Why Connecticut’s ‘highway to nowhere’ may never be finished

For more than 50 years, Route 11 has earned the nicknames of “Route 5 ½” and “highway to nowhere” due to its notoriety of being an unfinished highway. While construction for building the highway began in the ’60s, plans to finish the highway have started and stalled on numerous occasions. Currently operational, Route 11 measures approximately seven miles in length and has two major junctions — Route 82 in Salem and Route 2 in Colchester. It is unlikely that the project will move forward and the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) will “focus resources in other areas,” said Samaia Hernandez, a spokesperson from the DOT. First opening in 1972, the highway was constructed between Route 2 in Colchester and Route 82 in Salem with future plans for expansion to Interstate 95 and Interstate 395 in Waterford. Plans for a renumbering of Route 11 were announced in 2023 by the DOT, marking the most recent work related to the highway. This renumbering is set to take place in 2028.


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