Author: Neil

I-95

General Routing

RI line in Attleboro to NH line in Salisbury via Waltham.

Upgrades and Multiplexes

Expressway full length. Brief wrong-way multiplex with US 1 / MA 1A north of Canton. Multiplexed with MA 128 from Canton to Peabody. [1]

History

First appears in 1958 on the highway up to the New Hampshire border. Between 1959 and 1961, was listed as under construction from the RI line to North Attleboro, proposed to 128 and proposed north of Boston to near Danvers. By 1966, the section south of Boston was completed.

Inside 128, though, it is unclear what was and wasn’t 95. It definitely was on north of the Harbor tunnels and up the Northeast Expressway. The highway was proposed to head more or less directly into the heart of Boston from the Canton interchange with 128, roughly paralleling Hyde Park Ave to Washington St and then up Washington to the infamous Inner Belt. North of town, 95 was proposed to run through southern Saugus, through Lynn Woods and into Peabody. It would have crossed 128 west of the current interchange and paralleled US 1 to the east. It appears construction actually began on the section north of Revere to Ballard St in Saugus.

In 1972, the southern highway proposal (the Southwest Expressway) was abandoned [2] and I-95 was routed onto MA 128 & MA 3 from Canton to Boston. This was a short-lived proposal; by 1975 I-95 was cosigned with 128 from Canton to Peabody. 95 was built to the east of US 1 through Peabody to Danvers. The final piece of the puzzle, the interchange in Peabody between 128 and 95 north, was opened between 1986 and 1995.

[flickr-gallery mode=”search” tags=”i 95″ user_id=”80252055@N02″]

Notes

[1] Yes, I know that 128 technically exists only from Peabody to Gloucester. But the signs show it multiplexed with 95 and everyone calls it 128 anyways. Want to know the gory details? Go to the MA 128 page.

[2] Planning the City Upon a Hill by Lawrence W. Kennedy.


I-93

General Routing

Canton to NH line in Methuen via Boston

Upgrades and Multiplexes

Expressway full length. Multiplexed with US 1 / MA 1A, then picks up MA 3, and finally MA 3A to Boston.

History

I-93 first appears as proposed or under construction north of Boston in 1958. By 1961, the highway was built from Medford to Lawrence. By 1966, it was complete to the NH border.

In the Boston area, the southern end of 93 was Mystic Ave in Somerville. Between 1972 and 1974, the highway was extended south to meet the Central Artery and I-95. In 1975, I-95 was rerouted onto MA 128 and I-93 took over from where they intersected to Quincy. By 1977, it had been extended westward from Quincy to Canton.

[flickr-gallery mode=”search” tags=”i 93″ user_id=”80252055@N02″]

I-91

General Routing

CT line in Longmeadow to VT line in Bernardston

Upgrades and Multiplexes

Expressway full length.

Briefly cosigned with US 5 in Springfield.
Cosigned with MA 2 in Greenfield.

History

The first hint of this highway in a proposed highway south of Springfield in 1959. By 1961, the highway was built from the CT line to Springfield, and under construction the the South Deerfield Bypass. North of the South Deerfield Bypass to south of Bernardston was also shown as under construction; north to the VT line was completed. The whole was listed as a proposed Interstate. By 1966, construction had progressed into Springfield from the south, as well as sections from North Hatfield to the South Deerfield bypass and from Greenfield to Bernardston. By late 1966, the highway north of I-90 was scheduled to open, leaving only the Springfield to I-90 segment to build. By 1971, all of this but the section between West St and Memorial Ave was built; the last segment was completed the following year.

[flickr-gallery mode=”search” tags=”i 91″ user_id=”80252055@N02″]

Links

Kurumi’s I-91 entry.
Dan Vincent’s I-91 page.

I-90

General Routing

NY line at Stockbridge to East Boston via Springfield and Framingham.

Upgrades and Multiplexes

Expressway full length; toll highway.

History

The Mass Turnpike first opened on May 15 ,1957 from the New York state line to MA 128. [1] Construction began January 4, 1955, with the 123 mile mainline road being split into 133 separate contracts [2]. The toll from West Stockbridge to Weston was $2.45 and the speed limit was 60 MPH.

