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I Have Many Memories of Route 111

Monroe’s 'second' Main Street'

You may find it hard to believe that an article regarding the needed bridge work on Route 111 could bring back so many memories.

For most of the world Route 111 isn’t exactly the Appian Way of ancient Rome but it sure played an important part in the Monroe of my youth — and even later.

First a little history. If you were to type Main Street, Monroe, CT into the map feature of an iPad or Google Maps, it shows Route 25 as Main Street. But after Route 25 intersects with Route 111, where Super 25 picks up, Main Street becomes Route 111 through Trumbull and into Bridgeport.

So technically, in Monroe at least, Main Street is Route 25, but for me Route 111 was always the "main" street.

If you've lived around here for the past several years, you probably  know that Route 111 travels from its intersection with Route 34 in Stevenson all the way through Trumbull to Bridgeport. 

But at one time — before the construction of Super 25 — Route 111 ended at Route 25. Route 25 then proceeded through what I guess you'd call the business district of Trumbull all the way through Bridgeport to Interstate 95.

And even before that prior to the major redesign of the intersection, motorists would have to ascend a fairly steep grade to a stop sign on the corner of Routes 111 and 25. It was a hazardous intersection because the line of sight from the North was very limited. 

There were many occasions when my father would get onto Route 25 from Route 111 when someone would come zipping around the corner, going south on Route 25, nearly hitting us.

Anyone living in Monroe outside of the Stepney region used Route 111 to get to Trumbull or Bridgeport — two important destinations for work and commerce.

But my connections to Route 111 don't end there. The only two schools I ever went to in Monroe were on Route 111 — Monroe Consolidated and Masuk.

St. Peter's Episcopal Church where I was baptized, confirmed and married is located on Route 111.

Finally, my first jobs out of high school were at companies located on Route 111 — Vitramon Corp which was on Route 111 in Trumbull at that time and the Anodic Corp in Stevenson just as you head down the long, steep part of Route 111 toward Stevenson Lumber — yet another company that served as a place of employment for many of my friends.

(We used to love coasting down that long steep hill on our bikes, arms outstretched, seeing who would be the first to hit the brakes. It was usually me!)

Today, of course, the region where the bridge that needs to be replaced is located is much more commercial than during my day.

I remember there being two places of business there — Spada's Garage at the Gulf Station on the corner of Cross Hill Road and Route 111 and Buckley's Market roughly across from Spada’s. 

Then on the corner of Elm Street and Route 111 there was a pharmacy and I believe another small grocery store.

Aside from that,  Route 111 was very much like it looks today going from the Monroe Green to Route 34 — a pleasant drive through largely rural residential country.

But that's all history so if you'll excuse me, I'm headed to the carnival in Monroe with my grand children — one more trip down Route 111.

Life in Monroe, small town America

Those were the days.

Nancy Zorena July 11, 2011 at 11:10 AM
Very nice articles about Monroe. Thank you! I grew up on Main Street in Trumbull on Route 25 which is now Route 111 and where I live today in Monroe!
QWERTY July 11, 2011 at 04:04 PM
"But at one time — before the construction of Super 25 — Route 111 ended at Route 25. Route 25 then proceeded through what I guess you'd call the business district of Trumbull all the way through Bridgeport to Interstate 95." Help me out here..."Super 25" is the 55 MPH highway portion of rt. 25, correct? So, was today's rt. 111 in Trumbull, called rt. 25 back in the day (in Trumbull that is)? I'm trying to get an understanding of when the rt. 25 highway (55 MPH) section was built as opposed to the rt 25 and rt 111 Monroe "town" roads. I don't understood why 111 or 25 were never kept as 55 MPH highways through Monroe...or at least remained two lanes.
Nancy Zorena July 11, 2011 at 04:48 PM
The highway or connector is the "Route 25 connector". When they put the connector in they changed the name of lower Route 25 through Main Street Trumbull to Route 111. But in Stepney Section of Monroe Main Street is still Route 25.
Christine E. July 11, 2011 at 05:29 PM
This will give you all the information you are looking for. http://www.kurumi.com/roads/ct/ct25.html
QWERTY July 11, 2011 at 08:21 PM
Ok, thanks. Quite comical all the "planning" going on without any real work being done.
Christine E. July 12, 2011 at 01:47 PM
QWERTY, yeah...it is funny. I guess i'm used to persistent planning without attack. I spent my whole life waiting for Rt. 7 to become "Super 7" (as did my parents!) growing up in Ridgefield, and it will never happen. Only just recently have they started expanding it to a 4 lane road with a project that's taking an eternity. Very funny indeed!
QWERTY July 12, 2011 at 03:43 PM
Rt. 7 is ridiculous. I know it's NIMBY-ville over there, but get a highway going already. It would open up Fairfield county so much more. The rt.7/parkway interchange is a complete and utter joke. Some ramps exist, others don't...almost all the ramps are outdated.
Christine E. July 12, 2011 at 04:44 PM
QWERTY - I know, I agree with you big time. It was mostly ready to go decades ago, but the Wilton-ites put the kabosh on it. Rt. 7 is basically the entire town, with the exception of their small center village. The 4 lane widening project right now is a joke all together. Yes, it's helped with traffic because the Merger on the Ridgefield/Danbury line has been taken away, but now you have 45mph street that has been widened and straightened, so alot of people travel on at 65mph+ with traffic lights and no turn lanes for businesses (or a divider of any kind in between). Rt. 7 was a death trap before, and now it's only worse. Would have been much better off with a highway.
Wolfe July 12, 2011 at 09:32 PM
Monroe was a farm town when I moved here in the early/mid-1970's. Route 111 was the main road for the entire town. Main Street (route 25) was hardly used at all, other than for people who were going to the bowling alley. Those were the days, my friend, I thought they'd never end. We'd sing and dance.......
Nancy Zorena July 13, 2011 at 01:23 AM
In the late 50's and 60's, we used to travel up Main Street from Long Hill to Stepney to go roller skating - that building burned down several months ago.
Michael Vasilou August 25, 2011 at 04:08 AM
I remember driving on that road in 1963 (age 7) wondering if there were still witches in the woods. (not too far Velvet Road where the "melonheads" were rumored to live)

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