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Route 2 is a major east–west state highway in Massachusetts. Along with Route 9 and U.S. Route 20 to the south, these highways are the main alternatives to the Massachusetts Turnpike/I-90 toll highway. Route 2 runs the entire length of the northern tier of Massachusetts, beginning at the New York border, where it connects with New York State Route 2, and ending near Boston Common in Boston.

Route 2 marker

Route 2
Route information
Length142.29 mi[1] (228.99 km)
Existed1927, 1971 (current alignment)–present
Major junctions
West end NY 2 in Petersburgh, NY
 
East endBeacon Street in Boston
Location
CountiesBerkshire, Franklin, Worcester, Middlesex, Suffolk, Norfolk
Highway system
Route C1Route 2A
Route 6BN.E.Route 8

Contents

Route descriptionEdit

Route 2 proceeds east from the New York state line on a winding, scenic path in Berkshire County through Williamstown, where it serves the Williams College area and through North Adams, where it serves the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. East of North Adams, Route 2 ascends via a hairpin turn into the Hoosac Range along what is known as the Mohawk Trail.

Route 2 then enters Franklin County, meeting Interstate 91 at an interchange in Greenfield and briefly runs concurrently with I-91. While the old Route 2 becomes Route 2A and goes through downtown Greenfield, Route 2 exits off I-91 as a short expressway before becoming a two-lane freeway. Outside Greenfield, Route 2A temporarily ends and merges with Route 2. Route 2 remains a regular two-lane surface road in Gill and through Erving, though it has some grade-separated interchanges in Millers Falls at its intersection with Route 63. There is another gap in the two-lane expressway in the Erving area. Recently, the road in Erving was routed to the north and straightened to avoid the paper mill next to the river. This rerouting led to the road being shortened by less than a tenth of a mile.

Once the road enters the Town of Orange, Route 2A resumes and diverges from Route 2. At this point, Route 2 again becomes a two-lane expressway. In Orange, Route 2 runs concurrently with U.S. Route 202. The road at this point enters the town of Athol in Worcester County. After its eastern interchange in Phillipston when US-202 departs to the north, Route 2 becomes a full four-lane expressway, though not to Interstate standards at most points. It continues through Gardner into Fitchburg where Route 2 has several at-grade intersections with Oak Hill Rd, Palmer Rd, Mt. Elam Rd and Abbott Ave. At the intersection with Mt. Elam Rd, a traffic light remains in use on the eastbound side. Continuing east into Leominster, Interstate 190 splits off, heading south to Worcester.

Route 2 continues east to Middlesex County and enters Boston's outer loop at the interchange with Interstate 495 in Littleton. It continues as an expressway into Acton, where the expressway ends at the traffic light intersection with Piper Rd and Taylor Rd, and Route 2 becomes a regular divided highway at most points and just a four-lane highway at other points. At the Concord Rotary, a major traffic choke point, Route 2 intersects with Route 2A and the eastern terminus of Route 119 (which is concurrent with Route 2A). After the rotary, the road loses its dividing wall as it passes by the State Police (who have an emergency-only traffic light) and over the Assabet River. Route 2A formerly broke away from Route 2 at the next traffic light to go left into Concord but is now overlaid with Route 2. At Crosby's Corner, the sixth intersection after the rotary, Route 2A exits under the highway while Route 2 veers right (but still heads east). While the highway is divided across Lincoln, there is a single traffic light intersection at Bedford Rd.

 
Convergence of Routes 2, 3, and 16 at Alewife.

At this point, Route 2 enters Lexington and still is a divided four-lane road with surface intersections. It then heads to Boston's inner belt, crossing Interstate 95/Route 128. In Arlington, Route 2 is a six-lane and then eight-lane limited-access highway until east of Exit 60 (Lake St), where it narrows with little warning to six lanes and then to four lanes. This section of expressway actually meets the standards of an interstate highway.[citation needed] The final off-ramp leads toward the large parking garage at the MBTA Alewife Station. At this point the road heads into Cambridge.

