Howard Johnson's Restaurant Connecticut Turnpike
Howard Johnson's Landmark, April 1975, page 1
Connecticut Turnpike-Interstate 95

Dating from Colonial Times, the Boston Post Road served as the primary over-land link between New York City and Boston. During the early 20th century, the route became overburdened with automobile and commercial traffic. In the 1920s the road had been importantly designated a part of U. S. 1, but received few improvements. Discussions ensued about ways to alleviate the roadway's congestion and to improve the overall transportation network in New England's most important commercial corridor.

Starting as early as 1943, piecemeal expressway bypasses were constructed along the Post Road in urban areas relieving some of the pressure from original stretches of the highway. However World War II served to severely limit road building, and it wasn't until 1954 that Connecticut lawmakers seized the initiative to authorize "construction of the 'Greenwich-Killingly Expressway,' a 129-mile-long, controlled-access toll superhighway" connecting New York City to Rhode Island. Construction began on January 17, 1955, and the road was renamed the Connecticut Turnpike. Nearly all of its miles officially opened to traffic on January 2, 1958.

Quickly becoming an integral part of the Nation's transportation infrastructure, the Connecticut Turnpike became a section of Interstate 95. Since it was begun prior to the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 and as a "local" project, the Turnpike's tolls remained in place even after the route became a part of the Interstate Highway system. Featuring eight "barrier" toll plazas, a 1983 tractor-trailer accident at the Stratford Toll Plaza which killed seven people and injured scores more, prompted removal of the tolls by October of 1986.

No longer called the Connecticut Turnpike, I-95 through Connecticut was renamed Governor John Davis Lodge Turnpike. Please visit these sites for more information:



On February 24, 1975 the Howard Johnson Company began operating on the Connecticut turnpike. It had been awarded a ten-year contract to operate eight service plaza restaurants by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, and as part of the contract Howard Johnson's spent $2.3 million on renovations to the eight plazas. Plans called for interiors to be different at each of the cafeteria style Restaurants, but all were to have a Connecticut feel. Decor themes included Colonial, Bicentennial, Constitution, Charter Oak, Old Mill, Mountain Laurel, and more.

In addition to the eight cafeterias, HoJo's also operated two snack bars on the Pike. At the time that the contract was awarded, Howard Johnson's boasted of having 37 Restaurants, 18 Motor Lodges, four red Coach Grills, and two Ground Rounds in the Constitution State.

Howard Johnson's Restaurant Connecticut Turnpike
Howard Johnson's Restaurant Connecticut Turnpike
Post Script: The Turnpike contract was not renewed and the Howard Johnson's plazas were converted into McDonald's in 1985. Renovations cost the McDonald's Corporation $14 million, and in an experiment three locations were sublet to Interstate United which operated table service eateries called Nathan Hale's.