U.S. Route 3

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"US 3" redirects here. For the band, see Us3.

U.S. Route 3 marker

U.S. Route 3
US 3 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by MassDOT
Length: 277.90 mi[1] (447.24 km)
Existed: 1926[1] – present
Major junctions
South end: Route 2A / Route 3 in Cambridge, MA
 

Route 2 in Cambridge, MA
Route 16 in Cambridge, MA
Route 60 in Arlington, MA
I‑95 / Route 128 in Burlington, MA
I‑495 in Chelmsford, MA
Everett Tpk. in Nashua, NH
NH 101 near Manchester, NH
US 4 near Concord, NH
I‑93 in Franconia, NH

US 2 in Lancaster, NH
North end: Route 257 near Chartierville, Quebec
Highway system
  • Massachusetts State Highway Routes
Route 2A MA Route 3
US 2 NH NH 3A
Route 5 N.E. Route 6A

U.S. Route 3 (US 3) is a north–south United States highway that runs from its southern terminus in Cambridge, Massachusetts,[2] through New Hampshire to its terminus near Third Connecticut Lake at the Canadian border, where the road continues north as Quebec Route 257.

In New Hampshire, parts of US 3 are known as the Daniel Webster Highway. From Burlington, Massachusetts to Nashua, New Hampshire, US 3 is a freeway. (The 6.7 miles (10.8 km) in New Hampshire are a free portion of the Everett Turnpike.) A second freeway portion exists in northern New Hampshire, where US 3 utilizes the Franconia Notch Parkway and a short segment of Interstate 93, before proceeding on two-lane roads north to the border with Canada. While the southern terminus has not changed, there have been different northern termini to this route.

Massachusetts Route 3 begins at US 3's southern terminus in Boston and continues south to Cape Cod, but has never been part of US 3. Mileposts along US 3 in Massachusetts are a continuation of those on Massachusetts Route 3.

Route description[edit]

Lengths
  mi km
NH 242.20 389.8
MA 35.70 57.5
Total 277.90 447.30

Massachusetts[edit]

In Massachusetts, US 3's freeway portion heading from Interstate 95/Route 128 to the New Hampshire border is numbered using the original exit numbering system from the days when US 3's freeway portion was to extend south of Route 128 to Boston to connect with Route 2 and the never-built Inner Belt (I-695). The numbering "begins" with Exit 25 at Route 128 and proceeds north. All other freeways which once used that system have been renumbered with more conventional exit numbers. Because of the cancellation of Route 3 as an expressway inside of Route 128, one travelling on Route 3 will travel along a wrong-way concurrency with I-95/Route 128 for a short while (going South on Route 3 is I-95/Route 128 North), as to link up the "old" Route 3 inside of the belt and the "new" Route 3 outside of it.

The "old" Route 3 runs south from I-95/Route 128 Exit 33, through portions of Burlington, Woburn, and Winchester, without intersecting any other numbered routes. In Arlington, it joins with Massachusetts Routes 2A and 60 in Arlington Center. The concurrency of Routes 2A, 3, and 60 is a three-way concurrency; for two blocks on Mystic Street, one is traveling south on US 3, east on Route 2A, and west on Route 60. At Massachusetts Avenue, US 3 and Route 2A turn east toward Boston until they reach the Alewife Brook Parkway and Route 16, at which point Route 3 joins those routes heading south. At the Alewife MBTA Station, Routes 3 and 16 join Route 2 and the Fresh Pond Parkway bearing south and east to Memorial Drive in Cambridge. The concurrency of Routes 2A, 3, and 16 is a three-way concurrency; between Alewife Station and Huron Avenue, one is traveling south on US 3, east on Route 2, and west on Route 16. US 3 ends on Memorial Drive at the point where it meets Massachusetts Route 3.

New Hampshire[edit]

US 3 is one of New Hampshire's most well-known roads, as it passes through most of the state's major cities and towns. It is the only signed/numbered route in the state to extend fully from its southern border with Massachusetts to its northern border with Quebec; thus, it is also the longest route within New Hampshire, at 242 miles (389 km).