 
The shield for Massachusetts Route 2, located across from the Boston Common

The limited access highway portion ends at a signalled intersection, where it merges with U.S. Route 3 south and Route 16 west in Cambridge and continues as a four-lane surface road to the Boston Public Garden. Route 2 follows Alewife Brook Parkway, Concord Ave, Fresh Pond Parkway, Gerry's Landing Rd, and Memorial Drive (all parkways maintained by the Department of Conservation and Recreation) through Cambridge. It crosses into Boston on the Boston University Bridge. The Brookline/Norfolk County line also lies upon intersecting Commonwealth Ave. After crossing Commonwealth Ave (U.S. Route 20), it follows Mountfort and Beacon streets through the northernmost tip of Brookline before crossing into Kenmore Square, which is the eastern terminus of U.S. Route 20. From Kenmore Sq, Route 2 follows Commonwealth Ave to Arlington St. It circles the Public Garden, using Arlington St to Boylston St to Charles S. Route 2 goes along northbound Route 28 at the intersection of Charles St and Beacon St between Boston Common and the Public Garden. Shortly after, Route 2 ends on U.S. 3 or Route 3 while Route 28 north joins with the southbound of Route 3.

HistoryEdit

The route amalgamates and supersedes various named highways in some cases going back to the pre-automobile era. For example, parts of Route 2 are sometimes known as the Cambridge and Concord Turnpike and the Mohawk Trail.

In the early 1920s, Route 2 was known as New England Interstate Route 7 (NE-7), a major road connecting Boston with Troy, New York. NE-7 ran roughly where Route 2A (the original surface alignment of Route 2) does now except near the New York state line. NE-7 used current Massachusetts Route 43, New York State Route 43 and New York State Route 66 to reach Troy. Current Route 2 from Williamstown to Petersburgh was previously numbered as Route 96.

Route 2 connected as a highway in its current right-of-way at Alewife Brook Parkway at some point before 1937.[2]

An upgraded Route 2 was originally planned to continue as Boston's Northwest Expressway (merging with a re-routed U.S. Route 3 at the Arlington-Lexington or Arlington-Cambridge border) to a junction with Interstate 695, the Inner Beltway, but this, along with the Inner Beltway itself, was cancelled in 1970, accounting for the abrupt narrowing at Alewife.[3][4] In place of the highway project, the MBTA Red Line was extended from Harvard to Alewife in the 1980s.

Crosby's Corner improvement projectEdit

This major project has been planned since 1999. The intersection had an average of 90 accidents a year. The project was intended to solve the traffic and safety problems that had long occurred at the Crosby's Corner intersection (junction of Route 2 and 2A) in Concord. The project, which was expected to cost $71.9 million, widened Route 2 from Bedford Rd in Lincoln to 300 feet west of Sandy Pond Rd in Concord. The project eliminated the at grade intersection, realigned Route 2, and constructed new entrance and exit ramps along with new service roads next to Route 2. The project was expected to begin in 2011. The state spent $25–35 million for property takings in the path of the new alignment of Route 2. In January 2010 a speeding tanker truck carrying liquid asphalt flipped over on Route 2 and crushed three cars. The truck driver was med-flighted to a Boston hospital with serious injuries. The highway was shut down for five hours causing traffic delays for the 46,000 commuters daily. The accident put the spotlight back on the Crosby's Corner project.

The full project included building a new overpass bridge over Route 2 and building multiple service roads next to Route 2. Fourteen retaining walls were built to accommodate the new interchange ramp construction. Work also consisted of a new signalized intersection. The project was put out to bid for contractors on September 19, 2011. A contractor was expected to be chosen over the winter and construction was expected to begin in Spring 2012 on the estimated $55 million project.

The Army Corps of Engineers published a notice[5] for this project, because of its impact on wetlands at Crosby's Corner. During the summer of 2012, activity on this portion of Route 2 included surveying and the installation of orange-painted stakes. Signs were added in January 2013 indicating that construction would start on January 14. As of April 2014 the project was underway and predicted completion was Spring 2016.[6]

The project was completed in 2016, with a large improvement in traffic flow.

