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
North end: Route 257 near Chartierville, Quebec
Highway system
Route 2A MA Route 3
Route 5 N.E. Route 6A

U.S. Route 3 (US 3) is a United States highway running 277.9 miles (447.2 km) from Cambridge, Massachusetts,[2] through New Hampshire, to the Canadian border near Third Connecticut Lake, where it connects to 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 segment in New Hampshire is a free portion of the Everett Turnpike, while the portion in Massachusetts is known as the Northwest Expressway. A second freeway portion exists in northern New Hampshire, where US 3 utilizes the Franconia Notch Parkway, overlapping Interstate 93.

Massachusetts Route 3 connects to the southern terminus of US 3 in Cambridge and continues south to Cape Cod. Though it shares a number, it has never been part of US 3. Both routes, which connect end-to-end, are treated as a single 91.3-mile (146.9 km) state highway by MassDOT, with mileposts increasing continuously from Cape Cod all the way to the New Hampshire state border.

Route description[edit]

  mi[3] km
MA 35.70 57.45
NH 241.953 389.386
Total 277.653 446.839


Cambridge to Burlington[edit]

US 3 begins in the south along Memorial Drive in Cambridge, along the Charles River, at an interchange with Massachusetts Avenue (Route 2A). The road continues "south" (actually east) as Route 3 towards downtown Boston, while US 3 heads west, then north along the river towards downtown Cambridge, joining with Route 2 along the way. It runs opposite Soldiers Field Road in Allston along this stretch. Passing south of the downtown area, US 3 and Route 2 transition onto the Fresh Pond Parkway and join Route 16 in a wrong-way concurrency (heading north on US 3, one is also heading west on Route 2 and east on Route 16). Near the Alewife MBTA station, Route 2 splits off as a freeway to the west (Concord Turnpike), while US 3 / Route 16 turn onto the Alewife Brook Parkway. Shortly thereafter, US 3 splits from the Parkway (which continues as Route 16) and joins Route 2A (Massachusetts Avenue) westbound, crossing into Arlington. In the center of town, US 3 and Route 2A split from Massachusetts Avenue and overlap briefly with Route 60 (in another wrong-way concurrency) before continuing as Mystic Avenue. Route 2A splits from US 3 just to the north. US 3 continues through parts of Winchester and Woburn without any major intersections before entering Burlington and interchanging with Interstate 95 / Route 128 (Yankee Division Highway) at exit 33. US 3 joins the freeway to connect with the Northwest Expressway, while its historic surface alignment continues as Route 3A.

Burlington to Tyngsborough (Northwest Expressway)[edit]

US 3 runs along 1.6 miles (2.6 km) of I-95 (Route 128) in a wrong-way concurrency before exiting at exit 32A onto its own freeway, the Northwest Expressway.

Originally built in the 1950s, before the cancellation of the Inner Belt, the US 3 freeway was to have extended into metro Boston before being truncated to I-95. Consequently, a partially completed cloverleaf interchange connects US 3 to I-95, and exit numbers on the US 3 freeway start at 25 and increase sequentially to 36.

The freeway closely parallels Route 3A, the historic alignment of US 3, along its entire 19-mile (31 km) length from Burlington to the New Hampshire state border. It passes through Billerica and into Chelmsford, where it connects with I-495 and the Lowell Connector, a freeway spur into downtown Lowell widely regarded as one of the most dangerous roads in the state. Continuing north, the freeway briefly enters Lowell, then passes through North Chelmsford and Tyngsborough before crossing the state line into Nashua, New Hampshire. The freeway continues north as the Frederick E. Everett Turnpike.

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 and is the only highway to extend from the Massachusetts state border in the south to the Canadian border in the north. Running for 242 miles (389 km) in New Hampshire, US 3 is by far the longest signed highway in the state.

