Mileage – 6.02

  • Cities – Hartford, Manchester

  • JunctionsI-91 I-84

Source: December 31, 2021 Interstate Route Log and Finders List

I-291 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)

Source: State of Connecticut Department of Transportation 2015 Traffic Volumes State Maintained Highway Network (Traffic Log)

History

Interstate 291 was originally planned as a 20 mile long beltway around the north, west and south sides of the Hartford metropolitan area.1 Beyond ramps extending west from I-291 to Route 218 and the four level interchange with I-84 at Farmington, the northwestern quadrant of I-291 was never built. The 12.5 mile long segment was cancelled in July 1973.1

The southwestern quadrant remained planned until March 1979. It was projected to arc 7.6 miles southeast from I-84 through Newington, New Britain and Berlin to I-91 at Wethersfield. A short portion of this route, from Interstate 84 to Route 175 along the Newington and New Britain line, was eventually incorporated into the freeway along Route 9. The 3.3 mile long segment opened to traffic on September 30, 1992 at a cost of $32.5 million.3

The Hartford beltway system also includes the freeway along Route 3 extending northeast from I-91 in Wethersfield across the William Putnam Bridge over the Connecticut River to Route 2 in Glastonbury. Proposed as Interstate 491, and by 1968 as the western leg of former I-86, the section north through East Hartford to Manchester was dropped by the state of Connecticut in 1973.3

Opened December 16, 1957 as a local link from I-91 east to U.S. 5, the Captain John Bissell Bridge was the first portion of Interstate 291 completed. Tolls were charged for the span until October 9, 1985. It was signed as part of Connecticut State Route 291 until the remainder of I-291 east to Manchester was completed on September 9, 1994.2,4

Highway Guides

East End I-84 I-384 – Manchester, Connecticut

I-291 East at I-84

I-291 east at I-84 - Manchester, CT

I-291 angles southeast below Burnham Street and concludes one mile ahead at Interstate 84. 05/30/22

I-291 east at I-84 - Manchester, CT

Exit 5 ties into Tolland Turnpike and Chapel Road near Wickham Park and Buckland. The ramps for I-84 follow for Boston, Massachusetts and Hartford. 05/30/22

I-291 east at I-84 - Manchester, CT

Interstate 84 westbound meets I-384 just southwest of I-291 and U.S. 44 (Middle Turnpike). I-384 comprises an 11 mile long spur east to Manchester and Bolton Notch. The freeway was originally part of the planned alignment taking I-84 to Providence, Rhode Island. 05/30/22

I-291 east at I-84 - Manchester, CT

Interstate 84 follows Wilbur Cross Highway northeast from Hartford to Sturbridge, Massachusetts and I-90 (Mass Pike). 05/30/22

I-291 east at I-84 - Manchester, CT

The westbound ramp to I-84 joins a collector distributor roadway ahead of the directional T interchange with Interstate 384 east into Manchester. 05/30/22

I-84 West at I-291

I-84 west at I-291 - Manchester, CT

A lengthy c/d roadway partitions from I-84 west for Exit 62 / Buckland Street, Exit 60 / U.S. 44 and I-384 ahead of the directional T interchange (Exit 61) with Interstate 291 in Manchester. 05/31/22

I-84 west at I-291 - Manchester, CT

The succeeding exit beyond I-291 connects with a distributor roadway to Silver Lane / Spencer Street and I-384, a 8.20 mile long spur east to Bolton. 05/31/22

I-84 west at I-291 - Manchester, CT

Exit 61 leaves I-84 west for Interstate 291 to I-91 south of Bradley International Airport (BDL). 05/31/22

I-84 US 6 East at I-291

I-84 east at I-291 - Manchester, CT

U.S. 6 overlaps with I-84 east from Downtown Hartford to Exit 60 with U.S. 44 (Middle Turnpike). Preceding the parclo interchange at Exit 60 and succeeding flyover for I-291 is the HOV ramp separation for Interstate 384 east. 05/31/22

I-84 east at I-291 - Manchester, CT

Exit 61 for Interstate 291 west departs a half mile beyond the I-84 split with U.S. 6 east at Manchester. 05/31/22

I-84 east at I-291 - Manchester, CT

Passing under U.S. 44 (Middle Turnpike), Exit 61 leaves Interstate 84 east for I-291 west to South Windsor and I-91 at Windsor. 05/31/22

I-384 West at I-291

I-384 west at I-84/291 - Manchester, CT
I-384 west at I-84/291 - Manchester, CT
I-384 west at I-84/291 - Manchester, CT

The ramp linking the west end of I-384 with I-84 east forms a distributor roadway extending northeast beyond U.S. 6/44 (Middle Turnpike) to exits for both I-291 west and Buckland Street. 05/31/22