Concord Rotary Improvement ProjectEdit

A project to improve the Concord Rotary, at the convergence of Route 2, Route 2A/119 (Elm St), Barrett's Mill Rd and Commonwealth Ave, has been in planning since 2003 or even earlier. More than 61,000 cars use this rotary on a typical day, and the backed up traffic can be significant. The improved intersection would include overpasses for local streets, while Route 2 traffic would continue unimpeded at grade. However, the project was removed from the funded portion of the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization's (MPO) Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) in August 2009 and is currently on hold.[7]

Highway improvementsEdit

For more information, refer to the Massachusetts Highway Project Listing.[8]

Completed Phase Type Cost Location Project ID Notes
2002 Complete Median Barrier $1.6 million Lincoln 602308 Install new Jersey barrier.
2004 Complete Bridge Replacement $4.3 million Arlington 600462 Replace bridge over Minuteman Bikeway.
2006 Complete Reconstruction $6.7 million Concord 602626 Resurfacing and median replacement of 1.1 miles of highway.
2008 Complete Resurfacing $7.5 Million Westminster 604201 Over Route 140N.
2008 Complete Resurfacing $5.1 Million Westminster 604202 Over Route 140N.
2009 Complete Resurfacing $7.3 Million Westminster 604364 From Exit 26 Easterly
2009 Complete Resurfacing $3.7 million Lexington 604638 Resurface in Lexington
2009 Complete Resurfacing $1.6 million Lincoln 604629 From the Lexington line to Bedford Rd in Lincoln.
2009 Complete Traffic Signage $2.1 million Harvard 604609 Replace traffic signs from the Concord Rotary to Exit 38.
2010 Complete Traffic Signage $2.0 million Lincoln to Cambridge 604896 Replace traffic signs from Route 16 to Bedford Rd.
2010 Complete Resurfacing $4.0 million Concord 604630 Resurface two sections from Walden to Sudbury and from Old Rd to Nine Acre Corner to Elm St.
2010 Complete Bridge Repair $1.5 million Athol 603582 Replace the bridge over Lake Rohunta.
2012 Complete Resurfacing $5.5 million Fitchburg to Leominster 605722 Resurface in Fitchburg, Lancaster, and Leominster.
2012 Complete Bridge Repair $17.9 million Boston 605506 Replace deck on the Boston University Bridge over the Charles River.
2012 Complete Bridge Repair $3.4 million Athol 604912 Replace the bridge over White Pond Rd.
2014 Complete Bridge Replacement $13.7 Million Westminster 603321 Replace the Route 2 bridges over Route 140.
2014 Complete Resurfacing $6.8 million Acton to Littleton 604472 Resurface in Acton, Boxborough, and Littleton.
2016 Complete Intersection $1.9 million Cambridge 605637 Rebuild the intersection at Route 16.
2016 Complete Intersection $56.0 million Concord 602984 Safety improvements at Crosby’s Corner.
2017 Complete Bridge Replacement $32.0 million Lexington 600703 Replace the 2 bridges over I-95.
TBD Design Bridge Replacement $9.4 million Concord 604069 Replace the existing bridge over the Sudbury River
TBD Design Intersection $98.9 million Concord 602091 Replace the Concord rotary with a highway interchange.

Major intersectionsEdit

All interchanges along the freeway portions of Route 2 were to be renumbered under a statewide project to change the exits to mileage-based numbers scheduled to start in 2016, however that plan has been placed on hold after negative feedback from both the public, and state officials.[9] [10]

CountyLocation[11]mi[11]kmExit
[12][13]
Destinations[12][13]Notes
BerkshireWilliamstown0.0000.000  NY 2 west – Taconic Trail, Troy NYContinuation into New York
3.8246.154  US 7 south – PittsfieldWestern end of concurrency with US 7
6.22110.012  US 7 north – Pownal VT, Montreal QueEastern end of concurrency with US 7, the beginning of the Mohawk Trail
6.74610.857  Route 43 south – Hancock, Stephentown NYNorthern terminus of Route 43
North Adams11.57118.622  Route 8 south – Adams[14]Western end of concurrency with Route 8
11.74018.894  Route 8A southNorthern terminus of Route 8A "U" segment
12.40519.964  Route 8 north – Clarksburg, Stamford VTEastern end of concurrency with Route 8
FranklinCharlemont29.80747.970  Route 8A south – Hawley, WindsorWestern end of concurrency with Route 8A
30.448.9  Route 8A north – Heath, Wilmington VT, Jacksonville VTEastern end of concurrency with Route 8A
Buckland37.39060.173  Route 2A east – Shelburne FallsWestern terminus of Route 2A
37.80660.843  Route 112 south – Buckland, AshfieldWestern end of concurrency with Route 112
Shelburne38.06261.255  Route 112 north – Shelburne Falls, ColrainEastern end of concurrency with Route 112
38.94262.671  Route 2A west – Shelburne Falls, BucklandWestern end of concurrency with Route 2A
Greenfield47.39876.28026   I‑91 south / Route 2A east – Springfield, Greenfield CenterWestern end of concurrency with I-91 and Route 2A
50.13980.69127  I‑91 north – Brattleboro VTEastern end of concurrency with I-91
50.78981.737   US 5 / Route 10 – Greenfield, BernardstonInterchange
51.48082.849East end of freeway
52.24284.075  Route 2A west – Greenfield CenterWestern end of concurrency with Route 2A
Erving57.191.9Gateway Drive to   Route 63 – Northfield, Millers Falls
57.492.4Forest Street to   Route 63 – Northfield, Hinsdale NH
57.792.9Prospect Street to   Route 63 – Millers Falls
64.865104.390   Route 2A east to Route 78 – Orange, Warwick, Wendell[15]Western end of concurrency with Route 2A
65.060104.704West end of Super-2 freeway
Orange66.571107.13614West River Street – Orange Center
69.788112.31315  Route 122 – Orange, Worcester, Amherst
70.676113.74216  US 202 south – Athol, BelchertownWestern end of concurrency with US 202
WorcesterAthol75.155120.95017  Route 32 – Athol, Petersham
Phillipston76.474123.07318  Route 2A – Athol, Phillipston
79.009127.15319   US 202 north / Route 2A – Phillipston, WinchendonEastern end of concurrency with US 202; western end of divided freeway
Templeton81.915131.82920Baldwinville Road – Templeton, Baldwinville
83.459134.31421   Route 2A / Route 101 – Templeton, Ashburnham, East Templeton
Gardner86.500139.20822  Route 68 – Gardner, Hubbardston
87.253140.42023Pearson Boulevard – South Gardner
Westminster89.738144.41924  Route 140 north / West Main Street south – Winchendon, WestminsterWestern end of concurrency with Route 140; signed as exits 24A (south) and 24B (north) westbound
91.764147.68025   Route 2A / Route 140 south – WestminsterEastern end of concurrency with Route 140
92.568148.97426Willard Road / Village Inn RoadEastbound exit only
93.479150.44027Narrows Road / Depot Road
Fitchburg94.495152.07528  Route 31 – Fitchburg, Princeton
FitchburgLeominster line96.279154.94629Mount Elam RoadPartial at-grade intersection with right-in/right-out connections only
98.007157.72730Merriam Avenue / South Street
Leominster99.269–
99.278
159.758–
159.772
31  Route 12 south – LeominsterSigned as exits 31A (south) and 31B (north) westbound
100.355161.50632  Route 13 – Leominster, Lunenburg
101.125162.74533  I‑190 south – Worcester/Mechanic St, LeominsterNorthern terminus of I-190
Lancaster102.429164.84334Mechanic Street / Harvard StreetExit partially in Leominster
103.497166.56235  Route 70 south – Lancaster, LunenburgNorthern terminus of Route 70
104.917168.84836Shirley Road – Lancaster, Shirley
106.419171.26537Jackson Road – Devens, Reserve Forces Training AreaSigned as Exits 37A (no public access) and 37B westbound, exit partially in Harvard
Harvard109.348–
109.357
175.979–
175.993
38   Route 110 / Route 111 – Harvard, AyerSigned as exits 38A (south/west) and 38B (north/east)
MiddlesexLittleton113.050181.93639Taylor Street – Littleton
113.285–
113.317
182.315–
182.366
40  I‑495 – Marlboro, LowellSigned as exits 40A (south) and 40B (north); exits 29A-B on I-495
Boxborough115.505185.88741Newtown Road – West Acton, Littleton
