Massachusetts Route 6A

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Route 6A marker

Route 6A
Route information
Length: 62.4637 mi[1] (100.5256 km)
Existed: ca. 1950 – present
Major junctions
South end: US 6 in Bourne
  Route 132 in West Barnstable
US 6 in Orleans
Route 28 in Orleans
US 6 from Eastham to Truro
US 6 in Provincetown
North end: US 6 in Provincetown
Highway system
  • Massachusetts State Highway Routes
US 6 US 7

Route 6A is the name for parts of former U.S. Route 6 (US 6) on Cape Cod. Most of "6A," as it is often locally referred to, is also known as the Old King's Highway. Combining the 2 major sections (and the apparent "silent concurrency" with US 6 through Eastham, Wellfleet, and South Truro), the highway is approximately 62 miles (100 km) long.

Route description[edit]

Although some maps have Route 6A starting at the Bourne Bridge Rotary along Sandwich Road, it actually starts some feet east of the Sagamore Bridge, according to state signage. From there, it goes thus:

Since 1982, Route 6A has ended at an intersection (signalized until 2010) with US 6 at Herring Cove, part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Before 1982, the intersection was a large complicated rotary-like design, and Route 6A traveled slightly farther north than its intersection with US 6, ending at the exit off the rotary for the remainder of Provincelands Road toward Race Point.

It is signed east/west between Bourne and Orleans, and signed north/south from Truro and Provincetown.

Some maps erroneously had the northern Route 6A having its southern terminus at US 6 along Mayflower Avenue in Provincetown. However, since Mayflower Avenue is an extremely narrow private road of questionable maintenance, and there is no access from east US 6 to Mayflower Avenue, the reason for this misunderstanding was unknown. This has since been fixed in most maps which once contained this error.

Some maps also erroneously mark US 6's old routing through downtown Wellfleet as Route 6A, though MassHighway (and the Massachusetts Department of Public Works before it) has never included the stretch as part of Route 6A.

History[edit]

  • Route 6A was first signed upon partial completion of the Mid-Cape Highway, which was Cape Cod's first freeway in 1953, traveling between the Sagamore Bridge in Bourne and Route 132 in Barnstable.
  • A second stretch in 1954 was signed when a US 6 bypass was constructed in Truro and Provincetown, although in Provincetown, Route 6A was signed along Bradford Street instead of US 6's former routing on Commercial Street, as the latter road had become one-way westbound.
  • A third stretch in 1956 was signed between Route 132 in Barnstable and the OrleansEastham town line when the US 6 freeway was completed.
  • Route 6A does not officially exist in Eastham or Wellfleet, though mile markers on the Truro/Provincetown section (which start at Mile 53.0) suggest a silent concurrency with US 6 through the gap.
  • The road is generally considered to be Cape Cod's most historic and scenic highway. The Barnstable portion has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Old King's Highway Historic District.
  • The only portions of the Provincetown section under state (or federal) maintenance are the Commercial Street section (including Bradford between Commercial and Allerton) and the Provincelands Road section (which runs through National Park land). The remainder of the Bradford Street section has always been locally maintained, and though that section carries the occasional mile marker from the last postings in 1979, it has always only sparsely been signed as Route 6A.
  • There was once another section of Route 6A running through downtown Truro along Truro Center Road, although it was never signed or mile-markered. When Truro Center Road and North Truro's Shore Road were turned back to local maintenance in 1979, the Route 6A designation was officially removed from the downtown Truro section, though locals still referred to it as "Route 6A" until it was officially named "Truro Center Road" when Truro obtained E-911 service.
  • The Shore Road section went at least 40 years without a resurfacing. This was evident by the presence of white paint remnants for the lines in the middle of the road that were visible when then-current paint jobs faded. Truro finally resurfaced the road in 2000.

Major intersections[edit]

The entire route is in Barnstable County.

Location Mile km Destinations Notes
Bourne 0.00 0.00 US 6 west (Sagamore Bridge) Western terminus; Exit 1C on US 6
Sandwich Road west Former US 6 Bypass
Sandwich 0.80 1.29 Route 130 south – Sandwich, Mashpee Northern terminus of Route 130
West Barnstable 10.10 16.25 Route 149 south to US 6 – Marstons Mills, Osterville Northern terminus of Route 149
11.90 19.15 Route 132 south to US 6 – Hyannis, Chatham Northern terminus of Route 132
East Dennis 23.80 38.30 Route 134 south to US 6 – South Dennis Northern terminus of Route 134
Brewster 27.90 44.90 Route 137 south – East Harwich, Chatham Northern terminus of Route 137
28.30 45.54 Route 124 south – Harwich Center, Harwichport Northern terminus of Route 124
Orleans 32.70 52.63 US 6 – Hyannis, Boston, Eastham, Provincetown Exit 12 on US 6
34.00 54.72 Route 28 north – Chatham, Falmouth "Southern" terminus of Route 28
Eastham 34.60 55.68 US 6 – Hyannis, Boston, Eastham, Provincetown Orleans Rotary; Southern terminus of silent concurrency with US 6
Truro 53.00 85.30 US 6 east – Provincetown Northern terminus of silent concurrency with US 6; Route 6A is now signed north/south
Provincetown 62.46 100.52 US 6 west / Province Lands Road – Boston, Race Point Eastern terminus of US 6; Northern terminus of Route 6A
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ MassHighway, Location Survey Sheets for Mile Marker Program

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing