Since the 1950s — through name changes (Connecticut Turnpike to Thruway to I-95), changes in speed limits and the removal of tolls — 2 things remained constant: Exit 17 was in Saugatuck, Exit 18 in Greens Farms.
For even longer — as Merritt Parkway signs changed from wood to metal, and actual arrows were replaced by symbolic ones — Westporters have known 2 truths: Exit 41 was near Wilton, Exit 42 by Weston.
As we’ve seen in many other areas of life, things are not always what they seem. There can be more than one “truth.”
Federal regulations mandate changes, for uniformity and emergency response reasons. With exits marked by miles from a standardized point — in these cases, Mile 0.0 at the New York state border — rather than simple numerical order,* I-95 exit 17 could become Exit 18. The current Exit 18 would be Exit 20.
More drastically, Merritt Parkway Exit 41 would be renumbered Exit 21. Exit 42 would turn into Exit 22.
The dramatic — and so far, unreported — information comes from Neil Brickley. The 1971 Staples High School graduate is a civil engineer. His Wethersfield firm, Close, Jensen & Miller, works closely with the state Department of Transportation.
The mileage calculations are Brickley’s. They’re not yet official.
He notes that similar renumbering on limited access highways has already taken place in both eastern Connecticut, and the Middletown area.
However, there’s good news for traditionalists. The Merritt Parkway project will not begin until 2025. I-95 will not be renumbered until 2029.
And once they’re done, signs with both the new and old numbers will remain for at least 2 years.
(Want to knw more? Click here, for a state DOT Frequently Asked Questions page.)
*There is no Merritt Parkway Exit 43 in Fairfield/ Legend has it that Greenfield Hill residents objected to on- and off-ramps in their neighborhood. When plans were scrapped, numbers had a already been assigned. Exit 43 was simply eliminated.
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