Massachusetts Route 31
|Length||58.80 mi (94.63 km)|
|South end||Dresser Hill Road in Thompson, CT|
| US 20 in Charlton|
Route 9 in Spencer
Route 2 in Fitchburg
|North end||NH 31 in Mason, NH|
Route 31 begins in Dudley at the Connecticut border, where it is known as Dresser Hill Road. Dresser Hill Road begins in Quinebaug, Connecticut, at Route 197 where it is a short (approximately 220-foot-long (67 m)) local road erroneously signed as Connecticut Route 31 changing to Route 31 at the Massachusetts state line, then proceeding through Dudley and into Charlton, winding over Dresser Hill with several moderately steep grades and some tight corners.
In Charlton, it intersects U.S. Route 20 a few miles east of the I-90 and I-84 interchange. This provides its only connection with an interstate highway. In Charlton, it is known as Masonic Home Road and Brookfield Road. It then passes Lambs Pond.
Route 31 then enters Spencer, where it parallels the Podunk Pike (Route 49) for several miles. As Charlton Road, it passes the Spencer State Forest. In the center of Spencer, it crosses Route 9. It then turns north towards Paxton; this stretch is scenic and hilly. Several warning signs are seen here for sharp corners warning of a maximum safe speed of 30 miles per hour (48 km/h).
After a couple long, sweeping corners through a forest of pine trees, Route 31 enters Paxton. Paxton Center School comes after a treed-in section. The intersections of Route 31, Route 122, and Route 56 comprise Paxton Center. Route 31 is variously known as West Street and Holden Street in Paxton; it runs east–west in this section. It passes over a hill past Richards Memorial Library, then uses Grove Street for approximately 1⁄4 mile (0.40 km).
In Holden, Route 31 passes Asnebumskit Pond and is bridged over Kendall Reservoir. After the intersection with Route 122A it passes Gale Free Public Library and heads north once again. The road heads into an increasingly rural area as the hills get steeper and longer.
Route 31 then enters Princeton and begins climbing very steeply; it gains about 300 feet (91 m) in approximately 1⁄2 mile (0.80 km). Entering the center of Princeton, it joins Route 62 and turns east to avoid going over Mount Wachusett. The mountain is instead connected by Mountain Road. After separating from Route 62, Route 31 joins Route 140 and becomes Fitchburg Road near Paradise Pond.
It passes through a portion of Leominster State Forest in Westminster before an interchange with a freeway segment of Route 2. After this interchange, Route 31 becomes a city street, having shared roadway with Route 2A and a wrong-way concurrency with Route 12. It then passes through downtown Fitchburg. As it leaves Fitchburg it is called Ashby State Road. In Ashby, it connects with Route 119 before reaching the New Hampshire state border, where it becomes New Hampshire Route 31.
The stretch of Route 31 from Paxton Center to Holden Center is named the Chief Robert J. Mortell Memorial Highway, after Paxton chief of police Robert Mortell, who was killed in the line of duty on February 1, 1994, in the deeply wooded area bordering Route 31.
|Worcester||Dudley||0.0||0.0||To Route 197||Connecticut state line; short connection via Dresser Hill Road|
|Charlton||9.3||15.0||US 20 – Sturbridge, Springfield, Worcester, Marlboro|
|Spencer||16.8||27.0||Route 9 east – Worcester||Southern terminus of Route 9 concurrency|
|16.9||27.2||Route 9 west – Brookfield||Northern terminus of Route 9 concurrency|
|Paxton||25.3||40.7||Route 122 / Route 56 south – Barre, Athol, Worcester, Leicester||Southern terminus of Route 56 concurrency|
|25.4||40.9||Route 56 north – Rutland||Northern terminus of Route 56 concurrency|
|Holden||30.1||48.4||Route 122A – Rutland, Barre, Worcester, Milbury|
|Princeton||37.7||60.7||Route 62 west – Hubbardston, Barre||Southern terminus of Route 62 concurrency|
|38.0||61.2||Route 62 east – Sterling, Clinton||Northern terminus of Route 62 concurrency|
|40.5||65.2||Route 140 south to I‑190 – Sterling, Shrewsbury||Southern terminus of Route 140 concurrency|
|42.1||67.8||Route 140 north – Westminster, Winchendon||Northern terminus of Route 140 concurrency|
|Fitchburg||45.8||73.7||Route 2 – Concord, Boston, Athol, Greenfield||Exit 28 on Route 2|
|47.0||75.6||Route 2A west – Westminster, Gardner||Southern terminus of Route 2A concurrency|
|48.1||77.4||Route 12 north – Ashburnham, Winchendon||Southern terminus of Route 12 concurrency|
|48.9||78.7||Route 12 south – Leominster, Worcester||Northern terminus of Route 12 concurrency with Routes 31/2A/12|
|47.0||75.6||Route 2A east – Lunenburg, Ayer||Northern terminus of Route 2A concurrency|
|Middlesex||Ashby||55.4||89.2||Route 119 west – Ashby, Rindge, NH||Southern terminus of Route 119 concurrency|
|55.5||89.3||Route 119 east – Townsend, Groton||Northern terminus of Route 119 concurrency|
|58.8||94.6||NH 31 north||Continuation into New Hampshire|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- Executive Office of Transportation, Office of Transportation Planning - 2006 Road Inventory Archived 2006-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
- Google (May 24, 2020). "Massachusetts Route 31" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
- Ettlinger, Rachel (February 1, 2019). "Remembering Paxton Police Chief Bob Mortell who 'gave the ultimate sacrifice'". thelandmark.com. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
- "Chief Mortell remembered on 25th anniversary of slaying". Telegram & Gazette. Worcester, Massachusetts. February 1, 2019. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
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