Route 3 crosses the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border, leaving the town of Tyngsborough, Massachusetts and entering the city of Nashua, New Hampshire, and becomes known as the Everett Turnpike. Route 3 leaves the Everett Turnpike at Exit 7E in Nashua and turns northeast for approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) along a segment known as the Henri Burque Highway, before turning north onto Concord Street, which soon becomes known as the Daniel Webster Highway. Some locals erroneously refer to the Everett Turnpike from Exit 7 through the I-293 interchange as Route 3 and refer to the actual Route 3 only as the Daniel Webster Highway or Old Route 3. Route 3 continues north through the town of Merrimack and into Bedford, where it becomes South River Road. Route 3 parallels Interstate 293 until it turns east, crossing the Merrimack River on Queen City Avenue approximately three-quarters of a mile north of the Bedford-Manchester line. After approximately three-quarters of a mile, Route 3 then turns north onto Elm Street in downtown Manchester. After approximately 2.2 miles (3.5 km) on Elm Street, Route 3 turns east onto Webster Street, then joins NH Route 28 to proceed in a northeasterly direction on another segment of the Daniel Webster Highway.

In Suncook, New Hampshire, Route 28 leaves to the northeast, and Route 3 proceeds northwest towards Concord on Pembroke Street, becoming Manchester Street when it enters the Concord city limits. Route 3 traverses downtown Concord, where it is known as North and South Main Street, then follows North State Street to Fisherville Road to Village Street in Penacook before crossing the Contoocook River into Boscawen. Route 3 travels north through Boscawen, briefly joining US 4. Route 3 parallels the Merrimack River north into Franklin. In Franklin, the route joins New Hampshire Route 11 and turns east, briefly coinciding with New Hampshire Route 127, and passing through Tilton, where it crosses NH 132 and passes the western end of NH 140. Continuing northeast past Winnisquam Lake, Routes 3 and 11 reach Laconia and turn onto the Laconia-Gilford Bypass, passing interchanges with New Hampshire Routes 106, 107, and 11A. At the north end of the bypass, Routes 3 and 11 diverge, with Route 3 continuing north on Lake Street to Weirs Beach and an intersection with 11B. Route 3 continues north as the Daniel Webster Highway to Meredith at the north end of Meredith Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee. In Meredith, after passing the northern terminus of NH 106, Route 3 joins NH 25 and continues north past Squam Lake into Holderness, passing the west ends of NH 25B and NH 113. Through Holderness, Routes 3 and 25 gradually turn west, then southwest, passing the southern end of NH 175, and then reaching the northern end of NH 132 in Ashland.

From Ashland to North Woodstock, Route 3 proceeds north, roughly paralleling I-93 in the Pemigewasset River valley. Along this stretch it passes through the towns of Plymouth (where NH 25 diverges to the west), West Campton (where it meets the western end of NH 49, the principal access road to Waterville Valley), Thornton, and Woodstock. In North Woodstock, Route 3 crosses NH 112 (also known as the Kancamagus Highway to the east). Continuing north, Route 3 joins with I-93 as it passes through Franconia Notch State Park, one of the more scenic drives in the White Mountains. It separates from I-93 shortly north of the northern park boundary in Franconia, about 1.5-mile (2.4 km) north of the exit with NH 18. From there, after NH 141 branches northwest, Route 3 heads north and east toward Twin Mountain and a junction with U.S. Route 302. This portion of the road is noted for fairly frequent moose sightings, especially during sunrise and sunset when moose are particularly active.

Heading north from Twin Mountain, Route 3 passes through the village of Carroll, where NH 115 branches to the northeast, and Route 3 bears to the northwest and the town of Whitefield. In the center of Whitefield, NH 142 branches to the northwest, and NH 116 crosses, running roughly southwest to northeast. Route 3 continues north to Lancaster, where it joins U.S. Route 2 in the town center, and where NH 135 branches left. After US 2 leaves to the west, Route 3 continues north, roughly paralleling the course of the Connecticut River (which also forms the border with Vermont), through Northumberland and Groveton, where NH 110 ends. North of Groveton, Route 3 continues to follow the river, through Stratford, North Stratford, and Columbia, until it reaches Colebrook, where New Hampshire Routes 26 and 145 begin. Still following the Connecticut River north, Route 3 passes through portions of Stewartstown and Clarksville. In Stewartstown, the road turns more directly east (still following the Connecticut River, which is no longer a boundary), before resuming a northeasterly direction through Pittsburg, where it meets the northern end of NH 145, eventually heading directly north to the Canadian border crossing at Chartierville, Quebec, where it becomes Quebec Route 257.

History[edit]

NE-6[edit]

New England 6.svg

Prior to the U.S. Highway system, the section of US 3 from Orleans, Massachusetts to Colebrook, New Hampshire was part of New England Interstate Route 6 (NE-6). It was replaced in its entirety with the establishment of US 3 in 1926.

Massachusetts[edit]

Route 3 in Massachusetts (from Tyngsborough to Cambridge) closely follows the route of the early 19th Century Middlesex Canal and Middlesex Turnpike.

The modern expressway was begun around Massachusetts Route 110 at Lowell before World War II. In the 1950s, it was extended south to Route 128, and by the 1960s, it was completed north from Chelmsford to New Hampshire. In the first half of the first decade of the 21st century, the chronically congested four-lane road, largely with antiquated ramps around Lowell, was widened to six lanes (as it had been in Nashua, New Hampshire a few years previously) with a breakdown lane on both the left and right sides of the road, and many interchanges were modernized in what was comically known as "The Big Wide," in reference to Massachusetts' other "Big" construction project (the Big Dig). The roadbed and bridges were built to support a fourth lane in each travel direction for future expansion. The $365 million 21-mile (34 km) widening project was completed in 2005 from Burlington to the New Hampshire border.

Termini[edit]

According to the AASHTO route log, the southern terminus of US 3 is at US 20 in Boston, after crossing the Charles River at the Boston University Bridge. However, MassDOT officially places the southern terminus at the junction of Route 2A and Route 3 in Cambridge, which is where Route 2A crosses the Charles along the Harvard Bridge (also known as the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge). The original northern terminus (in 1926) was Colebrook, New Hampshire, but the highway was extended to West Stewartstown, New Hampshire in 1928, and to Pittsburg, New Hampshire in 1937. Colebrook was temporarily the northern terminus again from 1939 to 1940. Since 1940, the highway has run through Pittsburg to the New Hampshire-Quebec border.

Major intersections[edit]

State County Location Mile[a][4] km Exit Destinations Notes
Massachusetts Middlesex Cambridge 55.7 89.6 Route 3 south (Memorial Drive) / Route 2A east (Massachusetts Avenue) Southern terminus of US 3; northern terminus of Route 3
56.8 91.4 Route 2 east (Boston University Bridge) – Boston Southern terminus of concurrency with Route 2
59.7 96.1 Route 16 west (Huron Avenue) – Watertown, Newton Southern terminus of concurrency with Route 16
61.2 98.5 Route 2 west – Arlington, Concord Northern terminus of concurrency with Route 2
61.5 99.0 Route 16 east / Route 2A east – Medford, Boston Northern terminus of concurrency with Route 16
Southern terminus of concurrency with Route 2A
Arlington 62.9 101.2 Route 60 west – Belmont, Waltham Southern terminus of concurrency with Route 60
Route 60 east – Medford, Revere Northern terminus of concurrency with Route 60
63.2 101.7 Route 2A west – Lexington, Concord Northern terminus of concurrency with Route 2A
Burlington 33 I‑95 / Route 128 north / Route 3A north – Burlington, Portsmouth, NH Southern terminus of concurrency with I-95 / Route 128
South end of Route 3A
72.0 115.9 25 I‑95 / Route 128 south / Middlesex Turnpike – Lowell Northern terminus of concurrency with I-95/Route 128 concurrency
Exit signed as 25A (north) and 25B (south)
Bedford 72.9 117.3 26 Route 62 – Burlington, Bedford
Billerica 76.1 122.5 27 Concord Road – Billerica, Bedford
77.5 124.7 28 Treble Cove Road – North Billerica, Carlisle
North Billerica 79.7 128.3 29 Route 129 – Billerica, Chelmsford
Chelmsford 81.2 130.7 30
A-B
I‑495 / Lowell Connector – Lawrence, Marlboro Signed as exits 30A (Lowell Connector) and 30B (I-495 north) northbound
Signed as exits 30A (I-495 north) and 30B (I-495 south) southbound
30C I‑495 south – Marlboro Northbound exit and southbound entrance
81.5 131.2 31 Route 110 – Chelmsford Shared collector ramps with exit 30C (northbound) and 30B (southbound)
North Chelmsford 83.7 134.7 32 Route 4 – North Chelmsford, Chelmsford
85.8 138.1 33 Route 40 – Westford, North Chelmsford
Tyngsborough 88.0 141.6 34 Westford Road – Tyngsborough, Westford
89.6 144.2 35 Route 113 – Dunstable, Tyngsborough
91.0 146.5 36 Middlesex Road – South Nashua, NH No southbound exit; northbound entrance crosses the state line
MANH border 91.3
0.00
146.9
0.00
MassachusettsNew Hampshire state line
South end of the Everett Turnpike
New Hampshire Hillsborough Nashua 0.50 0.80 1 Spit Brook Road – South Nashua
1.49 2.40 2 To NH 3A / NH 111 / D.W. Highway Access via the Circumferential Highway
Exit numbered 1A from northbound collector-distributor road
2.59 4.17 3 D.W. Highway – South Nashua Southbound exit and northbound entrance
3.18 5.12 4 East Dunstable Road FAA Center signage was removed at the request of the FAA shortly after 9/11
4.69 7.55 5 NH 111 to NH 111A – Nashua, Hudson, Pepperell, MA Split into exits 5E (east) and 5W (west)
5.13 8.26 5A Simon Street Northbound exit only
6.22 10.01 6 NH 130 (Broad Street) – Nashua, Hollis
6.74 10.85 7 Everett Tpk. north / NH 101A – Nashua, Amherst, Milford Northern terminus of concurrency with the Everett Tpk
Signed as exits 7E (US 3 north / NH 101A east) and 7W (NH 101A west)
Merrimack 10.8 17.4 Everett Turnpike.svg Industrial Drive to Everett Tpk. Exit 10 on Everett Tpke.
12.1 19.5 Everett Turnpike.svg Greeley Street to Everett Tpk. Exit 11 on Everett Tpke.
15.7 25.3 Everett Turnpike.svg Bedford Road to Everett Tpk. south Exit 12 on Everett Tpke.
Bedford 17.9 28.8 Everett Turnpike.svg Wieczorek Drive to Manchester Airport / Everett Turnpike Interchange opened in 2011, Exit 13 on Everett Tpke.
20.9 33.6 NH 101 to I‑293 / Everett Tpk. – Boston, Concord, Manchester Airport Southbound access is via Meetinghouse Road
21.3 34.3 NH Route 101.svg Kilton Road to NH 101 west – Bedford
Manchester 22.7 36.5 NH 114A west to I‑293 / NH 3A – Concord, Boston Exit 4 on Everett Tpk (I-293 / NH 3A), no signage for Everett Tpk
Eastern terminus of NH 114A
26.2 42.2 NH 28 south (Beech / Maple Streets) Southern end of NH 28 concurrency, one-way pair
Merrimack Hooksett 27.3 43.9 I‑93 to NH 101 – Salem, Concord Exit 9 on I-93
28.6 46.0 NH 28A south – Londonderry Northern terminus of NH 28A
29.1 46.8 NH 27 east – Candia, Raymond Western terminus of NH 27
29.6 47.6 NH 28 Bypass south – Derry Northern terminus of NH 28 Bypass
Allenstown 35.2 56.6 NH 28 north – Epsom, Alton Northern end of NH 28 concurrency
Pembroke 39.5 63.6 NH 106 north – Loudon, Laconia Southern terminus of NH 106
Merrimack River Korea Veterans Memorial Bridge
Concord 41.8 67.3 I‑93 to I‑89 / I‑393 – Manchester, Lebanon, Plymouth, Portsmouth Exit 13 on I-93
42.2 67.9 NH 3A south (Main Street) Southern terminus silent concurrency with NH 3A
42.7 68.7 US 202 west / NH 9 west (Pleasant Street) to NH 13 Southern terminus of concurrency with US 202 / NH 9
43.0 69.2 NH 9 east (Loudon Road) to I‑93 Northern terminus of concurrency with NH 9
43.5 70.0 US 202 east to I‑393 east Northern terminus of concurrency with US 202; west end of I-393
Boscawen 50.8 81.8 US 4 east – Concord Southern terminus of concurrency with US 4
52.2 84.0 US 4 west – Andover Northern end of US 4 concurrency
Franklin 60.6 97.5 NH 127 south – Salisbury Southern end of NH 127 concurrency
61.3 98.7 NH 3A north / NH 11 west – Andover, Bristol Southern end of NH 11/NH 127 concurrency
61.8 99.5 NH 127 north – New Hampton Northern end of NH 127 concurrency
Belknap Tilton 64.9 104.4 NH 132 south to I‑93 south – Northfield, Concord Western end of NH 132 concurrency
66.4 106.9 I‑93 – Canterbury, Concord, Boston, New Hampton, Plymouth
NH 140 east – Belmont, Gilmanton
Exit 20 on I-93; western terminus of NH Route 140
66.7 107.3 NH 132 north – Sanbornton Eastern end of NH 132 concurrency
Belmont 72.8 117.2 NH 11A – Laconia downtown Western terminus of NH 11A
Laconia 74.3 119.6 NH 106 – Laconia, Belmont, Concord Interchange; to NH 107, via NH 106 north
74.6 120.1 NH 107 – Laconia, Gilmanton Partial interchange; southbound exit and northbound entrance
Gilford 76.0 122.3 NH 11A – Gilford, Laconia Interchange
78.9 127.0 NH 11 east – Alton Northern end of NH 11 concurrency; to] NH 11C
Laconia 79.7 128.3 NH 107 south – Laconia Northern terminus of NH 107
82.9 133.4 NH 11B – Gilford, Alton Bay Western terminus of NH 11B in village of Weirs Beach
Meredith 86.6 139.4 NH 106 – Laconia Northern terminus of NH 106
87.1 140.2 NH 104 – New Hampton Eastern terminus of NH 104
88.0 141.6 NH 25 east – Center Harbor, Ossipee, Conway Southern end of NH 25 concurrency
Center Harbor 91.1 146.6 NH 25B – Center Harbor Western terminus of NH 25B
Grafton Holderness 95.8 154.2 NH 113 – Sandwich Southern terminus of NH 113
97.0 156.1 NH 175 Southern terminus of NH 175
Ashland 99.6 160.3 NH 132 – New Hampton, Tilton Northern terminus of NH 132
100.4 161.6 I‑93 – Tilton, Concord, Plymouth, Littleton Exit 24 on I-93
Plymouth 105.7 170.1 NH 175A to I‑93 – Holderness Western terminus of NH 175A
106.5 171.4 NH 3A
NH 25 west
Interchange; northern end of NH 25 concurrency; to I-93 via NH 3A north
Campton 109.9 176.9 I‑93 Exit 27 on I-93 via Blair Road
112.7 181.4 NH 49 to I‑93 – Campton, Waterville Valley Western terminus of NH 49
Thornton 114.2 183.8 I‑93 – Plymouth, Concord, Franconia, Littleton Exit 29 on I-93
Woodstock 121.1 194.9 I‑93 – Franconia, Littleton, Plymouth, Concord Exit 30 on I-93
125.8 202.5 NH 175 – Campton Northern terminus of NH 175
126.4 203.4 NH 112 to I‑93 – Lincoln, Conway, Woodsville
Lincoln 128.7 207.1 I‑93 – Concord, Littleton Exit 33 on I-93
131.9 212.3 34A I‑93 north Partial interchange for exit 34A on I-93 interchange; southern end of I-93 concurrency and the Franconia Notch Parkway
Franconia 136.5 219.7 34B Cannon Mountain Tramway – Old Man Historic Site
137.3 221.0 34C NH 18 – Echo Lake Beach, Peabody Slopes, Cannon Mountain Southern terminus of NH 18
138.5 222.9 35 I‑93 north Northbound exit and southbound entrance; northern end of I-93 concurrency and Franconia Notch Parkway
139.4 224.3 NH 141 to I‑93 / NH 18 – Franconia Eastern terminus of NH 141; to I-93 north
Coos Carroll 148.8 239.5 US 302 – Bethlehem, Bretton Woods, Conway In village of Twin Mountain
150.9 242.9 NH 115 – Jefferson, Berlin, Gorham Southern terminus of NH 115
Whitefield 157.3 253.1 NH 116 / NH 142 – Bethlehem, Littleton Brief concurrency with NH 116/NH 142
Lancaster 165.6 266.5 US 2 east – Jefferson, Gorham, Berlin Southern end of US 2 concurrency
165.7 266.7 NH 135 – Dalton, Gilman, VT Northern terminus of NH 135
166.5 268.0 US 2 west – St. Johnsbury, VT Northern end of US 2 concurrency; to Vermont Route 102
Northumberland 175.5 282.4 NH 110 Western terminus of NH 110 in village of Groveton
Colebrook 201.8 324.8 NH 26 east – Dixville Notch Southern end of NH 26 concurrency
201.9 324.9 NH 26 north Northern end of NH 26 concurrency; to Vermont Route 26/Route 102
202.0 325.1 NH 145 Southern terminus of NH 145
Pittsburg 219.9 353.9 NH 145 Northern terminus of NH 145
242.20 389.78 Route 257 Northern terminus of US 3, roadway continues into Quebec as Route 257
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Bannered routes[edit]

A total of at least 4 bannered routes of U.S. Route 3 have existed.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Milepost readings for Massachusetts reflect the combined mileage with Massachusetts Route 3; US 3 and Route 3 are treated as one continuous route by the state, mileposts continuously increase and do not reset when the designation changes in Cambridge.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b US Highways From US 1 to US 830 Robert V. Droz
  2. ^ The official end according to AASHTO is at US 20 across the Charles River in Boston, though current signs indicate a terminus in Cambridge at Massachusetts Routes 2A/3.
  3. ^ Staff (2007). "Interchange Lists (US 3)". Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation. Retrieved August 7, 2011. 
  4. ^ Complex Systems Research Center, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space. "NH GRANIT". University of New Hampshire. Retrieved June 30, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Browse numbered routes
Route 2A MA Route 3
US 2 NH NH 3A
Route 5 N.E. Route 6A