Unbuilt Highways in Massachusetts

Jahvon09

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How about I-95, known back then as the Inner Belt? It was supposed to come through Roxbury, JP & Hyde Park with the Orange Line in the middle between 2 sets of lanes. Land was cleared for it, people were displaced & put out, but nothing was ever done. But after people & communities began fighting against it, & with the help of Senator Edward Brook, the program was killed & instead of a noisy highway, the land was used to remove the embankment, it was renamed the Southwest Corridor & the Orange Line was put through there, along with upgrades for Amtrak. :)


Southwest Corridor (Massachusetts) - Wikipedia
 
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Charlie_mta

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Agreed but at some point they are going to get tired of seeing gridlocked traffic blocking the roads and driveways of Concord.
As far as building a whole new alignment like the one proposed in the 1972 document discussed above, I don't think that will ever happen, but upgrading the existing route 2 with interchanges to replace at-grade intersections and rotaries is politically doable, and I think it will happen.
 

RandomWalk

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The 126 intersection is jammed between substantial pieces of park land. I doubt you’ll get an interchange there. Perhaps closing the crossing, but not a bidirectional interchange.
 

themissinglink

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I'd love to see the intersection with Taylor Rd./Piper Rd. rebuilt into an interchange after the Concord Rotary project gets constructed, whenever that ends up happening.
 

reno

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As far as building a whole new alignment like the one proposed in the 1972 document discussed above, I don't think that will ever happen, but upgrading the existing route 2 with interchanges to replace at-grade intersections and rotaries is politically doable, and I think it will happen.
After the very well designed reconstruction of the Crosby Corner intersection there was hope this trend would continue west.

The Taylor Rd/ Piper Rd. intersection with the large available land would so easily be converted to a overpass for relatively little money.
 

HalcyonEra

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Wow, that's quite a find. I'm always interested in that area because my dad's side of the family goes back about 220 years around there, and I spent a lot of my childhood in the Greenfield area. What's interesting is that if this highway had been proposed in the early 1960s, it probably would have been built, but by the late 60s and into the 70s and 80s, the local publics in Massachusetts had become much more vocal and engaged, plus the NEPA process put through under the Richard Nixon administration gave more traction to stakeholders opposing highway projects.
What a find indeed. I too grew up in that area and my family had quite a bit of real estate interests along route 2 in Athol / Orange at the time so it was a frequent topic of discussion. I recall this battle from the 80's, and there was a strong environmental push back with the state forests in that area if I recall correctly. The band aide fix implemented at the time solved a few issues in the Erving stretch but not much more and certainly did not lead to any economic development whatsoever. Of course, Route 2 should have always been 4 lanes to I-91 or at least to 202 in Orange. How things could ahve been different for that area, especially if I-84 (then US 15) had been extended to RT 2 instead of terminating in Sturbridge. At a minimum it would have diverted a lot of truck traffic off the Mass Pike. Anyhow, I digress, I cant wait to dig into this material. Nice find!!
 

Charlie_mta

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What a find indeed. I too grew up in that area and my family had quite a bit of real estate interests along route 2 in Athol / Orange at the time so it was a frequent topic of discussion. I recall this battle from the 80's, and there was a strong environmental push back with the state forests in that area if I recall correctly. The band aide fix implemented at the time solved a few issues in the Erving stretch but not much more and certainly did not lead to any economic development whatsoever. Of course, Route 2 should have always been 4 lanes to I-91 or at least to 202 in Orange. How things could ahve been different for that area, especially if I-84 (then US 15) had been extended to RT 2 instead of terminating in Sturbridge. At a minimum it would have diverted a lot of truck traffic off the Mass Pike. Anyhow, I digress, I cant wait to dig into this material. Nice find!!
My dad was born in Heath (the family goes back there to the late 1700s), and my uncle and his family had a big house in the country in Colrain that I stayed at a couple of summers when I was kid. I absolutely love those towns, especially Heath, and go up there every chance I get. I wish something could be done to develop the economy in Greenfield. Up until about the 1970s there were factories in Greenfield that provided good family wage jobs, and my uncle and aunt worked at those and had a great life, but of course the factories are long gone. Maybe the planned (but mostly not built) 4-lane Route 2 expressway from Greenfield to Cambridge would have helped.
 

BosMaineiac

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I learned about this major unbuilt highway a few years ago and was really fascinated by it. It was proposed to be I-92 and would've spanned from the New York border in VT to potentially the Canadian border in Calais, ME. I know it's outside of MA but I think this highway would have had major impacts to Northern New England and in turn much of MA. Mod feel free to move it if you think it would fit better in another section.

The plan took shape in the 70's and it obviously ran into a lot of pushback. Here's the link to the background of it and a few plans from the website below: http://www.bostonroads.com/roads/I-92/

I92-3-1.gif

I92-3-2.gif

I92-3-3.gif
 

kingofsheeba

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I learned about this major unbuilt highway a few years ago and was really fascinated by it. It was proposed to be I-92 and would've spanned from the New York border in VT to potentially the Canadian border in Calais, ME. I know it's outside of MA but I think this highway would have had major impacts to Northern New England and in turn much of MA. Mod feel free to move it if you think it would fit better in another section.

