BRISTOL – In 1996, a new plan for Rt 72 was presented: extend Route 72 into Bristol as a four-lane boulevard on new alignment, and then use widened city streets to create a continuous four-lane highway to Route 229. A 1.1-mile section of boulevard opened on Sept. 27, 2010.
Since its opening there has been very little commercial growth on the Pine Street portion of the road. Multiple empty lots are dotted throughout the state road. Many of the properties are state owned.
Within Bristol, Route 72 runs 5.5 miles (8.9 km) along several streets, in particular, East Main Street, Broad Street (within the Forestville section of Bristol), Middle Street (where it overlaps with Route 229), Riverside Avenue, Main Street, School Street, Divinity Street, Park Street, and Terryville Road. The route runs parallel to the Peqaubuck River in Bristol and crosses it several times.
Almost five years later since the roads construction it seems the Middle St., Mountain Rd. and Pine St. intersection has seen the only growth. A new bank, pharmacy and hospital clinic have popped up.
Anything East of the intersection has not changed much.