Interstate 84 in Massachusetts

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Interstate 84 marker

Interstate 84
Map of southern Massachusetts with I-84 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by MassDOT
Length: 7.7 mi (12.4 km)
Existed: 1958 – present
History:
Major junctions
West end: I‑84 in Holland at the Connecticut state line
  US 20 in Sturbridge
East end: I‑90 / Mass Pike in Sturbridge
Location
Counties: Worcester, Hampden
Highway system
Route 83 Route 85
Route 85 I-86.svg Route 86
Route 15 MA Route 15.svg (former) Route 16

Interstate 84 (I-84) in Massachusetts is the eastern-most segment of the eastern I-84 highway originating in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, (near Scranton). Within Massachusetts, I-84 exists in the towns of Holland and Sturbridge. Known as the Wilbur Cross Highway, it has also been signed as Massachusetts Route 15 between 1948 and 1980 as well as Interstate 86 between 1971 and 1984.

History[edit]

Origins as Parkway Extension[edit]

The highway originated as Route 15, an extension of Connecticut Route 15 (then known as the Wilbur Cross Parkway). The extension started in Holland, and within 14 mile (0.40 km), it entered Sturbridge as Mashapuag Road. It then followed Union Road to Sturbridge Center ending at Route 131.[1]

Upgrade to Interstate Highway[edit]

Between 1949 and 1952, the Massachusetts Department of Public Works (MassDPW) initiated construction of the Wilbur Cross Highway extension to US 20 in Sturbridge, with two lanes in each direction separated by a wide median and frequent U-turns.[2][3]

Between 1955 and 1957, an extension was created to connect Route 15 to the new Massachusetts Turnpike, which opened on May 15, 1957. In 1958, I-84 was co-signed with Route 15 north and east of East Hartford, Connecticut, into Massachusetts.

In late 1968, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved a new Interstate connection from Hartford to Providence, which was to become part of a rerouted I-84. As a result, the existing section of I-84 from Manchester, Connecticut, to I-90 (overlapping Route 15) was redesignated I-86.

Shortly thereafter, MassDPW embarked on a reconstruction of its portion of the highway with new and reconstructed carriageways providing three 12-foot-wide (3.7 m) lanes and standard shoulders. Both carriageways were separated by a wide, forested variable median. New bridges, interchanges and weigh stations were erected along the route. The $20 million reconstruction project was completed in 1973. (Similar improvements in Connecticut were not completed until the 1980s.)

On October 1, 1980, the Connecticut Department of Transportation decided to truncate Route 15 back to I-84 exit 57 (where it ends today), eliminating the overlap with I-86. Simultaneously, Massachusetts eliminated the overlap by decommissioning its Route 15 entirely.

Redesignation[edit]

When the planned portion of I-84 toward Providence ran into opposition in Rhode Island and was cancelled in 1983, I-86 was officially reverted to I-84. The I-86 numbering was officially deleted on December 12, 1984. Plans to connect I-84 along the present day I-384/US 6 corridor from Hartford to Providence were scuttled for environmental reasons. As a result, I-84 was rerouted back onto the completed I-86 freeway.

Exit list[edit]

County Location[4] mi[4] km Exit[5] Destinations[5] Notes
Hampden Holland 0.000 0.000 I‑84 west – Hartford Connecticut border
Worcester Sturbridge 0.289 0.465 Mashapaug Road Westbound entrance only; original Route 15
3.252 5.234 1 Mashapaug Road – Southbridge, Sturbridge Original Route 15
5.077 8.171 2 To Route 131 – Sturbridge, Southbridge
6.550 10.541 3A US 20 east – Worcester
6.869 11.055 3B US 20 west – Palmer
7.5 12.1 Toll plaza
7.710 12.408 I‑90 / Mass Pike – Boston, Springfield Eastern terminus; I-90 exit 9
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Route map: Bing

  1. ^ 1946 topographic map sections:
  2. ^ 1952 topographic map sections:
    • Wales, Mass.–Conn. (Map). 1:31,680. Topographic. Cartography by USGS. U.S. Geological Survey. 1952. Southeast corner. Retrieved October 8, 2013. 
    • Southbridge, Mass.–Conn. (Map). 1:31,680. Topographic. Cartography by USGS. U.S. Geological Survey. 1952. Southwest corner. Retrieved October 8, 2013. 
    • Southbridge, Mass.–Conn. (Map). 1:31,680. Topographic. Cartography by USGS. U.S. Geological Survey. 1952. Northwest corner. Retrieved October 8, 2013. 
  3. ^ Eastern Roads. "Wilbur Cross Highway (I-84)". Boston Roads. Self-published. Retrieved October 8, 2013. [unreliable source?]
  4. ^ a b MassDOT Planning Division. "Massachusetts Route Log Application". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 21, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Staff (2012). "Exit Numbers and Names: Route I-84 (Holland to Sturbridge)". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 21, 2014. 


Interstate 84
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Connecticut
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