Open main menu

U.S. Route 1 in Massachusetts

In the U.S. state of Massachusetts, U.S. Route 1 (US 1) is a major north–south highway through Boston. The portion of US 1 south of Boston is also known as the Boston-Providence Turnpike, Washington Street, or the Norfolk and Bristol Turnpike, and portions north of the city are known as the Northeast Expressway and the Newburyport Turnpike.

U.S. Route 1 marker

U.S. Route 1
Route information
Maintained by MassDOT
Length86.253 mi[1] (138.811 km)
Major junctions
South end US 1 in Pawtucket, RI
North end US 1 in Seabrook, NH
CountiesBristol, Norfolk, Suffolk, Middlesex, Essex
Highway system
I‑895Route 1A
Route 1AMA Route C1.svgRoute 2
Southbound in Topsfield

Route descriptionEdit

From the south, US 1 enters the state from Rhode Island at Attleboro. It closely parallels Interstate 95 as it goes through the towns of North Attleborough, Plainville, Wrentham, Foxborough (where Gillette Stadium is), Walpole, Sharon, Norwood (where a segment is known as the Norwood Automile due to the many car dealerships that line the road), and Westwood. US 1 then has a wrong-way concurrency with I-95 up to the junction with Interstate 93 then travels along with Interstate 93 from Canton through downtown Boston. The two highways separate just after passing through the Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. Tunnel and crossing the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge. The route crosses the Tobin Bridge traveling over Chelsea and Revere as the Northeast Expressway, then as a four to six lane RIRO expressway (surface road without at-grade intersections or traffic lights) through Malden, Saugus and Lynnfield. The route through Saugus was once known for its abundance of kitschy roadside commercial architecture, including the 68-foot neon cactus of the Hilltop Steakhouse.[2][3] From Lynnfield, US 1 again closely parallels I-95 going through the towns of Peabody, Danvers, Topsfield, Ipswich, Rowley, Newbury, Newburyport, and Salisbury, before it enters the state of New Hampshire.

Route 1A runs alongside Route 1 in four parts of the state.


Route 1 in Massachusetts was constructed in sections throughout the 1930s, partly by widening existing roads and also by constructing new right of ways to bypass more congested areas. Originally most of the highway was two or three lanes in each direction, with numerous widening and improvements made over the years.

Turnpike eraEdit

Most of US 1 consists of two former turnpike roads — the Norfolk and Bristol Turnpike and the Newburyport Turnpike. The older roads that these turnpikes were meant to bypass are now mostly Route 1A.

Massachusetts Route C1Edit

In the early 1930s, Route C1 was designated as an alternate route of US 1 through downtown Boston. The "C" indicated a city route. The C designation was apparently distinct to the Boston area. Route C1 ran along Brookline Avenue, Beacon Street, Embankment Road (modern Route 28), Charles Street, Lowell Street, Merrimac Street, and Cross Street to the west end of the Sumner Tunnel. In East Boston, it went via Porter Street to Chelsea Street then shifted to the William McClellan Highway (modern Route 1A). As Storrow Drive and the Central Artery opened in the 1950s, Route C1 was rerouted to follow portions of these highways. The Route C1 designation was removed in 1971, with US 1 taking over most of the alignment south of the Charles River, and Route 1A taking over most of the alignment north of the river. US 1 was later moved onto the Southeast Expressway leaving most of the former alignment of C1 south of the river as having no number.

Northeast ExpresswayEdit

Causeway (center) for the unbuilt section of the Northeast Expressway across Saugus Marsh

The Northeast Expressway was planned to extend north, as part of Interstate 95, from Saugus, through Lynn, Lynnfield and Peabody. The highway would bisect the Saugus Marsh and the Lynn Woods Reservation. The highway would then connect with the present junction of I-95 and Route 128 in Peabody. The Northeast Expressway was planned to carry the I-95 designation from Charlestown to Peabody. The first section of the expressway built was the Tobin Bridge over the Mystic River, which opened in 1950. In various stages, the Chelsea and Revere portions opened from 1956 to 1958. The highway carried the I-95 designation from 1955 (in its planning stages) to 1973. It was among the canceled highways affected by Gov. Francis Sargent's February 1970 moratorium on expressway construction within Route 128. US 1 replaced I-95 on the Northeast Expressway, in the 1970s after I-95 joined Route 128 from Westwood to Peabody around Boston.[4]

Relocation in BostonEdit

In the late 1980s, at the request of the Metropolitan District Commission (now the DCR) in an attempt to reduce the incidence of overheight vehicles finding their way onto Storrow Drive[5] US 1 was moved onto I-93 south of and through Boston, leaving the old route - VFW Parkway, Jamaicaway, Riverway, and Storrow Drive through Dedham, Brookline, West Roxbury and several other Boston neighborhoods - without a number. There are still some street signs incorrectly indicating the former alignment as US 1, and many local residents still refer to parts of VFW Parkway and Jamaicaway as "Route 1", as if it still runs along its old trajectory.[citation needed]

