According to Ehuacom, Hartford is the capital of the state of Connecticut, in the United States. The city has 121,000 inhabitants but is part of the urbanized center and west of the state and has an agglomeration of 1,212,000 inhabitants (2021).
According to mcat-test-centers, Hartford is located on the Connecticut River and is not that big itself with only 123,000 inhabitants. Hartford is surrounded by several larger suburbs and a large urbanized countryside. The city is part of an urbanized corridor towards New York City, but is not usually included in it. The city is located just south of the Massachusetts border and is 155 kilometers northeast of New York, 40 kilometers south of Springfield, and 150 kilometers southwest of Boston. The city is nicknamed the “insurance capital of the world”, as many major insurance companies and financial institutions are headquartered here. The city has seen a slow decline in population since a peak of 177,000 inhabitants in 1950. The city itself is one of the poorest cities in the United States, but the conurbation is one of the most prosperous. The state of Connecticut is the richest state in the country. The Hartford metropolitan area is one of the least developed in the United States, with generally less than 1,000 inhabitants per km².
Hartford has also been referred to as the capital of incomplete highways, due to a large number of projects that were canceled during the Freeway Revolts. A large highway network was planned in the 1960s, because Hartford was seen as the overflow area of New York. Large parts of these projects have been cancelled, which can be seen in a large number of nodes and connections that are half-completed or half-used. I-84 and I-91 are the major thoroughfares of the metropolitan area. I-291 forms part of a once-planned three-quarter ring road, currently the highway only forms the northeast bypass. I-384 forms the eastern approach road from the suburb of Manchester and was once part of the planned I-84 to Providence. I-691 forms a southern link between I-84 and I-91. SR-2 forms a southeastern highway, as does SR-9 to the Connecticut coast. The SR-3 forms a short highway, once part of the southeastern ring road. SR-72 is a connecting highway between I-84 and SR-9 in New Britain. The Wilbur Cross Parkway parallels I-95/I-91 around New Haven.
Hartford has one of the oldest urban highway networks in the United States. Almost all highways were opened before 1970. The first highway was built during the Second World War. In 1940, construction of a highway along the Connecticut River near downtown Hartford began. Construction was halted in 1942 due to material shortages, but was later resumed. On October 3, 1945, this 2 kilometer long highway was opened as Hartford’s first highway.
In 1944, a freeway plan for Hartford was drawn up. The Wilbur Cross Parkway was started immediately after the Second World War. In 1949 it opened from East Hartford to the Massachusetts border. This was the first longer highway in northern Connecticut. A year later, the second section of I-91 opened north of Downtown Hartford. Construction of several highways from Hartford to other cities was started in the 1950s. In 1951, State Route 9 opened in Middletown. In 1952 the first section of State Route 2 opened. In 1959, the State Route 3 bridge opened over the Connecticut River.
The creation of the Interstate Highway system in 1956 accelerated the construction of I-84 and I-91 in the Hartford area. In 1965-1966, I-91 between New Haven and Hartford was completed. At the same time, I-84 was being built through Hartford. In 1971, I-384 opened around Manchester, just east of Hartford. State Route 72 in New Britain was completed in 1979.
Two new freeways were built after the 1980s. In 1988, I-691 opened west of Meriden. In 1994, I-291 north of Hartford was completed. Most freeways were modernized in the 1980s and 1990s, especially I-91.
Since the completion of the highways in the Hartford area, the region has two faces. On the one hand there are modern highways with many flyovers, parallel roads and connecting roads, on the other hand there are also many highways with a cramped design, incomplete and substandard interchanges and missing emergency lanes. The Hartford region has a dense highway network, but a good ring structure is lacking. The spacious area around Hartford is urbanized, but it lacks good connections beyond the center of Hartford, especially northwest and southeast of Hartford.
Hartford’s highway network is very outdated and has a number of major bottlenecks and complicated interchanges. As a result, there are many traffic jams in the urban area, especially around the center. The suburban population is 10 times that of the city itself, which creates a large commuter flow. Especially on the I-84 there are many traffic jams.