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.