US 3 crosses the state border into Nashua and immediately becomes concurrent with the Everett Turnpike, running on the freeway for 6.7 miles (10.8 km) along the western side of the city. US 3 leaves the Everett Turnpike at exit 7E, crosses NH 101A 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 US 3 only as the Daniel Webster Highway or "Old Route 3".)

US 3 continues north through the town of Merrimack and into Bedford, where it becomes South River Road. The highway parallels I-293 until it turns east in Manchester and then crosses the Merrimack River on Queen City Avenue, just after its intersection with I-293 / NH 3A and NH 114A. US 3 and NH 3A are signed in a wrong-way concurrency for approximately 0.6 miles (0.97 km) before US 3 turns north onto Elm Street towards downtown Manchester. After approximately 2.2 miles (3.5 km), US 3 turns east onto Webster Street, then joins NH 28 to proceed in a northeasterly direction towards Hooksett, interchanging with I-93. The two routes continue as Hooksett Road, then the Daniel Webster Highway.

In Suncook, NH 28 leaves to the northeast, and US 3 proceeds northwest towards Concord on Pembroke Street, becoming Manchester Street when it enters the Concord city limits. After crossing the Merrimack River and interchanging with I-93, US 3 intersects NH 3A (South Main Street), which terminates at its parent route. US 3 traverses downtown Concord as North and South Main streets (briefly overlapping with US 202 and NH 9), then follows North State Street to Fisherville Road to Village Street in Penacook before crossing the Contoocook River into Boscawen. US 3 travels north through Boscawen, briefly overlapping with US 4. The highway parallels the Merrimack River north into Franklin, where the highway meets NH 11. US 3 joins NH 11 and turns east; NH 3A also resumes at this intersection, continuing north. US 3 and NH 11 briefly form a three-route concurrency with NH 127 in Franklin, then pass through Tilton, crossing NH 132 and passing the western end of NH 140. Continuing northeast past Winnisquam Lake, US 3 and NH 11 reach Laconia and turn onto the Laconia-Gilford Bypass, intersecting with NH 106, NH 107, and NH 11A. At the northern end of the bypass, US 3 and NH 11 split after a 17.3-mile (27.8 km) overlap, with the U.S. highway continuing north on Lake Street to Weirs Beach and an intersection with NH 11B. US 3 continues north as the Daniel Webster Highway to Meredith at the northern end of Meredith Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee. In Meredith, US 3 intersects the northern terminus of NH 106, then joins NH 25 and continues north past Squam Lake into Holderness, passing the western termini of NH 25B and NH 113. Through Holderness, US 3 and NH 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, US 3 proceeds north, roughly paralleling I-93 in the Pemigewasset River valley. Along this stretch it passes through the towns of Plymouth (NH 25 splits from US 3 near I-93 in Plymouth, which also marks the true northern terminus of NH 3A), West Campton (where it meets the western end of NH 49, the principal access road to Waterville Valley), Thornton, and Woodstock. In North Woodstock, US 3 crosses NH 112 (known to the east as the Kancamagus Highway).

Continuing north, US 3 joins with I-93 as it passes through Franconia Notch State Park, one of the more scenic drives in the White Mountains. This stretch of freeway is known as the Franconia Notch Parkway and is the only section of Interstate highway in the country with only one lane in each direction.

US 3 separates from I-93 at exit 35, shortly north of the northern park boundary in Franconia. From there, NH 141 branches northwest and US 3 heads north and east toward Twin Mountain and a junction with US 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, US 3 passes through the village of Carroll, where NH 115 branches to the northeast and US 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. US 3 continues north to Lancaster, where it joins US 2 in the town center, and where NH 135 branches off to the west. After US 2 leaves to the west, US 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, US 3 continues to follow the river, through Stratford, North Stratford, and Columbia, until it reaches Colebrook, where it crosses NH 26 and meets the southern terminus of NH 145. Still following the Connecticut River north, US 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. Its last major intersection is at the northern terminus of NH 145. US 3 continues north for another 22 miles (35 km), eventually reaching the Pittsburg-Chartierville Border Crossing, where the road crosses into Chartierville, Quebec and becomes Quebec Route 257.

