Massachusetts Route 3A

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Route 3A marker

Route 3A
Route information
Length: 97 mi[1] (156 km)
Existed: 1926 – present
Southern section
Length: 53.392 mi[1] (85.926 km)
South end: Route 3 in Plymouth
Major
junctions:
US 44 in Plymouth
Route 53 in Kingston
Route 53 in Quincy
North end: I‑93 / US 1 / Route 3 / Route 203 in Boston
Northern section
Length: 22.504 mi[1] (36.217 km)
South end: I‑95 / US 3 / Route 128 in Burlington
Major
junctions:
Lowell Connector in Lowell
Route 110 in Lowell
Route 113 in Tyngsborough
North end: NH 3A in Hudson, NH
Location
Counties: Plymouth, Norfolk, Suffolk, Middlesex
Highway system
  • Massachusetts State Highway Routes
Route 3 Route 3B
Route 6 N.E. Route 6B

Route 3A is a state highway in eastern Massachusetts, which parallels Route 3 and U.S. Route 3 from Cedarville in southern Plymouth to Tyngsborough at the New Hampshire state line.

Route 3A has two major posted segments, separated by a lengthy concurrency with Route 3 and US 3. Its southern portion parallels Route 3 from Cedarville in southern Plymouth to Neponset in the Dorchester area of Boston. Towns and cities that Route 3A traverse along its path include Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury, Marshfield, Scituate, Cohasset, Hingham, Weymouth and Quincy.

North of Neponset, Route 3A runs, unsigned, concurrently with Route 3 and U.S. Route 3 to Burlington, before separating again (MassHighway counts the mileage along MA 3 between the two sections as part of MA 3A mileage).

The northern portion of which parallels U.S. Route 3 in northwestern Middlesex County. It stretches from Interstate 95 (Route 128) in Burlington to the New Hampshire state line, where it continues as Route 3A.

Route description[edit]

Plymouth to Neponset[edit]

This segment parallels Route 3 from Cedarville in southern Plymouth to Neponset in the Dorchester area of Boston. Towns and cities that Route 3A traverse along its path include Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury, Marshfield, Scituate, Cohasset, Hingham, Weymouth and Quincy.

Neponset to Burlington[edit]

This segment is concurrent with Route 3 (to Cambridge) and then U.S. Route 3 (from Cambridge to Burlington). As an 'A' route concurrent with its parents, this segment is not posted.

Burlington to Tyngsborough[edit]

Northbound 3A entering Tyngsborough

This segment parallels US 3 from Interstate 95 (Route 128) in Burlington to the New Hampshire state line, where it continues as New Hampshire Route 3A. The part south of Route 113 in Tyngsborough is former US 3.

The section from Burlington to Billerica is currently being widened from 2 to 4 lanes.

History[edit]

New England 6A.svg

From 1922 to 1926, Route 3A between Kingston and Quincy was New England Interstate Route 6A. In 1926, when New England Interstate Route 6 became Route 3, Route 6A became Route 3A.

In the 1930s Route 3A's route was shifted onto new alignments built to reduce traffic problems in several communities through which the highway traversed. This included a bypass of Hingham Square along Broad Cove Road and Otis Street along Hingham Harbor replacing the original route that took it down Lincoln Street to downtown Hingham then along North Street to Summer Street. Chief Justice Cushing Highway was built around the same time and Route 3A was put on this highway from south of the Hingham Harbor rotary through Cohasset to Scituate. This replaced a routing along long-existing roadways such as Country Way in Scituate, South and North Main Streets in Cohasset and East Street to Summer Street in Hingham. Along East Street from Hull Street to Summer, Route 3A shared the highway with Route 128 in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

In the 1950s and early 1960s Route 3A was extended to take over the original path of Route 3 south of Kingston to Plymouth and north of downtown Quincy to Neponset when Route 3 assumed its current freeway route. In between those locations, old Route 3 was designated Route 53. The section of old Route 3 from Cedarville south to the Sagamore Rotary near the Cape Cod Canal in Bourne is unnumbered.

Much of Route 3A is sometimes referred to as the "Cape Way" due to its history as the only major road to Cape Cod from Boston prior to the opening of Route 3. The "Cape Way" name is reflected in numerous business names along 3A's length.