The plan took shape in the 70's and it obviously ran into a lot of pushback. Here's the link to the background of it and a few plans from the website below: http://www.bostonroads.com/roads/I-92/

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These would’ve been a waste of money and resources. A much better option would’ve been to make US-201 a divided four lanes from Waterville to the U.S./Canadian border with the future A-73 extension. With that said, there are a lot of tough Mainers who would stand in the way of that plan.
 

as02143

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Those new markings in the Concord rotary definitely help with clarity and safety, if not congestion - annectodally, accidents have noticably declined.

Also, since we're discussing it: here were the 2 final alternatives from the 2008 effort, with Alternative 5 I think being preferred at the time - as I recall it got punted due to the financial crisis at the time, and it's still being punted now because it's not in the top crash interchanges. No matter how much I would appreciate it, frankly, MassDOT doesn't have the bandwidth for that many big interchange rebuilds - I swear the Allston I90 takes up the vast portion of their energy, and what's spare currently goes to the crash hot-spots, cape bridges and 495/90.

View attachment 31733View attachment 31734
Link to full ca. 2008 MassHighway presentation
Wild to imagine that they thought this would fly. What a historical treasure.

I'm also starting to see moderately progressive engineering show up at MassDOT. Less of the highway department of the 1970s and 1980s trying to build out the 1950s highway master plans and a bit more like they have all taken a class from Peter Furth at Northeastern University.
 

Stlin

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Now that Rhode Island is zapping the last of its surface signalized intersections on 146, what is the likelihood of MassDOT following suit in Sutton/Millbury at some reasonable future date?

It was studied back in 2005; at the time, the provision of frontage roads and potential eminent domain costs appears downright reasonable, even escalated to 2023 dollars despite the horrendous number of curb cuts, though there are actually now more compared to 2005 since they've built the new Market32 plaza. Admittedly, construction costs for a full interstate-grade upgrade weren't given - but the Patrick admin seems to have abandoned it when they rebuilt the Boston Rd intersection in 2013 basically as-is with minor improvements?

(And once that's done, could you justify giving it an interstate number?)
 
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tysmith95

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Now that Rhode Island is zapping the last of its surface signalized intersections on 146, what is the likelihood of MassDOT following suit in Sutton/Millbury at some reasonable future date?

It was studied back in 2005; at the time, the provision of frontage roads and potential eminent domain costs appears downright reasonable, even escalated to 2023 dollars despite the horrendous number of curb cuts, though there are actually now more compared to 2005 since they've built the new Market32 plaza. Admittedly, construction costs for a full interstate-grade upgrade weren't given - but the Patrick admin seems to have abandoned it when they rebuilt the Boston Rd intersection in 2013 basically as-is with minor improvements?

(And once that's done, could you justify giving it an interstate number?)
If we're on that discussion, why doesn't rt 3 from Burlington MA to Manchester NH have an interstate number.
 

Equilibria

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If we're on that discussion, why doesn't rt 3 from Burlington MA to Manchester NH have an interstate number.
The Everett Tunrpike is not (or at least was not) 100% Interstate-grade. Also, it's a turnpike, and generally speaking you can't toll Interstates.

I'm a little surprised MassDOT didn't make US-3 into I-493 as far as Nashua when they brought it to Interstate grade 20 years ago. It should be 293, but you couldn't bring that across the NH line until they were ready to redesignate the southern arc around Manchester.
 
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Charlie_mta

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The Everett Tunrpike is not (or at least was not) 100% Interstate-grade. Also, it's a turnpike, and generally speaking you can't toll Interstates.

I'm a little surprised MassDOT didn't make US-3 into I-493 as far as Nashua when they brought it to Interstate grade 20 years ago. It should be 293, but you couldn't bring that across the NH line until they were ready to redesignate the southern arc around Manchester.
Lots of toll roads were given interstate highway numbers, including I-90 in Massachusetts. I would recommend US 3 from Rte 128 northward, including the Everett Turnpike in NH, be designated as I-89. It would overlap I-93 from Manchester to Concord NH, but that is not uncommon in the US. The I-89 designation would make sense for continuity and recognition
 

Brattle Loop

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Lots of toll roads were given interstate highway numbers, including I-90 in Massachusetts. I would recommend US 3 from Rte 128 northward, including the Everett Turnpike in NH, be designated as I-89. It would overlap I-93 from Manchester to Concord NH, but that is not uncommon in the US. The I-89 designation would make sense for continuity and recognition
Is there any particular need for it to be an Interstate? Knowing New Hampshire they'd probably balk at the cost of replacing all the signs (well, unless re-designating it came with a fat chunk of federal highway dollars, I suppose).
 

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