In total, US 3 runs along the Connecticut River and its source lakes for approximately 70 miles (110 km).


New England Interstate[edit]

New England 6.svg

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


US 3 in Massachusetts closely follows the route of the early 19th-century Middlesex Canal and Middlesex Turnpike.

The modern Northwest Expressway was begun near Route 110 in Lowell before World War II. In the 1950s, it was extended south to Route 128 (later overlapped by I-95), and by the 1960s, it was completed north from Chelmsford to New Hampshire. By 2005, the chronically congested four-lane road, largely with antiquated ramps around Lowell, was later widened to six lanes (as it had been in Nashua, New Hampshire, a few years prior) 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.


According to the AASHTO route log, the southern terminus of US 3 is at US 20 in Boston, where Route 2 currently meets US 20 after crossing the Charles River at the Boston University Bridge. However, MassDOT officially places the southern terminus of US 3 just to the east 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 of US 3 (in 1926) was at Colebrook, New Hampshire, but the highway was extended to West Stewartstown in 1928, and to Pittsburg in 1937. Colebrook was the northern terminus again from 1939 to 1940. Since 1940, the highway has run through Pittsburg to the Pittsburg-Chartierville Border Crossing.

Major intersections[edit]

State County Location[3][4] mi[a][3][4] km Exit Destinations Notes
Massachusetts Middlesex Cambridge 55.7 89.6 Route 3 / Route 3A south (Memorial Drive)
Route 2A east (Massachusetts Avenue) – Boston
Southern terminus of US 3; northern terminus of Route 3; Southern terminus of silent concurrency with Route 3A
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, West 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 – Peabody, Portsmouth NH
Route 3A north – Burlington
Southern terminus of concurrency with I-95 / Route 128; northern terminus of silent concurrency with 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
Chelmsford 79.7 128.3 29 Route 129 – Billerica, Chelmsford
81.2 130.7 30
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)
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
MassachusettsNew Hampshire state line
South end of the Everett Turnpike
New Hampshire Hillsborough Nashua 0.834 1.342 1 Spit Brook Road – South Nashua
1.553 2.499 2 To NH 3A / NH 111 / Daniel Webster Highway – Hudson Access via the Circumferential Highway
Signed as Exit 1A northbound
2.819 4.537 3 Daniel Webster Highway – South Nashua Southbound exit and northbound entrance
3.055 4.917 4 East Dunstable Road FAA Center signage was removed at the request of the FAA shortly after 9/11
4.724 7.603 5 NH 111 to NH 111A – Nashua, Hudson, Pepperell MA Signed as Exits 5E (east) and 5W (west)
5.059 8.142 5A Simon Street Northbound exit only
6.285 10.115 6 NH 130 (Broad Street) – Nashua, Hollis
6.781 10.913 Everett Turnpike north / NH 101A – Nashua, Amherst, Milford Exit 7 on Everett Turnpike; northern end of concurrency with the Everett Turnpike
Merrimack 10.832 17.432 Everett Turnpike.svg Industrial Drive to Everett Turnpike Exit 10 on Everett Tpke.
12.109 19.488 Everett Turnpike.svg Greeley Street to Everett Turnpike Exit 11 on Everett Tpke.
15.745 25.339 Everett Turnpike.svg Bedford Road to Everett Turnpike south Exit 12 on Everett Tpke.
Bedford 17.874–
Everett Turnpike.svg Wieczorek Drive to Manchester Airport / Everett Turnpike Interchange opened in 2011; Exit 13 on Everett Tpke.