Saugus–Revere wideningEdit

1955 Yellow Book plan for the Boston area showing the Northeast Expressway path and paths of other proposed interstate highways within Route 128.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation was proposing a $137 million project to widen the existing 2.4-mile four-lane highway section to six lanes, from north of Route 99 in Saugus to south of Route 60 in Revere. The project consisted of adding a twelve-foot travel lane and ten-foot shoulder in each direction. Work also include reconstruction of the Copeland Circle interchange by eliminating the existing rotary, and demolition of the existing 1957 bridges from the never-built highway extension. The Lynn Street/Salem Street interchange in Malden, and the Route 99 interchange in Saugus, were slated to be reconstructed. Major rock blasting will be required for the project due to a massive ledge next to the highway. Seven bridges will be replaced and three others upgraded to handle the new lanes. In 2012, $10 million was added to the state budget with the intent to be used for design costs and pulling permits for Route 1.[6] The project was expected to begin in 2012, but no further movement by the state has been implemented. Since then, town officials have made the push to ask the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to revisit the project and begin development.[7]

Major intersectionsEdit

BristolAttleboro0.0000.000  US 1 south – PawtucketContinuation into Rhode Island
0.2910.468  I‑95 north – Foxboro, BostonExit 1 on I-95; northbound access to I-95 north and southbound access from I-95 south
1.8452.969  Route 123 (Highland Avenue) – Brockton, Valley Falls, RI
2.0363.277  Route 1A south – Providence, RINo direct access from southbound entrance from northbound Route 1A
North Attleborough3.9746.396   I‑295 to I‑95 – Attleboro, Boston, Warwick, RIExit 1 on I-295
5.2388.430  Route 120 west (Hoppin Hill Avenue) – Cumberland, RI
7.31811.777  Route 1A north (Park Street) – Plainville, Wrentham
NorfolkPlainville8.37013.470  Route 106 (Bacon Street) – Mansfield, Easton
9.99216.081  Route 152 south (Taunton Street) – Attleboro, Seekonk, Wrentham
10.60017.059  I‑495 (Blue Star Memorial Highway) – Cape Cod, MarlboroughI-495 exit 14
Foxborough13.50621.736  To Route 140 – WrenthamRight-in/right-out intersection with Main Street northbound, East Street southbound
Sharon18.59729.929  I‑95 – Attleboro, Boston, Providence, RIExit 9 on I-95
Walpole19.26431.002  Route 27 (High Plain Street) – Medfield, Sharon
Norwood23.05837.108Neponset Street / Nahatan Street – CantonPendergast Circle; roundabout interchange
Dedham26.31942.35615   I‑95 north (Route 128) / Route 1A south – Peabody, Portsmouth, NHSouthern terminus of concurrency with I-95 / Route 128; signed as exits 15A (Route 1A) and 15B (US 1)
Westwood26.92243.32714East Street / Canton Street
Dedham28.13145.27213University Avenue – MBTA / Amtrak Station
Canton28.69346.17712  I‑95 south – Providence, RINorhtern terminus of concurrency with I-95 / Route 128; southern terminus of concurrency with I-93 at exit 1
30.05348.3662  Route 138 (Washington Street) – Stoughton, MiltonSplit into exits 2A (south) and 2B (north)
Milton31.26250.3113Ponkapoag Trail – Houghton's Pond
Randolph32.04651.5734  Route 24 south (Fall River Expressway) – Fall River
32.88252.9185  Route 28 (Main Street) – Randolph, MiltonSplit into exits 5A (south) and 5B (north)
Braintree35.08756.4676  Route 37 (Granite Street) – West Quincy, Braintree, Holbrook
35.38256.9427  Route 3 south (Pilgrims Highway) – Cape CodBraintree Split; southern terminus of concurrency with Route 3; exit 20 on Route 3
Quincy36.76459.1668Furnace Brook Parkway – Quincy
37.81560.8579Adams Street / Bryant Street – North Quincy, West Quincy, MiltonRamps with Granite Avenue northbound and Bryant Avenue southbound
Milton38.63962.18310Squantum Street – MiltonSouthbound exit only
39.50063.56911  To Route 203 / Granite Avenue – Ashmont, East MiltonSigned as exits 11A (south) and 11B (north) southbound; no northbound access to/from southbound Granite Avenue
SuffolkBoston40.36764.96412  Route 3A south (Gallivan Boulevard) – Quincy, NeponsetNo northbound exit
41.31666.49213Freeport Street – DorchesterNorthbound exit only
41.50166.78914Morrissey Boulevard north – Savin HillNorthbound exit, southbound entrance
43.02169.23615Columbia Road – Dorchester, South Boston
43.74970.40716Southampton Street – Andrew SquareNorthbound exit, southbound entrance
44.16371.07318Massachusetts Avenue / Frontage Road – Roxbury
