Exit numbers to reflect the mile on I-395

I-395 in Eastern Connecticut. (WTNH / Tina Detelj)

NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH)– Folks driving on Interstate 395 should start to see some significant changes in the next year or so.

The exit numbers will be changing to reflect at what mile they are located, which means exit 80 may soon be exit 11. That’s because exit 80 is closest to the eleven mile mark on Interstate 395 which starts in East Lyme and goes 54 miles north to the Massachusetts border.

Randy Sargent of Norwich says, “I actually like it cause I go up to Maine a lot. Three or four times a year. Just nice to know how long you got before the end of the road.”

While Maine renumbered Interstate 95 years ago, 395 would be the first highway in Connecticut to undergo the change which could start this winter and be complete by the end of next year.

“There might be a little bit of disorientation. Some people might get confused if you’re not from the area,” said Anthony Boone, of Norwich.

Renumbering the highway is federal law and is required to receive certain federal funding.

Boone’s wife Heidi says, “we need federal money you know with the way the states are going with everything right now.”

But the change doesn’t have to be made until highway signs are at the end of their useful life and have to be changed anyway. It’s now nearing the end of the road for these signs on I-395.

“Oh yeah there’s going to be confusion I’m sure especially the locals they’re not going to know. Someone giving them directions not knowing. But they’ll get around they’ll get used to it,” says

Sargent, he then asked, “We always do don’t we?”

For at least two years the old exit numbers will be posted along with the new exit numbers. That will give motorists more time to get used to the change but it will also allow businesses more time to update their marketing materials.

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