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Route 128

Route 128
Route 128 serves as the Boston area's primary circumferential highway and as a transportation backbone of the computer and information technology industry. Construction began in the 1930s, building a section from Westwood to Needham by 1932 and from Lynnfield to Danvers in 1938. In 1951 completion of new construction finally linked Wakefield to Wellesley. By the mid-1950s a continuous divided highway stretched from Gloucester through Canton.

By 1960, traffic had grown beyond expectations. Route 128 between Wellesley and Wakefield, then less than a decade old, was widened between 1959 and 1964. Today Route 128 has exceeded capacity provided by expansions in the 1950s and 60s. Widening construction is underway for a second time between Needham and Dedham on a highway built in the 1930s and widened to six lanes in the mid-1950s.

Route 116 Passes Beneath the Massachusetts Turnpike through this concrete frame culvert

Route 116
Route 116 is an arterial highway linking Deerfield, Amherst, Holyoke and Chicopee among other places along an improved route that includes four-lane expressways, two-lane arterials and city streets.

Storrow Drive Looking Outbound

Storrow Drive and Memorial Drive at Night
The former Metropolitan District Commission's river parkways, Storrow Drive and Memorial Drive are beautiful at night. Here are some recent nighttime time-lapse photographs.

Massachusetts Turnpike Extension looking west toward the Tremont Street overpass In the background is the Prudential Center and Tower and the John Hancock Tower

Massachusetts Turnpike
The Massachusetts Turnpike spans the Commonwealth from west to east. Completed from the New York border to Route 128 in 1957, it was extended to Boston and the Central Artery in 1965 along the Boston and Albany railroad route.
Massachusetts Turnpike Extension

Route 146 Looking Southeast

Route 146
Route 146 connects the Worcester area to Providence, Rhode Island. This highway is similar to roads like 128 and Route 2 in that segments vary widely in age and quality. In Millbury, Route 146 is a four-lane divided roadway with some grade separation built in 1938. South to the Rhode Island border, 146 was a two lane expressway built in the early 1950s then widened to four lanes by 1983. From the Massachusetts Turnpike north toward Worcester it is brand-new construction and not finished.

Route 213, looking eastbound from the Route 28 overpass

Route 213
Route 213 is a short expressway built in the 1950s to connect the new Interstate 93 with the future Interstate 495.

North Harvard Street spans Soldiers' Field Road in Allston

Soldiers' Field Road
Soldiers' Field Road is an extension of the Charles River Embankment Road known as Storrow Drive. Continuing seamlessly from Storrow Drive, Soldier's Field Road continues to Eliot Bridge to connect to Cambridge and Watertown and then onward to U.S. Route 20 in Allston.

U.S. Route 1

U.S. Route 1
Piercing Greater Boston from north to south, U.S. Route 1 is rich with history and folklore. Perhaps most famous is its glittering commercial district in Saugus. Most interesting to engineers might be the Tobin Bridge, an elegant, two-level cantilevered truss bridge over the Mystic River.

Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge with Boston Skyline and FleetCenter, home of the 2004 Democrat National Convention in the background

Interstate 93
North and south of Boston, Interstate 93 brings commuters into Boston from the bedroom communities of the outer suburbs and New Hampshire. This gallery now includes photographs of the Zakim Bridge spanning the Charles River.

John Greenleaf Whittier Bridge

Interstate 95
Perhaps one of the most controversial highways in the Boston area, Interstate 95 was not completed through Boston. North of Danvers, Interstate 95 follows a route originally constructed as a relocation of U.S. Route 1 in the early 1950s. In the mid-1970s, this segment of Interstate 95 was substantially widened from a narrow four-lane roadway to an eight-lane expressway with a wide grass median and extended south into Peabody. Construction in the 1980s joined I-95 directly to Route 128.

