Tourist Attraction Sign Program for Limited Access Highways
Application Requirements

In determining if a traffic generator warrants attraction signing, the Department considers the attraction’s regional significance, the type of generator, traffic volume generated, and distance from the limited access highway.  The Department used the current edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) from the Federal Highway Administration and the Guidelines for the Selection of Supplemental Guide Signs for Traffic Generators Adjacent to Freeways from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), which provide guidance, criteria, and limitations for the installation and placement of supplemental guide signs.


Requirements for consideration in signing under the Attraction Sign program are as follows:

  • Meets the definition of an “attraction” - Businesses, facilities, or sites whose primary purpose is satisfying the needs of visitors from outside the immediate area for recreational, educational, scientific, environmental, natural, cultural, heritage/historical, or entertainment related activities.  Visitors from outside the immediate area are defined as those traveling 20 miles or more from their place of residence.  Attractions may also include a group of sites with common significance, such as an Antique District or Historic District.
  • Shall comply with laws concerning the provisions of public accommodations without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, or national origin, and laws concerning the licensing and approval of service facilities.
  • Meet all Americans with Disabilities (ADA) requirements for accessibility. Each business identified shall have given written assurance to the state of its conformity with all applicable laws concerning the provisions of public accommodations without regard to race, color, sex, national origin, or handicap and shall not be in breach of that assurance.
  • Open to the general public at least five days a week, including a Saturday or a Sunday.
  • Open to the general public at least six hours per day and operate a minimum of 60 days per year for seasonal attractions. Minimum operating hours are considered to be at least five days a week including a Saturday or a Sunday, open no later than 11 am and close no earlier than 3 pm. Public activities must be available during hours of operation.
  • Provide adequate legal parking within walking distance of the attraction.
  • Provide public access to restrooms, drinking water and telephone for emergency use.
  • Provide a telephone for emergency purposes.
  • If there is an admission charge, it must be readily visible to prospective visitors at the point of entry.
  • The facility or business must be included on the website published by the Connecticut Office of Tourism.  
  • Provide a professional website and domain. Information on the website must include a description of the attraction and the days and hours of operation. (Note: hours of operation on the website must match hours of operation on the application form)
  • Trailblazing - Signing under this policy shall be limited to attractions reached by no more than four (4) turns from the end of an exit ramp. If trailblazing is required on local roads, a sign on the state highway will not be erected until the Department is in receipt of adequate assurance from appropriate authorities that required trailblazing signs have been installed. The trailblazing sign must display the distance to the facility (in miles) in addition to directional information. Trailblazing on local roads is the responsibility of the applicant.

Meeting the requirement above does not necessarily mean the attraction automatically qualifies for signing. Engineering judgment is important in the final determination as to whether attraction signs will be installed. If a field investigation reveals that the existing signing is already at the maximum level as permitted by the MUTCD or where an “on premise” sign, clearly visible from the limited access highway, already exists for the facility requesting a sign, the request for signing will be denied. Additionally, not all interchanges qualify for signing in order to maintain sign spacing in accordance with federal standards and due to locations where sign installation is infeasible.


The Department reserves the right to remove signs on State roadways without prior notice.  Reasons for removal include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Signs are found to create a safety hazard.
  • Subsequent additions/changes to existing signs result in spacing of less than 800 feet between signs.
  • Construction activities (including provision of traffic management safety controls) necessitate sign removal.
  • The facility fails to comply with provisions of the Attraction program at any time.
  • Signs have been installed without approval from the Department.


Application Instructions


To apply go to:

  1. If you have not done so already, you will be required to Create a New User Id.
  2. Once you have an approved User Id and password (this can potentially take a couple days to be approved), log into the system.
  3. From the home screen of the application system, you can update your contact information, view/query all of your current and previous application requests, and submit an application.
  4. Navigate to the Attraction Application.
    1. When submitting an application, select the Qualifying Category of your business from the drop-down menu.
    2. Fill out the remainder of the application as completely as possible.
      1. Some fields are required.
      2. Only the qualified interchanges can be selected.If you don’t see the interchange or direction, you’re looking for in the drop-down, then that interchange does not qualify for signing.
    3. Once complete, submit the application.
  5. The Department will review your application for pre-approval. Should your business qualify for pre-approval, the Department will provide you with the next steps for your business to participate in the Attraction program by email.
  6. Should you have any questions throughout the process, please go to the Contact Us page in the application system or submit an email to and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

There is no fee associated with the Attraction program.  Note, custom logo Attraction panels are required to be fabricated by the attraction at the attractions expense.

If an approved applicant is dissatisfied with the amount of time necessary for installation of the Attraction signs by the Department, the applicant may undertake the installation through the encroachment permit process.  The Department will supply the design detail for fabrication and all other expenses will be borne by the applicant.  Once installed, the sign will become the property of the Department. The applicant is not eligible for reimbursement of any costs incurred and does not retain any special privileges for having installed the signs.

Attraction Signs Priority & Bumping

If space does not permit, an attraction may be limited to signing in only one direction of travel.  Attractions are to be signed from the nearest qualifying interchange and will not be signed from more than one interchange.  Only one Attraction panel per attraction will be permitted per interchange per approach and will not be posted overhead.  Priority for inclusion on an Attraction sign is given to those attractions located within five (5) miles of an exit.  If space on the sign allows, then those attractions located within 10 miles of the exit will be included.


If applications are received for the same interchange for more attractions than available sign space will allow, applications will be prioritized by the Department based on attraction type, distance from the limited access highway, regional significance, and annual attendance.  Although there are other factors when determining sign priority, the following is the typical priority when considering attraction type:


  • National or State park
  • Historic, cultural, or recreational sites
  • Qualifying commercial establishments


If the first application in this situation is terminated for any reason prior to the erection of the mainline Attraction sign, the next application in chronological order will be reactivated.


If there are six (6) existing destination on an Attraction sign and a seventh qualifying applicant requests signing, the attraction located the greatest distance from the interchange or with the smallest annual attendance will be bumped from the Attraction Sign program and all signs at the interchange for the bumped attraction will be removed.  Bumping will be determined by the Department’s Division of Traffic Engineering.  The bumped participating attraction will be removed from the Attraction Sign only after that attraction has been displayed for not less than one (1) year from the date of initial installation.