45.10972.59620  I‑90 / Mass Pike / Albany Street – Logan Airport, Worcester, South StationSouth Bay interchange; split into exits 20A (South Station) and 20B (I-90) southbound
45.99374.01923Government CenterNorthbound exit, southbound entrance
46.12174.22523Purchase StreetSouthbound exit and entrance
46.36574.61724  Route 1A north (Callahan Tunnel) – Logan Airport, Government CenterSouthbound exit, northbound entrance; split into exits 24A (Government Center) and 24B (Logan Airport)
46.84875.39526   Route 3 north (Storrow Drive) / Route 28 – Leverett Circle, CambridgeNorthern terminus of concurrency with Route 3
Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge over the Charles River
47.28476.096  I‑93 north – Somerville, Concord, NHNorthern terminus of concurrency with I-93; no access from southbound US 1 to northbound I-93 or from southbound I-93 to northbound US 1
47.95077.168   Route 99 (New Rutherford Avenue) to I‑93 north – Charlestown, SomervilleSouthbound exit, northbound entrance
Mystic RiverMaurice J. Tobin Memorial Bridge (open road toll)
SuffolkChelsea49.56779.770Beacon StreetNorthbound exit to Beacon Street, southbound entrance from Everett Avenue
50.03880.528Fourth StreetNorthbound exit to Fourth Street, southbound entrance from Fifth Street
50.32380.987Sixth StreetNorthbound entrance only
50.61881.462Carter Street – Chelsea, East BostonSouthbound exit and entrance
51.37882.685Webster Avenue – Chelsea, EverettNorthbound exit, southbound entrance
51.32782.603   Route 16 (Revere Beach Parkway) to Route 1A – Revere Beach, Lynn, Everett, MedfordNorthbound access to/from Route 16 east; southbound access to/from Route 16 west
Revere52.51784.518Sargent Street – West RevereNorthbound exit, southbound entrance
53.34885.855  Route 60 (Squire Road) – Malden, RevereCopeland Circle; roundabout interchange
53.85486.670Lynn Street – Saugus MaldenPartial cloverleaf interchange with right-in/right-out ramps to Salem Street
No major junctions
EssexSaugus55.21788.863  Route 99 south (Broadway) – Malden, EverettNo northbound exit
55.51189.336Essex Street – Saugus, MelroseCloverleaf interchange
56.03990.186Main Street – Saugus, WakefieldCloverleaf interchange
57.16291.993Lynn Fells Parkway west – Melrose, StonehamTrumpet interchange
57.77292.975  Route 129 west (Walnut Street) / Walnut Street east – Saugus, Reading, LynnCloverleaf interchange; south end of concurrency with Route 129
Lynnfield59.72896.123  Route 129 east (Salem Street) / Salem Street west – Lynn, SwampscottDiamond interchange; north end of concurrency with Route 129
Peabody60.49297.352   I‑95 / Route 128 (Yankee Division Highway) – Waltham, GloucesterI-95 / Route 128 exit 44
61.94699.692  I‑95 north – New Hampshire, MaineI-95 exit 46; northbound exit, southbound entrance
62.327100.306Lowell Street – PeabodyPartial cloverleaf interchange
Danvers63.233101.764  Route 114 (Andover Street) – Peabody, MiddletonCloverleaf interchange
63.848102.753Centre Street – DanversPartial cloverleaf interchange
64.902104.450  Route 62 (Maple Street) – Danvers, MiddletonCloverleaf interchange
65.598105.570  I‑95 – Boston, Portsmouth, NHI-95 exit 50
Topsfield68.782110.694  Route 97 (High Street) – Topsfield Center, Haverhill, Beverly
Rowley73.819118.800  Route 133 (Haverhill Street) – Rowley, Ipswich, Georgetown
Newburyport81.623131.359   Route 1A south / Route 113 west (Merrimac Street)Diamond interchange
Salisbury83.633134.594  Route 110 west (School Street) / Pleasant Street east – Amesbury, Merrimac
83.809134.878  Route 1A north (Beach Road) – Salisbury Beach
85.953138.328  Route 286 (Forrest Street) – Amesbury, Seabrook, NH
86.253138.811  US 1 north – HamptonContinuation into New Hampshire
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Planning Division (2012). "Massachusetts Highway Route Log". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  2. ^ "Extinction-Level Events: Vanishing American Kitsch on Boston's Route 1". 2017-09-12. Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Northeast Expressway (US 1)". Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  5. ^ Personal Conservation 3-2016 with Steve Timmins, MassDOT Highway Signing Engineer
  6. ^ "Revere, Malden, Saugus call for relief to Route 1 gridlock". Boston Globe. 2014-01-09. Retrieved 2015-01-05.
  7. ^ "Joint Letter 12-10-13 Route 1 - Improvement MPO". Gary Christenson, Daniel Rizzo, Scott Crabtree. 2013-12-10. Retrieved 2015-01-05.

External linksEdit

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata

  U.S. Route 1
Previous state:
Rhode Island
Massachusetts Next state:
New Hampshire