Massachusetts Highway Department

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Former logo of the Massachusetts Highway Department

The Massachusetts Highway Department (MassHighway) was the former name of the highway department in the United States Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1991 until it became the highway division of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) on November 1, 2009.[1] The responsibilities of MassHighway included the design, construction and maintenance of all state highways and bridges and signage of numbered routes. During that time it was a part of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation (EOT), which was also reorganized into the Department of Transportation. As part of the reorganization, the separate Massachusetts Turnpike Authority was dissolved and its duties assumed by the MassDOT highway division.[1]

The department was split into five district offices managed by a District Highway Director (DHD) under the supervision of the Chief Engineer at MassHighway headquarters in Boston. This district plan has been continued under MassDOT with tentative plans to reconfigure the Boston area for a sixth district in 2010.[2]

The Massachusetts Highway Department conducts an annual traffic data collection program. A traffic counting program is conducted each year by the Statewide Traffic Data Collection section of the Massachusetts Highway Department. This data is available online by autoroute and city/town list or as an interactive map. The 2009 program involved the systematic collection of traffic data utilizing automatic traffic recorders located on various roadways throughout the state.[3]


The Massachusetts Highway Commission was established in 1893 with three commissioners appointed by the governor. It was responsible for assisting local governments with road design, construction, mapping and organization.[4] The commission was replaced in 1919 by the Massachusetts Department of Public Works (DPW), which became the main state agency overseeing all aspects of road construction and maintenance.[5] The DPW was renamed the Massachusetts Highway Department in 1991.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Welcome to MassDOT - About US". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  2. ^ About the Districts retrieved 3 April 2009
  3. ^
  4. ^ Public documents of Massachusetts. 12, part 2. Boston: Secretary of the Commonwealth. 1895. Retrieved 2009-11-07. 
  5. ^ Tsipis, Yanni Kosta; Kruh, David (2003). Building Route 128. Images of America. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-7385-1163-4. OCLC 52578034. Retrieved 2009-11-07. 
  6. ^ "1991 Chapter 0552. An Act Changing The Name Of The Department Of Public Works To The Highway Department.". Boston: Secretary of the Commonwealth. 1991. Retrieved 2009-11-07.