The road was designated I-90 in 1959. In 1964, the Boston Extension was opened between 128 and the Allston-Brighton tolls. It was extended to the Central Artery Expressway on Feb 18, 1965. The toll increased to $3.00 for and end-to-end trip due to the extra length. The Boston Extension cost nearly as much as the entire rest of the road ($240 million for the extension, compared to $257 million for the main section). [2]

In 1969, exit 11A was created for I-495 and the speed limit was increased to 65 MPH. By 1969, tolls had edged up slightly, to $3.30 for the full length. The increases over the original toll were 5 cents for each segment between Lee (Exit 2) and Weston (exit 14), except for Palmer to Sturbridge which remained at 30 cents.

In 1974, the federal government passed the National Maximum Speed Limit law which basically set a cap on speed limits at 55 MPH. By 1979, tolls had gone up again. A trip from end to end would now cost $4.30. Tolls increased from 5 to 20 cents per segment.

Tolls were eliminated for passenger cars west of exit 6 in July, 1996. [3]

Exit 10A opened in 1998, allowing direct access to MA 146.

The Ted Williams Tunnel was connected to the rest of I-90 via the O’Neill Tunnel in January, 2003.

[1] Much of the specific date information (as opposed to the “between 1961 and 1966 type of stuff”) comes from the Mass Turnpike’s official website.

[2] “Riding The Pike” Worcester Telegram & Gazette, May 15, 2007

[3] “Issue: 2002-Turnpike/Toll Increases” article on 02133.org.

[flickr-gallery mode=”search” tags=”i 90″ user_id=”80252055@N02″]

Links

Dan Vincent’s I-90 page

I-86

retired

General Routing

CT line in Holland to Sturbridge

Upgrades and Multiplexes

Expressway full length

History

Number used for I-84 during the 70’s and early 80’s. See MA 15 for route history.

Photos

[flickr-gallery mode=”search” tags=”i 86″ user_id=”80252055@N02″]

I-84

General Routing

CT line in Holland to Sturbridge

Upgrades and Multiplexes

Expressway full length.

History

Existed as I-86 in the 70’s and 80’s. See MA 15 for the route history.

[flickr-gallery mode=”search” tags=”i 84″ user_id=”80252055@N02″]

Links

Kurumi’s I-84 entry


Vermonters unearth roads of yore to update maps of public land – The Boston Globe

Vermonters unearth roads of yore to update maps of public land – The Boston Globe: “Paul Gillies, a Montpelier attorney, traveled a slow and circuitous route on an unpaved mountain track until he reached a hairpin bend in the route. Nearby, where fresh snow resembled a dazzling white comforter, a gap between the pine trees appeared to expose remnants of an old, unused road.”

Well, it’s not exactly the kind of road history I’m into – I really only get interested once the routes have numbers – but I still think it’s a fascinating topic. It also plays into my interest (indirectly) of the towns that were abandoned for the Quabbin. Times change and the roads we needed then aren’t so necessary now. Who knows what current highways will still be in use in 200 years?

(Via Boston.com.)

Whoops!

If you stopped by in the past 24 hours or so, youm ight have noticed htings looked a little weird… seems that if you update Drupal (the site software I’m using) via your webhost’s control panel instead of via the instructions in the upgrade package, Bad Things Happen, like your site theme gets blown away.

Lesson learned.

Effect of Southwest Expressway cancellation?

From Flickr, regarding this image:

sds70has posted a comment:

Looking back now, do you think folks wish I-95 was run thru downtown Boston vs. around it? Yesssss, I understand folks houses were saved but in the long term, do you think not fully completing the Interstate plan around Boston is what caused the traffic mess that is in place today ?

This is just my opinion, but no. Building more highways doesn’t seem to fix traffic problems. There’s two sets of traffic problems that this cancellation could conceivably have made worse. One is Rt 128; the other is the Southeast Expressway.

I’ll take the second one first, because it’s easier – adding another route for vehicles to get into the city would have made central Boston’s traffic problems much much worse. It’s not like the highway would have added capacity to the rest of the roads. It certainly could have delayed the traffic on the Expressway, but really it would have just moved it further into the city.

As for 128, I believe that even with 95 signed through the city, folks just passing through would go around Boston as they do with New York. The traffic on 128 suggests a need for better options connecting the suburban towns rather than improved options into the city.

Welcome

Welcome to the new NortheastHighways.com site.

My plan is to transfer the highway content from neilbert.com over to here. Some of it is already completely here (Mass Route Log), some needs to be fixed (the exit guides).

Design wise, there’s a lot to be done as well – it’s pretty generic. I’m sure someday I’ll get to that.