20.900 33.635 NH 101 to I‑293 / Everett Turnpike – Boston, Concord, Manchester Airport Southbound exit to and entrance from NH 101 east via Meetinghouse Road
21.331 34.329 NH Route 101.svg Kilton Road to NH 101 west – Bedford
Manchester 22.690 36.516 NH 114A west / I‑293 / NH 3A north – Concord, Boston Exit 4 on I-293; eastern terminus of NH 114A; southern terminus of wrong-way concurrency with NH 3A
23.333 37.551 NH 3A south (South Elm Street) Northern end of wrong-way concurrency with NH 3A
25.974 41.801 NH 28 south (Beech / Maple Streets) Southern end of concurrency with NH 28
Merrimack Hooksett 26.998–
I‑93 to NH 101 – Salem, Concord Exit 9 on I-93
28.586 46.005 NH 28A south – Londonderry Northern terminus of NH 28A
29.082 46.803 NH 27 east – Candia, Raymond Western terminus of NH 27
29.578 47.601 NH 28 Bypass south – Derry Northern terminus of NH 28 Bypass
Allenstown 35.237 56.708 NH 28 north – Epsom, Alton Northern end of concurrency with NH 28
Pembroke 39.506 63.579 NH 106 north – Loudon, Laconia Southern terminus of NH 106
Concord 41.704 67.116 Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Merrimack River
I‑93 to I‑89 / I‑393 – Manchester, Lebanon, Plymouth, Portsmouth Exit 13 on I-93
42.173 67.871 NH 3A south (Main Street) Southern end of silent concurrency with NH 3A
42.729 68.766 US 202 west / NH 9 west (Pleasant Street) to NH 13 Southern end of concurrency with US 202 / NH 9
43.024 69.240 NH 9 east (Loudon Road) to I‑93 Northern end of concurrency with NH 9
43.411 69.863 US 202 east to I‑393 east Northern end of concurrency with US 202
Boscawen 50.812 81.774 US 4 east – Concord Southern end of concurrency with US 4
52.168 83.956 US 4 west – Andover Northern end of concurrency with US 4
Franklin 60.645 97.599 NH 127 south – Salisbury Southern end of concurrency with NH 127
61.307 98.664 NH 3A north / NH 11 west – Andover, Bristol Northern end of concurrency with NH 3A; southern end of concurrency with NH 11
61.755 99.385 NH 127 north – New Hampton Northern end of concurrency with NH 127
Belknap Tilton 64.925 104.487 NH 132 south to I‑93 south – Northfield, Concord Southern end of concurrency with NH 132
I‑93 – Canterbury, Concord, Boston, New Hampton, Plymouth
NH 140 east – Belmont, Gilmanton
Exit 20 on I-93; western terminus of NH 140
66.678 107.308 NH 132 north – Sanbornton Northern end of concurrency with NH 132
Belmont 72.845 117.233 NH 11A – Laconia downtown Western terminus of NH 11A
Laconia 74.355 119.663 NH 106 to NH 107 – Laconia, Belmont, Concord Partial interchange; no southbound exit to NH 106 north; no northbound entrance from NH 106 south
74.999 120.699 NH 107 – Laconia, Gilmanton Partial interchange; southbound exit and northbound entrance
Gilford 76.040 122.375 NH 11A – Gilford, Laconia Interchange
78.649 126.573 NH 11 east – Alton Northern end of concurrency with NH 11
Gilford–Laconia line 79.442 127.850 NH 107 south – Laconia Northern terminus of NH 107
Laconia 82.684 133.067 NH 11B – Gilford, Alton Bay Western terminus of NH 11B in village of Weirs Beach
Meredith 86.334 138.941 NH 106 – Laconia Northern terminus of NH 106
86.847 139.767 NH 104 – New Hampton Eastern terminus of NH 104
87.693 141.128 NH 25 east – Center Harbor, Ossipee, Conway Southern end of concurrency with NH 25
Center Harbor 90.778 146.093 NH 25B – Center Harbor Western terminus of NH 25B
Grafton Holderness 95.526 153.734 NH 113 – Sandwich Southern terminus of NH 113
96.661 155.561 NH 175 – Campton Southern terminus of NH 175
Ashland 99.271 159.761 NH 132 – New Hampton, Tilton Northern terminus of NH 132
