How would you like to have your own, secret entrance to Interstate-84 westbound, that only the locals in town knew about but outsiders generally did not? Well, for IBM that is exactly what they were able to facilitate to help their home-bound employees get a head start on their way back towards Newtown, Brookfield, Bethel, Danbury and even New York State.

Secret Entrance in Southbury

The story behind IBM’s huge property purchase in Southbury is a fascinating one. The giant corporation pulled off one of the most impressive real estate deals ever witnessed in western Connecticut – and probably in many other locations for that matter.

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In order to pay the lowest possible price for all of the land they would need for their new one million square foot data and operations center, they put together a small army of real estate agents. These agents negotiated, one-by-one, with all of the persons who held the property titles to the land the company wanted. The real estate agents wouldn’t say who they were representing – just some unnamed party who was interested in a cash deal for their land. Then, once everything was in place, the deals were executed at the Town Clerk’s office on the same morning and a public announcement was made that IBM was coming to town.

Had the property owners known it was a deep-pocketed corporation that wanted to locate their mammoth facility there, they could have held out for more money. This way, IBM was able to secure the site with a minimum of cash out of their coffers.

But that was not the end of things. The traffic pattern in and around Exit 15 in Southbury, where Routes 6 and 67 intersect in front of the entrance to a very large shopping center, was going to get considerably worse. More than 1,000 workers would be commuting to the site every day. So, a plan was hatched to create an unofficial on-ramp to i-84 that would eventually hook into the existing exit 15 on-ramp.

Phantom I84 Entrances and Exits in the Greater Danbury Area: The Secret Entrance in Southbury

One of the main reasons this entrance is considered so “secret” is that state highway officials erected Jersey barriers along the left side of the exit 15 on-ramp to make sure that cars didn’t wander into the main traffic flow too early. These barriers have the added benefit of shielding the average driver’s view of the secret entrance – unless you’re driving a truck and can see over the barriers.

While the existence of the entrance is not widely known, it is open to anyone to use. Personally, I use it frequently since it’s a big time saver for getting on the highway from Route 6.

In the third and final installment of this series on mysterious i-84 entrances and exits, we’ll examine the most mysterious of them all – the abandoned exit 12 locations.

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