U.S. Route 20, Southwest Cutoff

Southwest Cutoff / U.S. Route 20
The Southwest Cutoff was constructed in 1931 to connect the new Route 9 dual highway to Route 15, bypassing Worcester city streets. Until the completion of the Massachusetts Turnpike in 1957 this was part of the inland highway route between Boston and NYC.

Looking South On The Uncompleted Northeast Expressway

Northeast Expressway
The Northeast Expressway includes the Tobin Bridge and a few miles of six-lane expressway in Chelsea and Revere. This gallery includes some unique photographs of the uncompleted sections of Interstate 95 and the Northeast Expressway mentioned above.

American Flag

Route 3
U.S. Route 3 between Route 128 and Nashua, New Hampshire has become a second major technology corridor and is an important artery for Boston area commuters that have taken advantage of New Hampshire's lower cost of living. The construction work of the last five years has replaced 21 miles of expressway, some of it over sixty years old, with a modern, six-lane expressway.

Route 33 Memorial Drive

Route 33 / Memorial Drive
Memorial Drive is a four-lane retail strip connecting Springfield to South Hadley through Chicopee and is the main entrance to Westover Air Force Base. Originally constructed as a two-lane concrete highway, it was widened to four lanes.

Route 140

Route 140
Route 140 north of Route 2 near Gardner is a useful bypass for traffic going to the Keene area of New Hampshire, and is unusual in that it is a two-lane arterial that approaches the high quality of New Hampshire's two-lane arterial highways. Built in two parts, one in 1955 and the other in 1980, this forms a complete route from Route 2 to Winchendon. This road also includes a rare and surprising example of a center passing lane in Massachusetts.

Merrimack River

Merrimack River Bridges
This assortment of photographs features the variety of bridges over the Merrimack River

Sullivan Square Viaduct

Route 99 and the Sullivan Square Viaduct
Time has not been kind to the Sullivan Square viaduct and Rutherford Avenue. Enjoy these photographs of the cracked and rusting viaduct; the viaduct will be demolished soon. Attempts to repair the structure have been in vain and have shown that the viaduct cannot be salvaged.

Route 2

Route 2
Spanning Massachusetts from east to west, Route 2 passes through some of the most scenic and historic areas in Massachusetts, and while doing it takes the form of every class of roadway including an eight-lane expressway and a two-lane rural arterial highway.

Interstate 495

Interstate 495
Stretching from Interstate 95 in Salisbury near the New Hampshire border to Wareham just miles from Cape Cod, Interstate 495 forms an outer circumferential highway around Boston and is one of the longest three-digit Interstate routes in the United States.

McClellan Highway

Route 1A
Route 1A follows some old highways and parkways from Downtown Boston, under the harbor, past the airport and along the North Shore. The East Boston Expressway includes over a mile of elevated viaduct that is older than the Central Artery.

Revere Beach Parkway

Revere Beach Parkway
The Revere Beach Parkway is a wide boulevard first constructed in 1903 and adapted over the years to suit changes in transportation technology.

Chain Bridge

Chain Bridge, Newburyport
Currently being rehabilitated, the Chain Bridge spanning the Merrimack River is the Commonwealth's only functional suspension bridge.

Eliot Bridge

Former Metropolitan District Commission Roadways
Winding along the banks of the Charles River and lacing Greater Boston with tree-lined boulevards, the MDC roads compose a network of arterial highways within Boston and the inner suburbs, essentially maintained by a state agency tasked with the purpose of operating the area's state recreational facilities.

Chase Road

Mid-Cape Highway
The Mid-Cape Highway stretches from the Sagamore Bridge in Bourne to Provincetown at the tip of the Cape, missing a few pieces in between. Much of it has been constructed piecemeal between the late-1940s and the early-1970s. Especially notable are the concrete-frame and granite overpasses built in the early-1950s. One might say that they don't make 'em like that anymore.

Sunderland Bridge

FHWA National Bridge Inventory
Use the National Bridge Inventory database to find interesting facts and statistics about your favorite bridge structures in New England and New York.

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