West End I-91 Connecticut Route 218 – Windsor, Connecticut

I-291 West at I-91 Connecticut Route 218

I-291 west at I-91/Route 218 - South Windsor, CT

I-291 bee lines west from U.S. 5 to the Captain John Bissell Memorial Bridge preceding Exit 3 for Deerfield Road to Route 159 (Windsor Avenue). 05/31/22

I-291 west at I-91/Route 218 - Windsor, CT

The half diamond interchange at Exit 3 links I-291 west with Deerfield Road and Putnam Highway west to Route 159 and Route 218 in Windsor. 05/31/22

I-291 west at I-91/Route 218 - Windsor, CT

Traffic partitions at the west end of Interstate 291 with single lane ramps to I-91 north, the spur west to Route 218 (Putnam Highway) and I-91 south. 05/31/22

I-291 west at I-91/Route 218 - Windsor, CT

Interstate 91 travels north from Hartford and Windsor to Windsor Locks and Springfield, Massachusetts. 05/31/22

I-291 west at I-91/Route 218 - Windsor, CT

Exit 2 A separates from I-291 west for I-91 south into Hartford. The freeway spur extending west from Exit 1 toward Bloomfield ties into Route 218 in a half mile. 05/31/22

I-91 North at Connecticut Route 218 I-291

I-91 north at I-291/Route 218 - Hartford, CT

The first guide sign for I-291 and Route 218 precedes the diamond interchange (Exit 34) with Route 159 (Windsor Avenue) in north Hartford. 05/30/22

I-91 north at I-291/Route 218 - Hartford, CT

Meeting I-91 again at Exit 42 in Windsor Locks, Multi State Route 159 travels 16.82 miles north from the Windsor town line at Exit 34 to the Massachusetts state border. 05/30/22

I-91 north at I-291/Route 218 - Windsor, CT

Forthcoming Interstate 291 provides a bypass route across the Captain John Bissell Bridge and town of South Windsor east to Manchester. 05/30/22

I-91 north at I-291/Route 218 - Windsor, CT

I-91 shifts west from MSR 159 a half mile to the diamond and trumpet interchanges (Exit 35) with Interstate 291 east and Route 218 (Putnam Highway). 05/30/22

I-91 north at I-291/Route 218 - Windsor, CT

A distributor roadway separates from I-91 north to both Interstate 291 east and Route 218 (Putnam Highway). The Bissell Bridge opened in 1959 and was designated as Route 291 until 1994. 05/30/22

I-91 north at I-291/Route 218 - Windsor, CT

Exit 35 A departs for I-291 east to I-84 and U.S. 44 at the town of Manchester. Route 218 parallels the freeway to the immediate north, concluding at Route 159 nearby. 05/30/22

I-91 South at Connecticut Route 218 I-291

I-91 south at I-291/Route 218 - Windsor, CT

The fifth and final exit along Interstate 91 southbound through the town of Windsor is the exchange (Exit 35) with Route 218 west and I-291 east. 05/30/22

I-91 south at I-291/Route 218 - Windsor, CT

Subdivisions abut both sides of Interstate 91 leading south into the diamond interchange (Exit 35 B) with Route 218 (Putnam Highway). 05/31/22

I-91 south at I-291/Route 218 - Windsor, CT

Interstate 291 crosses the Captain John Bissell Bridge over the Connecticut River east to U.S. 5 (John Fitch Boulevard) in the town of South Windsor. 05/30/22

I-91 south at I-291/Route 218 - Windsor, CT

Route 218 (Putnam Highway) stems west from Route 159 (Windsor Avenue) along Interstate 291 to I-91 and the town of Bloomfield. The seven mile long state route roughly parallels the unconstructed course of I-291 south to U.S. 44 (Albany Avenue) in the town of West Hartford. 05/30/22

I-91 south at I-291/Route 218 - Windsor, CT

I-91 south at the loop ramp for Interstate 291 east to Manchester. The trumpet interchange (Exit 35 A) with I-291 overlays the exchange with Route 218. 05/30/22

Connecticut Route 218 East at I-291

Route 218 east at I-291 - Windsor, CT

Route 218 (Putnam Highway) east at the spur connecting with Interstate 291 to South Windsor. 05/30/22

Sources:

  1. Connecticut I-291. Connecticut Roads (Scott Oglesby).
  2. Connecticut I-491. Connecticut Roads (Scott Oglesby).
  3. The Bissell Bridge. Connecticut Roads (Scott Oglesby).
  4. Connecticut Route 9. Connecticut Roads (Scott Oglesby).

Page updated June 8, 2022.