Acton117.612189.27842  Route 27 – Maynard, Acton
118.013189.92443  Route 111 north – West ActonWestbound left exit and eastbound entrance; western terminus of concurrency with Route 111
118.013189.924East end of freeway
Concord120.465193.870    Route 2A west / Route 119 west / Route 111 north – LittletonRotary; western end of concurrency with Route 2A; eastern terminus of Routes 111 and 119
121.691195.843  Route 62 (Main Street) – West Concord, Maynard, Bedford
123.901199.399   Route 126 south (Walden Street) to Route 117 – Walden Pond, WalthamNorthern terminus of Route 126
124.824200.88550  Route 2A eastPartial interchange; eastern end of concurrency with Route 2A
Lincoln126.256203.18951Bedford RoadAt-grade intersection; to Route 2A
Lexington128.135206.213West end of freeway
128.527206.84452   I‑95 / Route 128 – Attleboro, PeabodySigned as exits 52A (south) and 52B (north); exits 29A-B on I-95 / Route 128
129.010207.62153Spring Street – LexingtonNo westbound exit
130.002209.21854Waltham Street – Lexington, WalthamSigned as Exits 54A (Waltham) and 54B (Lexington); westbound exits and eastbound entrances
130.894210.65355Pleasant Street – LexingtonEastbound exit and westbound entrance
131.435211.52456Winter Street – BelmontEastbound signage
   Route 4 north / Route 225 west / Winter Street – Lexington, BedfordWestbound signage; southern terminus of Route 4; eastern terminus of Route 225
ArlingtonBelmont line131.990212.41757Dow Avenue – Arlington, Belmont
Belmont132.711213.57858Park Avenue – Arlington
BelmontArlington line133.690215.15359  Route 60 – Belmont, Arlington
Arlington134.130215.86160Lake Street – East Arlington
134.649216.697  Alewife StationEastbound exit only
ArlingtonCambridge line134.915217.125East end of freeway
Cambridge135.005217.269   US 3 north / Route 16 east (Alewife Brook Parkway) – Medford, WoburnWestern end of concurrency with US 3 and Route 16
136.354219.440  Route 16 west (Huron Avenue) – Watertown, West NewtonEastern end of concurrency with Route 16
139.280224.149  US 3 south (Memorial Drive)Eastern end of concurrency with US 3
Charles River139.349224.260Boston University Bridge
SuffolkBoston139.531224.553  US 20 (Commonwealth Avenue) – Brighton, Kenmore Square
Norfolk
No major junctions
SuffolkBoston140.446226.026  US 20 west (Commonwealth Avenue)Kenmore Square; eastern terminus of US 20
140.881226.726  Route 2A west (Massachusetts Avenue)Eastern terminus of Route 2A
141.556227.812  Route 28 south (Clarendon Street)One-way southbound
142.35229.09Beacon Street
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Executive Office of Transportation, Office of Transportation Planning - 2005 Road Inventory
  2. ^ http://www.schlichtman.org/mahighways/bosmap37.gif
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2010-04-17.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ User: BigRock (April 9, 2007). "Boston's Cancelled Highways". Google Maps. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  5. ^ http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/reg/09/2009-01425.pdf[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-16. Retrieved 2014-03-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Route 2 Concord Rotary Reconstruction Project".
  8. ^ "Project Info". www.massdot.state.ma.us. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  9. ^ "No signs yet from Massachusetts on exit-conversion launch". berkshireeagle.com. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  10. ^ Commonwealth of Massachusetts (2015). "COMMBUYS - Bid Solicitation FAP# HSIP-002S(874) Exit Signage Conversion to Milepost-Based Numbering System along Various Interstates, Routes and the Lowell Connector". Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  11. ^ a b MassDOT Planning Division. "Massachusetts Route Log Application". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  12. ^ a b Massachusetts Department of Transportation. "Exit Numbers and Names: Route 2 (Orange to I-495)". Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  13. ^ a b Massachusetts Department of Transportation. "Exit Numbers and Names: Route 2 (I-495 to Cambridge)". Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  14. ^ Google Maps (July 2014). "Street View". Google. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  15. ^ Google Maps (September 2011). "Street View". Google. Retrieved January 22, 2015.

External linksEdit