I‑93 – Tilton, Concord, Plymouth, Littleton Exit 24 on I-93
Plymouth 105.397 169.620 NH 175A to I‑93 – Holderness Western terminus of NH 175A
106.202 170.916 NH 3A south / NH 25 west to I‑93 – Rumney, Bristol, Concord, Littleton Interchange; northern end of concurrency with NH 25; northern terminus of NH 3A
Campton 109.525 176.263 To I‑93 – Campton, Littleton, Plymouth, Concord Exit 27 on I-93 via Blair Road
112.375 180.850 NH 49 to I‑93 – Campton, Waterville Valley Western terminus of NH 49
Thornton 113.804–
I‑93 – Plymouth, Concord, Franconia, Littleton Exit 29 on I-93
Woodstock 120.410–
I‑93 – Franconia, Littleton, Plymouth, Concord Exit 30 on I-93
125.420 201.844 NH 175 – Campton Northern terminus of NH 175
126.031 202.827 NH 112 to I‑93 – Lincoln, Conway, Woodsville
Lincoln 128.210–
I‑93 – Concord, Littleton Exit 33 on I-93
131.562 211.729 I‑93 south Exit 34A on I-93; southern end of concurrency with I-93 and the Franconia Notch Parkway
Franconia 135.923 218.747 34B Cannon Mountain Tramway – Old Man Historic Site
136.623 219.873 34C NH 18 – Echo Lake Beach, Peabody Slopes, Cannon Mountain Southern terminus of NH 18
138.080 222.218 I‑93 north Exit 35 on I-93; northern end of concurrency with I-93 and the Franconia Notch Parkway
139.044 223.770 NH 141 to I‑93 / NH 18 – Franconia Eastern terminus of NH 141
Coos Carroll 148.497 238.983 US 302 – Bethlehem, Bretton Woods, Conway In village of Twin Mountain
150.510 242.222 NH 115 – Jefferson, Berlin, Gorham Southern terminus of NH 115
Whitefield 156.871 252.459 NH 116 south / NH 142 south – Bethlehem, Littleton Southern end of concurrency with NH 116 / NH 142
156.918 252.535 NH 142 north – Dalton Northern end of concurrency with NH 142
156.959 252.601 NH 116 north – Jefferson, Gorham Northern end of concurrency with NH 116
Lancaster 165.330 266.073 US 2 east – Jefferson, Gorham, Berlin Southern end of concurrency with US 2
165.372 266.140 NH 135 – Dalton, Gilman VT Northern terminus of NH 135
166.126 267.354 US 2 west – St. Johnsbury VT Northern end of concurrency with US 2
Northumberland 175.152 281.880 NH 110 – Stark, Berlin Western terminus of NH 110 in village of Groveton
North Stratford 188.576 303.484 To VT 105 – Bloomfield VT
Colebrook 201.458 324.215 NH 26 east – Dixville Notch Southern end of concurrency with NH 26
201.565 324.387 NH 26 west Northern end of concurrency with NH 26
201.647 324.519 NH 145 – Clarksville Southern terminus of NH 145
Pittsburg 219.573 353.368 NH 145 Northern terminus of NH 145
241.953 389.386 Route 257 Continuation into Quebec
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. The only remaining route still designated is an unsigned business loop in Laconia, New Hampshire, internally designated U.S. Route 3 Business. The route runs along NH 11A and NH 107, and is 4.2 miles (6.8 km) long.

See also[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.[5]


  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. ^ a b c Bureau of Planning & Community Assistance (February 20, 2015). "NH Public Roads". Concord, New Hampshire: New Hampshire Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 7, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Bureau of Planning & Community Assistance (April 3, 2015). "Nodal Reference 2015, State of New Hampshire". New Hampshire Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 7, 2015. 
  5. ^ Staff (2007). "Interchange Lists (US 3)". Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation. Retrieved August 7, 2011. 

External links[edit]

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