Tag: massachusetts

Since I live in Massachusetts, it’s probably not a big surprise that it’s the #1 tag on the site.


General Routing

NY line at Stockbridge to East Boston via Springfield and Framingham.

Upgrades and Multiplexes

Expressway full length; toll highway.


The Mass Turnpike first opened on May 15 ,1957 from the New York state line to MA 128. [1] Construction began January 4, 1955, with the 123 mile mainline road being split into 133 separate contracts [2]. The toll from West Stockbridge to Weston was $2.45 and the speed limit was 60 MPH.

The road was designated I-90 in 1959. In 1964, the Boston Extension was opened between 128 and the Allston-Brighton tolls. It was extended to the Central Artery Expressway on Feb 18, 1965. The toll increased to $3.00 for and end-to-end trip due to the extra length. The Boston Extension cost nearly as much as the entire rest of the road ($240 million for the extension, compared to $257 million for the main section). [2]

In 1969, exit 11A was created for I-495 and the speed limit was increased to 65 MPH. By 1969, tolls had edged up slightly, to $3.30 for the full length. The increases over the original toll were 5 cents for each segment between Lee (Exit 2) and Weston (exit 14), except for Palmer to Sturbridge which remained at 30 cents.

In 1974, the federal government passed the National Maximum Speed Limit law which basically set a cap on speed limits at 55 MPH. By 1979, tolls had gone up again. A trip from end to end would now cost $4.30. Tolls increased from 5 to 20 cents per segment.

Tolls were eliminated for passenger cars west of exit 6 in July, 1996. [3]

Exit 10A opened in 1998, allowing direct access to MA 146.

The Ted Williams Tunnel was connected to the rest of I-90 via the O’Neill Tunnel in January, 2003.

[1] Much of the specific date information (as opposed to the “between 1961 and 1966 type of stuff”) comes from the Mass Turnpike’s official website.

[2] “Riding The Pike” Worcester Telegram & Gazette, May 15, 2007

[3] “Issue: 2002-Turnpike/Toll Increases” article on 02133.org.

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Dan Vincent’s I-90 page



General Routing

CT line in Holland to Sturbridge

Upgrades and Multiplexes

Expressway full length


Number used for I-84 during the 70’s and early 80’s. See MA 15 for route history.


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General Routing

CT line in Holland to Sturbridge

Upgrades and Multiplexes

Expressway full length.


Existed as I-86 in the 70’s and 80’s. See MA 15 for the route history.

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Kurumi’s I-84 entry

Effect of Southwest Expressway cancellation?

From Flickr, regarding this image:

sds70has posted a comment:

Looking back now, do you think folks wish I-95 was run thru downtown Boston vs. around it? Yesssss, I understand folks houses were saved but in the long term, do you think not fully completing the Interstate plan around Boston is what caused the traffic mess that is in place today ?

This is just my opinion, but no. Building more highways doesn’t seem to fix traffic problems. There’s two sets of traffic problems that this cancellation could conceivably have made worse. One is Rt 128; the other is the Southeast Expressway.

I’ll take the second one first, because it’s easier – adding another route for vehicles to get into the city would have made central Boston’s traffic problems much much worse. It’s not like the highway would have added capacity to the rest of the roads. It certainly could have delayed the traffic on the Expressway, but really it would have just moved it further into the city.

As for 128, I believe that even with 95 signed through the city, folks just passing through would go around Boston as they do with New York. The traffic on 128 suggests a need for better options connecting the suburban towns rather than improved options into the city.