Connecticut Roads - I-84/US 6 EB - 3

Exit 44 and east

The last photo is on the Exit 48 ramp.

As I enter Hartford, my attention is divided between the skyline to the left and the State Capitol to the right. It would also be divided by the button copy below, but I've already gotten those photos.

Across the Bulkeley Bridge and off the US 44 exit.

Where the heck did those shields come from? The assembly looked old, but it's not button copy, so I'm flummoxed. Could it date as far back as the redesignation of I-86 as I-84 and the creation of I-384 (once it was clear I-84 would never be extended along US 6 to Providence)? Dave Bielski says yes.

Connecticut decided to replace those shields, and all of a sudden they have the state name on them. The first assembly is decent enough, but the second one is all wrong - no state name on the left, completely incorrect font on the right. You'll see that again on HOV signs if you drive the road now, even though those shields were holding up a lot better.

The EB onramp from Exit 58 (Roberts St.) advises motorists against cutting five lanes to the left just to catch the HOV lane.

The beginning of I-384. Originally, I-84 was to run to Providence along the US 6 corridor. I-384 and US 6's Willimantic Bypass are both CT remnants of this grand plan, as is the abrupt end of the US 6 freeway in Rhode Island. I-84 was I-86 for a brief period of time between Hartford and Massachusetts, with signs saying one ended and the other began, and unfortunately it is doubtful any shields survive (except maybe on the top sign of the US 44 page - link at bottom). For an even briefer period of time, before I-384 connected to I-84 (it came just short to Silver Lane), it was signed as I-84 along with the mainline, creating the confusion of two parallel highways with the same number, although if you were on one there was very little information telling you about the existence of the other.

Exit 61 is the eastern end of I-291. Also, the HOV lane has not yet split between I-384 and I-84. Here (and elsewhere above) you see signage in the HOV lanes; white, with a "RESTRICTED LANE" tab, and a little white-on-black diamond in the corner. It looks like it hasn't been replaced since the advent of the HOV lane, and once it is replaced, thanks to the MUTCD, it won't be white on black anymore. (It'll be just like other signs except with a diamond, which will be exponentially more confusing.)

Remember that I-86 talk? This 1970 Michael Summa photo has the answer for you. The original designation of this Wilbur Cross Highway was CT 15, a continuation of the rest of that route that now ends into I-84. It was dualized and then introduced into the Interstate system as I-84, with the intent that the leg from Hartford to Providence would be I-82. In 1969, the FHWA flip-flopped, sending I-84 to Providence and making I-86 the connection from Hartford to Sturbridge. So because of the renumbering, I-86 shields started to go up even though the I-84 shields didn't come down yet. CT 15 was not removed from the I-84 junction to the MA state line until much later in 1980. Finally, US 44 now has barely any multiplex with I-84, but used to head all the way out to Exit 69 and CT 74, so that accounts for the fourth shield (again, original to the freeway). Thanks to Eric Bryant for setting my history straight.

Back to I-84/US 6 EB, Exits 21-43
Switch to the westbound side
Exit 60 to US 6 alone
Back to I-84 main page

Follow I-84 into Massachusetts
Exits 51-52 to I-91
Exits 53 or 60 to US 44
Exit 55 to CT 2
Exit 56, the I-284 stub
Exit 58 to Silver Lane
Exit 59 to I-384
Exit 61 to I-291
Back to CT Roads
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