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US Route 6 Willimantic Bypass expressway road cuts, Coventry, Tolland Co., Connecticut, USA
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US Route 6 Willimantic Bypass expressway road cuts, Coventry, Tolland Co., Connecticut, USA

Photo: 2009 Peter Cristofono
Latitude: 41°43'24"N
Longitude: 72°16'9"W
Completed in the early 1980s, the U.S. Route 6 Willimantic Bypass expressway is casually referred to as being in Willimantic, the nearby city. Actually it is not in the city's incorporated boundary and instead is situated in four towns - from west to east: Columbia, Coventry, Windham (which includes the city of Willimantic) and Mansfield. At the time of construction, it was intended to be part of Interstate I-84, but those plans were eventually abandoned. Because of this, old labels may refer to the locality as I-84.

The expressway begins in the town of Columbia, at a 4-way at-grade intersection with State Route 66. From here the expressway heads northeast and immediately crosses into the town of Coventry where the eastbound and westbound sides of the expressway split, with a hill in between them. The Coventry section contains by far the major road cuts on the expressway and produced specimens found in old collections. The road cuts expose gneiss of the Ordovician Tatnic Hill Formation (part of the Putnam-Nashoba Terrane); fractures in the gneiss host drusy epidote, quartz, prehnite and zeolites. The coordinates are for this portion of the expressway.

The expressway then crosses the Willimantic River and enters the town of Windham. At the interchange with State Route 32 there are additional road cuts exposing gneiss of the Waterford Group (part of the Avalonian Terrane) and a small pegmatite dike, mostly on the ramps rather than on the highway, which include part of a small quarry. But these cuts are minor compared to those in Coventry.

After the Rt 32 interchange, the expressway enters the town of Mansfield. There are no bedrock road cuts in this section. After U. S. Route 6 Willimantic Bypass crosses the Natchaug River it once again enters Windham. 0.5 miles (0.80 km) after entering Windham, the U.S. Route 6 Willimantic Bypass ends at an interchange with State Route 66 and U. S. Route 6. There are no bedrock road cuts in this final section.

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8 entries listed. 5 valid minerals.

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