US 3.svg

The section of Route 3A south of the intersection with Route 113 in Tyngsborough (all but the northern few miles of the route) was formerly U.S. Route 3, prior to the construction of the Northwest Expressway, a freeway connection from I-95 in Burlington to the Everett Turnpike in Nashua, New Hampshire, which was given the U.S. Route 3 designation.

Major intersections[edit]

County Location Mile km Destinations Notes
Plymouth Plymouth 0.00 0.00 Route 3 – Boston, Cape Cod Southern terminus; Exit 2 on Route 3
State Road south – Scusset Beach Route 3A joins/leaves State Road
11.40 18.35 MA Route 3.svg Plimoth Plantation Highway to Route 3 – Plymouth, Boston Southern terminus of Plimouth Plantation Highway
15.00 24.14 US 44 west – Middleboro, Providence, RI Eastern terminus of US 44
Kingston 18.30 29.45 Route 3 – Plymouth, Cape Cod, Braintree, Boston Exit 9 on Route 3
18.70 30.09 Route 80 west to US 44 Eastern terminus of Route 80
18.90 30.42 Route 106 west to Route 27 – Halifax Eastern terminus of Route 106
20.30 32.67 Route 53 north – Hanover Southern terminus of Route 53
Duxbury 20.60 33.15 Route 3 – Plymouth, Cape Cod, Quincy, Boston Exit 10 on Route 3
24.20 38.95 Route 14 west – Pembroke, Boston Eastern terminus of Route 14
25.00 40.23 Route 139 – Pembroke, Green Harbor
Marshfield 27.70 44.58 Route 139 east – Brant Rock Southern end of concurrency with Route 139
28.10 45.22 Route 139 west – Hanover Northern end of concurrency with Route 139
Scituate 34.50 55.52 Route 123 west – Norwell, Brockton Rotary; Eastern terminus of Route 123
Hingham 42.20 67.91 Route 228 – Hull, Rockland
Norfolk Quincy 49.00 78.86 Route 53 south – Weymouth Northern terminus of Route 53
Quincy Shore Drive south Interchange; Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Neponset River Bridge
Suffolk Boston 53.60 86.26 Route 203 west (Gallivan Boulevard) / Morrisey Boulevard – Ashmont Eastern temrinus of Route 203
53.60 86.26 I‑93 south / US 1 south / Route 3 south Southern terminus of silent concurrency with Route 3 / US 3
See Route 3
Middlesex Burlington 74.8 120.4 I‑95 / US 3 / Route 128 – Waltham, Lowell, Peabody, Portsmouth, NH Northern terminus of silent concurrency with Route 3 / US 3; Exit 33 on I-95 / Route 128
77.20 124.24 Route 62 east – Wilmington, North Reading Southern terminus of concurrency with Route 62
77.80 125.21 Route 62 west – Bedford, Concord Northern terminus of concurrency with Route 62
Billerica 82.40 132.61 Route 129 east – Reading, Wakefield Southern terminus of concurrency with Route 129
83.60 134.54 Route 129 west to US 3 – Chelmsford, Nashua, NH Northern terminus of concurrency with Route 129
Lowell 87.30 140.50 I-495.svgUS 3.svg Lowell Connector south to I-495 / US 3 Exits 5A-B on the Lowell Connector
87.70 141.14 Route 110 east / Thorndike Street – Haverhill, Lawrence Partial interchange; Southern terminus of concurrency with Route 110
87.90 141.46 Route 110 west – Chelmsford, Worcester Northern terminus of concurrency with Route 110
Chelmsford 91.10 146.61 Route 4 south to US 3 – Burlington Northern terminus of Route 4
91.80 147.74 Route 40 west – Groton Eastern terminus of Route 40
Tyngsborough 95.10 153.05 Route 113 west – Dunstable Southern terminus of concurrency with Route 113
Tyngsborough Bridge over the Merrimack River
95.30 153.37 Route 113 east – Lowell Northern terminus of concurrency with Route 113
97.00 156.11 NH 3A north – Hudson Continuation into New Hampshire
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing