Interstate 95 in Massachusetts

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Interstate 95 marker
Interstate 95
I-95 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by MassDOT
Length91 mi (146 km)
Existed1957–present
Major junctions
South end I-95 in Pawtucket, RI
 
North end I-95 in Seabrook, NH
Location
CountiesBristol, Norfolk, Middlesex, Essex
Highway system
I-93 Route 96

Interstate 95 (I-95) is a part of the Interstate Highway System that parallels the East Coast of the United States from Miami, Florida in the south to Houlton, Maine, in the north.[1] In the U.S. state of Massachusetts, it spans 91 miles (146 km) along a north–south axis. It is the third-longest Interstate Highway in Massachusetts, behind I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike) and I-495, while I-95 in full is the longest north–south Interstate, and sixth-longest Interstate Highway in the United States.

Its southern terminus within the state is located in Attleboro, where I-95 enters from Pawtucket, Rhode Island. It intersects with U.S. Route 1 (US 1) and the northern terminus of I-295 within Attleboro, I-495 in Mansfield, and US 1 in Sharon before arriving at an interchange with I-93, US 1, and Route 128 in Canton. At this interchange, I-95 begins running concurrently with US 1 and Route 128 along a beltway roughly 15 miles (24 km) outside of Boston. While earlier plans called for I-95 to run northeastward through Boston along the Southwest Corridor and a more northerly portion of Route 1 known as the Northeast Expressway, these plans were squashed due to fierce community opposition. As such, Boston is one of only two major east coast cities that I-95 bypasses (the other, Washington DC, for the same reason).

While its concurrency with US 1 ends in Dedham, its concurrency with Route 128 continues as it meets with expressways including the Massachusetts Turnpike in Weston, US 20 in Waltham, Route 2 in Lexington, US 3 in Burlington (with which it runs concurrently within the town), and I-93 and US 1 in Reading and Lynnfield, respectively. I-95 and Route 128 split in Peabody, as Route 128 travels north-east towards its northern terminus in Gloucester, I-95 continues north and crosses US 1 in Peabody and Danvers. Within Salisbury, it intersects the northern terminus of I-495 and arrives at its own northern terminus, where I-95 continues into Seabrook, New Hampshire as the Blue Star Turnpike.

Route description[edit]

Attleboro to Canton[edit]

To continue on I-95 northbound, motorists must make a sharp clockwise curve at exit 12 in Canton

I-95 crosses the state border from Pawtucket, Rhode Island into Attleboro as a six-lane highway, with the first northbound exits, 2A and 2B, providing access to Route 1A and nearby US 1 near the border. (There is an exit 1, but it is a southbound-only exit connecting to US 1 south into Rhode Island). Exits 3–5 also serve the Attleboro area, with exit 4 at the northern terminus of I-295.

Exits 6A and 6B in Mansfield provide access to I-495, the "outer circumferential" beltway around metro Boston. I-495 provides northbound connections to Worcester, the Massachusetts Turnpike, and the western part of the state, and southbound connections to Cape Cod. Mansfield is home to the Comcast Center, a Live Nation-owned amphitheatre that hosts numerous concert events, and the TPC Boston, a PGA player's club that hosts the Deutsche Bank Championship yearly. The two venues are located near I-95's interchanges with Route 140.

I-95 continues northward into Foxborough, home of Gillette Stadium, located on US 1 and accessible from exit 9. The Interstate continues through Sharon, it then enters the metro Boston area and the towns of Walpole, and Norwood, before entering Canton, where it meets I-93 at its southern terminus, and I-93 continues as exit 12 to the right of I-95, while I-95 traffic is routed in a single lane to a sharp clockwise curve where it meets US 1 in a wrong-way concurrency.

Canton to Peabody (Route 128)[edit]

Upon interchanging with I-93, I-95 loops around to the west, taking over the roadbed from I-93 and joining US 1 southbound in a wrong-way concurrency. Route 128 begins here as well. The highway enters Westwood next, with US 1 leaving the freeway near the Dedham town line to parallel I-95 back to the south. I-95 and Route 128 makes its way around metro Boston, passing through Dedham, Needham, and Wellesley, where the freeway has an interchange with Route 9 (near where the transmitter for WSBK-TV is located), and the freeway widens to eight lanes. Then the highway passes through Newton, then enters Weston and has a large interchange with the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) that provides connections to nearby Route 30. There is a fourth lane after the interchange with Route 9. Exits 23, 24, and 25 are one combined exit northbound.

I-95 and Route 128 are due west of Boston at this point and begin to turn to the northeast, serving the city of Waltham and the town of Lexington along the way. The freeway has an interchange with Route 2 (Concord Turnpike) at exit 29. Upon entering the town of Burlington, I-95 and Route 128 have an interchange with US 3, the Northwestern Expressway, at exit 32A. US 3 provides a direct freeway connection with the Lowell, MassachusettsNashua, New Hampshire metro area. Access to the Middlesex Turnpike and Burlington retail district is facilitated at this interchange as well. US 3 south briefly joins the freeway in another wrong-way multiplex in order to connect with its old alignment, leaving at exit 33A. I-95 and Route 128 continue northeast through the city of Woburn and into Reading.

In Reading, I-95 and Route 128 once again have an interchange with I-93. After crossing, I-93, the now six-lane highway continues to the northeast, serving the towns of Wakefield, Lynnfield, and Lynn before crossing into Peabody, where Route 128 leaves I-95 at exit 45 via the three left-most lanes as its own freeway towards Gloucester, while I-95 continues as the two right-most lanes in a somewhat sharp counter-clockwise (albeit the fact that it contains two lanes) loop. Here, six lanes are designated for Route 128, while four lanes are designated for I-95.

Peabody to Salisbury[edit]

After leaving Route 128, I-95 expands back to six lanes and then to eight lanes at the partial interchange with US 1 (exit 46) about one mile (1.6 km) north of Route 128 and heads north through the less densely populated northeastern portion of the state. The freeway serves the communities of Danvers, Boxford, Topsfield, Georgetown, Rowley, Newbury, West Newbury, Newburyport, Amesbury, and Salisbury. Traffic density is generally low on this 25-mile (40 km) stretch of freeway.

I-495 has its northern terminus at I-95 exit 59 just south of the New Hampshire state line, a Y-interchange that merges I-495 onto I-95. Northbound access to I-495 south is possible via exit 58 for Route 110 westbound, which leads to I-495's exit 55 (I-495's last exit before I-95). The northernmost exit in Massachusetts is exit 60, providing access to Main Street towards Amesbury and Route 286 towards Salisbury Beach and Hampton Beach (the southbound ramp starts in New Hampshire). After crossing underneath the connecting roads, I-95 crosses the state line into Seabrook, New Hampshire.

Rest areas and service plazas[edit]

This is a list of rest areas on Interstate 95 in Massachusetts.

  • Mansfield Rest Area — MP 10 - Northbound only between exits 5 and 6 -portable restrooms, phones, picnic area.
  • North Attleborough Parking Area — MP 10 - Southbound only between exits 6 and 5 - Parking area, phones.
  • Westwood Rest area — MP 29 - Southbound only between exits 14 and 13 - Rest rooms, Phones, Picnic Area.
  • Dedham Truck turnout — Southbound only between exits 17 and 16 - Parking only, no facilities.
  • Newton Service Plaza — Southbound only near exit 21; 24-hour food and fuel with McDonald's, & Honey Dew Donuts.
  • Lexington Service Plaza — Northbound only near exit 30 - 24-hour food and fuel with McDonald's, Honey Dew Donuts, & Original Pizza of Boston.
  • Massachusetts Visitor Center — MP 90 - Southbound only at the New Hampshire state line (exit 60)- Tourist info, restrooms, phones.

Weigh stations[edit]

Weigh Stations are located on the northbound and southbound sides of the highway at the following locations:[citation needed]

  • In Attleboro between exits 2 and 3.
  • In Rowley between exits 53 and 54.

Speed limits[edit]

Between the Rhode Island state line and I-93 in Canton, and again between the northern end of the beltway and the New Hampshire state line, the speed limit is 65 miles per hour (105 km/h). The sharp transition curve from I-95 north onto the Route 128 beltway in Canton is posted for 25 miles per hour (40 km/h). Along the beltway the speed limit is 55 miles per hour (89 km/h), and the speed limit on the transition ramps at exit 45 at the I-95/Route 128 split in Peabody is 45 miles per hour (72 km/h).

History[edit]

The original plans called for I-95 to run through downtown Boston. The highway would have progressed from Route 128 and Readville, followed the Southwest Corridor, ran along Melnea Cass Boulevard in Roxbury, heading east, and joining the Southeast Expressway at South Bay, then north to the Central Artery at the South Station interchange with the Massachusetts Turnpike/I-90, and connecting with the Northeast Expressway at the Charlestown banks of the Charles River.

However, due to pressure from local residents, all proposed Interstate Highways within Route 128 were canceled in 1972 by Governor Francis Sargent with the exception of I-93 to Boston. The only section of I-95 completed within the Route 128 beltway by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) was the segment from Saugus to the Massachusetts Avenue Connector in Roxbury. The Southwest Expressway and the Inner Belt highways were among the Sargent-canceled highways.

Original 1955 Yellow Book plan showing the southwestern routing of I-95 to the Inner Belt. The modern I-95 follows the outer belt shown on this map (now considered the "inner" Route 128 compared to the "outer" I-495 which is not shown, and which started construction two years after the study).

Between 1972 and 1974, plans were to extend I-95 along a northerly extension of the Northeast Expressway to Route 128 in northwestern Danvers. During this time, I-95 was officially routed along Route 128 from Canton to Braintree and north along the Southeast Expressway (also designated Route 3), from Braintree to Boston, then following the Central Artery, and continuing along the Northeast Expressway in Boston, Chelsea and Revere.

When the Northeast Expressway extension (between Saugus and Danvers) was canceled in 1974, I-95's route shifted to its current routing along the perimeter highway (Route 128) and I-93 was extended to meet I-95 in Canton. For several decades, plans for the abandoned roadways could still be seen going from the end of the Northeast Expressway to the Saugus River in Saugus in the form of a graded but unpaved roadbed. Much of this was removed during the early 2000s. At the US 1/Route 60 interchange, one can still see unused bridges and ghost ramps that were originally intended to carry I-95.[2]

MassDOT's Add-A-Lane project added a fourth lane in each direction along Route 128/I-95 from the I-93 interchange in Canton to the Route 9 interchange in Wellesley, where the rush-hour traffic has been for some time permitted to use the breakdown lanes on the highway shoulder. The section south of Route 9 was completed by late 2015, and the last section, from Needham to Wellesley, where construction started in 2015, was completed in 2019.[3] Outside of Route 128, the state began a $285 million project in 2012 to replace the John Greenleaf Whittier Bridge over the Merrimack River which included widening the highway to eight lanes (four in each direction) from the bridge to I-495. This project was substantially completed, and the full eight lanes opened in mid-2018.[4]

Add-A-Lane project[edit]

The $315 million MassDOT Highway Division project widened the 14.3-mile (23.0 km), six-lane section of highway to eight lanes from north of Route 9 in Wellesley to Route 24 in Randolph. The project consisted of adding a lane on the inside of each carriageway, complete with a 10-foot (3.0 m) inside shoulder. The existing 1950s bridges, 22 in total, were replaced. The project included construction of a new two-lane ramp from Route 128 to I-95 in Canton and installation of a new interchange at Kendrick Street in Needham, designated as exit 19A with the ramps to Highland Avenue as exits 19B and 19C.

During the initial construction of I-95, a provision had already been made for a fourth lane within the widely spaced median along the 1.5-mile (2.4 km) length of I-95 running from just north of the US 1 interchange in Dedham, Massachusetts, northwestwards to the Route 109 interchange, and this will finally be used for the Add-A-Lane project.

Construction on phase 1 was officially completed in October 2009. Construction of phase 2 of the project began in mid-2006. This phase of the project consisted of the replacement of the US 1 and Route 1A bridges over I-95 in Dedham along with the road widening between exits 13 and 15. Construction of four sound barriers between the US 1 and I-93 interchanges were also included. This phase was completed in the Spring of 2011.

Exit list[edit]

All interchanges were to be renumbered to mileage-based numbers under a project scheduled to start in 2016, however this project was indefinitely postponed until November 18, 2019 MassDOT confirmed that beginning in late summer 2020 the exit renumbering project will begin.[5][6] On February 10, 2021 MassDOT announced in a blog post that the exit renumbering on I-95 through Massachusetts was supposed to begin on February 21, but it was delayed to February 25 due to inclement weather. It will be broken into four separate sections:

  • From the New Hampshire state line to MA Route 128
  • From the Route 1 interchange to US Route 20
  • From the I-90 interchange to Westwood/Canton
  • From Neponset Street to the Rhode Island state line
CountyLocation[7]mi[7]kmOld exit
 
New exit
[8][9][10]
Destinations[8][9][10]Notes
BristolAttleboro0.0000.000 I-95 south  – ProvidenceContinuation into Rhode Island
0.4990.8031 US 1 south (Broadway)  – PawtucketSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
1.1991.9302A Route 1A south (Newport Avenue)  – Pawtucket
1.2131.9522B
Route 1A north to US 1  – South Attleboro
4.1976.75434 Route 123  – South Attleboro, Attleboro, NortonSigned as exits 4A (east) and 4B (west) southbound
5.8609.43146 I-295 south  – Woonsocket, WarwickNorthern terminus of I-295, exit 4
North Attleborough6.91811.13357
To Route 152  – North Attleboro, Attleboro
Partially in Attleboro
Mansfield11.56218.6076A12A I-495 south  – Cape CodPartially in Foxborough
11.60418.6756B12B I-495 north  – WorcesterAccess to Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place; partially in Foxborough
NorfolkFoxborough12.94420.831713 Route 140  – Mansfield, FoxboroSigned as exits 13A (south) and 13B (north)
Sharon16.62626.757817South Main Street – SharonNorthbound signage
Mechanic Street – FoxboroSouthbound signage
19.21530.924919
US 1 to Route 27  – Walpole
Northbound signage
US 1  – Foxboro, WrenthamSouthbound signage; access to Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place
Walpole21.09633.9511021Coney Street – Walpole, SharonSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
Norwood23.26937.44811A–B23A–BNeponset Street – Canton, NorwoodSigned as exits 23A (east) and 23B (west)
Canton24.839.925Dedham Street – Canton, WestwoodExit currently under construction
26.74043.0341226 I-93 north / US 1 north  – Boston
Route 128
Southern end of US 1 wrong-way concurrency; left exit southbound; southern terminus of I-93; exit 1 on I-93; southern terminus of Route 128
Dedham27.35244.0191327University Avenue – MBTA / Amtrak station
Westwood28.62746.0711428East Street / Canton Street
Dedham29.30047.15415A29A
To Route 1A  – Dedham
29.31647.18015B29B US 1 south  – NorwoodNorthern end of US 1 wrong-way concurrency
30.82349.6051631 Route 109  – Dedham, WestwoodSigned as exits 31A (east) and 31B (west)
32.38852.1231732 Route 135  – Needham, NatickNorfolk County Correctional Center is in the median of Route 128, access from Route 135; eastern terminus of Route 135
Needham32.87352.9041833Great Plain Avenue – West Roxbury
35.73057.50219A35AKendrick Street – NeedhamOpened on December 1, 2017, as part of the Add-A-Lane project
37.73060.72119B–C35B–CHighland Avenue – Newton Highlands, NeedhamSigned as exits 35B (Newton Highlands) and 35C (Needham); formerly signed as exits 19A and 19B)
Wellesley36.79859.2212036 Route 9  – Brookline, Boston, Framingham, WorcesterSigned as exits 36A (east) and 36B (west)
MiddlesexNewton38.17561.4372137 Route 16  – Newton, WellesleySigned as exits 37A (east) and 37B (west, with exit 38) southbound
38.51961.9902238Grove Street – MBTA Station
Weston38.97762.72723Recreation RoadNorthbound exit and entrance only
39.24063.1512439A Route 30  – Newton, WestonInterchange located after exit 39B northbound
39.40663.4182539B I-90 / Mass Pike  – Boston, Albany, New YorkExit 123 on I-90
Waltham41.40666.6362641 US 20  – Waltham, Weston
43.27069.63627A43AThird Avenue – WalthamNorthbound signage
43.28369.657Totten Pond Road / Third Avenue / Wyman Street[11]Southbound signage
43.27369.64127B43BTotten Pond Road / Winter Street / Wyman Street[12]Northbound signage
43.28869.665Winter StreetSouthbound signage
44.54371.6852844Trapelo Road – Belmont, LincolnSigned as exits 44A (Belmont) and 44B (Lincoln) northbound
Lexington45.41273.08429A45A Route 2 east  – Cambridge, BostonExit 127 on Route 2
45.44573.13729B45B Route 2 west  – Acton, Fitchburg
46.49274.8223046 Route 2A  – East Lexington, Hanscom Field, ConcordSigned as exits 46A (east) and 46B (west)
48.71678.4013149 Route 4 / Route 225  – Lexington, BedfordSigned as exits 49A (south/east) and 49B (north/west)
Burlington50.07980.59432A50A US 3 north  – Lowell, Nashua NHSouthern end of US 3 wrong-way concurrency; exits 72A-B on US 3
50.34181.01632B50BMiddlesex TurnpikeBurlington
51.76783.31133A51A US 3 south  – WinchesterNorthern end of US 3 wrong-way concurrency
51.77883.32933B51B Route 3A north  – BurlingtonSouthern terminus of Route 3A
52.63984.7143452Winn Street – Woburn, Burlington
Woburn53.73586.4783553 Route 38  – Woburn, Wilmington
55.12888.7203654Washington Street – Woburn, Reading
Reading55.70489.64737A55A I-93 south  – Boston
55.72989.68737B55B I-93 north  – Concord, NH
56.56191.0263856 Route 28  – Stoneham, ReadingSigned as exits 56A (south) and 56B (north)
Wakefield57.77992.9863957North Avenue – Reading, Wakefield
58.53294.1984058 Route 129  – Wakefield Center, Wilmington
EssexLynnfield59.29695.4284159Main Street – Lynnfield Center, Wakefield
MiddlesexWakefield60.85997.9434260Salem Street – Wakefield
EssexLynnfield61.51098.9914361Walnut Street – Saugus, Lynnfield
62.899101.2264463 US 1 / Route 129  – Boston, DanversSigned as exits 63A (south/west) and 63B (north/east) northbound; no Route 129 signage southbound
Peabody64.625104.0044564 Route 128 north  – GloucesterLeft exit northbound; northern end of concurrency with Route 128; exit 37 on Route 128
66.098106.3744666 US 1 south  – BostonSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
Danvers67.329108.3564767 Route 114  – Peabody, MiddletonNo southbound exit; signed as exits 67A (east) and 67B (west)
68.226109.7994868Centre Street – DanversSouthbound exit and entrance only
68.979111.0114969 Route 62  – Danvers, MiddletonNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
69.867112.4405070 US 1  – TopsfieldNorthbound signage
69.851112.414

US 1 to Route 62 / Route 114  – Topsfield, Danvers
Southbound signage
Boxford72.277116.3195172Endicott Road – Topsfield, Middleton
73.979119.0585274Topsfield Road – Topsfield, Boxford
76.201122.6345376 Route 97  – Topsfield, GeorgetownSigned as exits 76A (south) and 76B (north)
Georgetown78.051125.6115478 Route 133  – Georgetown, RowleySigned as exits 78A (east) and 78B (west) northbound
Newbury81.542131.2295581Central Street – Byfield, Newbury
West Newbury83.362134.1585683Scotland Road – Newbury, West Newbury
Newburyport86.044138.4745786 Route 113  – West Newbury, Newburyport
Merrimack River87.189–
87.377
140.317–
140.620
John Greenleaf Whittier Bridge
Amesbury88.124141.8225888
Route 110 to I-495  – Salisbury, Amesbury[13]
Signed as exits 88A (east) and 88B (west) northbound; no I-495 signage southbound
Salisbury89.367143.8225989 I-495 south  – WorcesterSouthbound exit and northbound entrance; northern terminus of I-495
MassachusettsNew Hampshire line90.239–
90.82
145.226–
146.16
6090 Route 286  – Beaches, SalisburySouthbound exit originates in New Hampshire
I-95 north  – PortsmouthContinuation into New Hampshire
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ Montgomery, David; White, Josh (February 23, 2001). "128 Cars, Trucks Crash in Snow on I-95". The Washington Post. p. A1.
  2. ^ Google (February 8, 2019). "Route 60 Plaza" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  3. ^ Massachusetts Department of Transportation (2015). "Needham-Wellesley I-95 Add-A-Lane Project". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  4. ^ Massachusetts Department of Transportation (2015). "Whittier Bridge/I-95 Improvements". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  5. ^ Commonwealth of Massachusetts (2015). "COMMBUYS - Bid Solicitation FAP# HSIP-002S(874) Exit Signage Conversion to Milepost-Based Numbering System along Various Interstates, Routes and the Lowell Connector". Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  6. ^ Bob Malme (2016). "Massachusetts Interstate Highways Exit Lists". Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  7. ^ a b MassDOT Planning Division. "Massachusetts Route Log Application". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  8. ^ a b Massachusetts Department of Transportation. "Exit Numbers and Names: Route I-95 (Attleboro-Canton)". Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Massachusetts Department of Transportation. "Exit Numbers and Names: Route I-95 (128, Canton-Peabody)". Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  10. ^ a b Massachusetts Department of Transportation. "Exit Numbers and Names: Route I-95 (Peabody-Salisbury)". Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  11. ^ Google Maps (September 2013). "Street View". Google. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  12. ^ Google Maps (October 2012). "Street View". Google. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  13. ^ Google Maps (September 2012). "Street View". Google. Retrieved August 23, 2014.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata


Interstate 95
Previous state:
Rhode Island
Massachusetts Next state:
New Hampshire