Interstate 495 (Massachusetts)

Interstate 495 marker

Interstate 495
Blue Star Memorial Highway
I-495 highlighted in red
Route information
Auxiliary route of I‑95
Maintained by MassDOT
Length 120.74 mi[1] (194.31 km)
Existed 1957–present
Major junctions
South end I‑195 / Route 25 in Wareham
North end I‑95 in Salisbury
Counties Plymouth, Bristol, Norfolk, Worcester, Middlesex, Essex
Highway system
I‑395 I‑695

Interstate 495 (I-495) is an auxiliary route of I-95 in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, maintained by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). Spanning 120.74 miles (194.31 km), it is the second-longest auxiliary route in the Interstate Highway System, ranking behind I-476 in Pennsylvania by a difference of roughly 11 miles (18 km).[2][3][4]

Serving as one of two beltways (the other being Route 128) that forms a semicircle around Boston, and being the "outer" beltway, I-495 has its northern terminus in Salisbury, where it splits from I-95. Its route forms an arc with an approximately 30-mile (48 km) radius around the city, and intersects seven additional radial expressways: I-93, U.S. Route 3 (US-3), Route 2, I-290, I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike), Route 24, and I-95 once more. I-495 has its southern terminus in Wareham, at the meeting of I-195 and Route 25. Originally, the stretch from Route 24 to I-195 was signed as Route 25, that status now only begins east of I-195.

I-495 and areas to its immediate west are often regarded as the outermost boundary of the Greater Boston region. The freeway's northern segment parallels the New Hampshire border, at one point coming as close as 400 feet (120 m) of the boundary, and its southern end is roughly 10 miles north of Cape Cod. West of I-495 is the Worcester area and Central Massachusetts. The stretch of I-495 north and east of Route 2 until its terminus at I-95 in Salisbury is also the main thoroughfare connecting the communities of the Merrimack Valley region, separate from its purpose as a beltway around Boston.

Route description [ edit ]

I-495 bridge over the Merrimack River in Lawrence

Interstate 495 begins as the direct continuation of Route 25 at the intersection with Interstate 195 in West Wareham. It starts as a two-lane highway in both directions. It gets the third lane during the interchange with Route 24. The junction includes the unusual transition of shrinking from the six-lane Route 25 to the four-lane interstate, due to the third lane of Route 25 joining to and from I-195. The road heads roughly northwest, passing through the towns of Rochester and Middleborough (where the road meets U.S. Route 44) as a four-lane highway before entering Bristol County, crossing the Taunton River at Raynham. There, it becomes a six-lane highway just southeast of the Route 24 interchange (which is actually in neighboring Bridgewater).

The road continues northwest through Taunton and Norton before entering Mansfield, where there is a short exit lane concurrency with Route 140. Interstate 495 makes its southern junction with its parent route, Interstate 95 on the border between Mansfield in Bristol County and Foxborough in Norfolk County. The road continues through Plainville (where there is a junction with U.S. Route 1, a popular exit for those heading to Gillette Stadium) and Wrentham (where the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets lie beside the highway at Route 1A). The highway comes within 2 miles of the Rhode Island state line before turning in a more northerly direction through Franklin and Bellingham.

Interstate 495 passes through Milford, Medway and Hopkinton (where the junction with the Massachusetts Turnpike, or Interstate 90, is located), Westborough (where the road meets Route 9). Southborough, Marlborough (where the road meets U.S. Route 20 and Interstate 290), Hudson, Berlin, Bolton (where the road finally begins to turn northeasterly) and Harvard.

Continuing to turn to a more easterly direction, the road passes through Boxborough, Littleton (where there is an intersection with Route 2), Westford and Chelmsford. At the Chelmsford-Lowell line lies the intersection with U.S. Route 3 and the Lowell Connector (formerly Business Spur 495). The road continues through Lowell and Tewksbury before entering Essex County at Andover, directly at exit 39.

In Andover, the road has a junction with Interstate 93. It then enters the city of Lawrence, where the road turns due north, crossing the Shawsheen River into North Andover before crossing the Merrimack River at the O'Reilly Bridge back into Lawrence. It then heads into Methuen, where the road turns back to a northeasterly route after the junction with the Loop Connector (Rte. 213). The road heads into Haverhill, crossing the Merrimack twice more at a bend in the Bradford section of town. It passes north of downtown Haverhill, coming within 150 yards of the New Hampshire state line, the closest the road comes to leaving the state. Interstate 495 then passes through the towns of Merrimac and Amesbury before entering Salisbury where it immediately meets Interstate 95 and ends approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of where that interstate enters New Hampshire.

Throughout its path, the road passes closely to several existing state highways. From Wareham through to the Middleborough Rotary, it parallels Route 28. For much of the stretch between Norton and Milford, the road is within a few miles of Route 140, with two junctions of that highway in Mansfield and Franklin. From Milford to Bolton, the road passes just west of Route 85. Much of the northern third of the route also roughly parallels Massachusetts Route 110.[5]

History [ edit ]

As early as the late 1940s, a plan was developing for an "outer circumferential highway" around Boston, a limited-access freeway of meant to have an approximate 30 mile (49 km) radius from the Boston city center. A portion of this new "outer circumferential highway" southeast of the US Route 1 junction in Foxborough was meant to be a "relocation" of the existing MA Route 28, which was quickly changed in 1947 to a new designation of Route 25 as a full-length freeway from MA 24 expwy in Raynham to Wareham. The section of I-495 between MA 24 in Raynham and I-95 at the Foxboro/Mansfield line was not constructed until the late seventies with construction beginning at I-95 in 1976 and reaching the MA 25/MA 24 interchange in 1982. (Prior to 1982 I-495 ended at I-95, the section from Raynham to Wareham was just signed as MA 25). MA 25 was constructed in stages from the late fifties to the late 60's.[6]

Future improvements [ edit ]

In 2014, a new ITS system was installed to help commuters and the state better understand the traffic congestion on I-495.[7] Some improvements expected to come to I-495 in the next few years include a project that will install fiber optic cable, traffic cameras and VMS Signs on I-495 from I-90 (Hopkinton) to I-93 (Andover).

In 2015, the state pledged $165–285 million for improvements to the Interstate 495-Massachusetts Turnpike intersection, and is considering three different plans. The work is expected to begin in 2021 and be completed in 2025.[8] Improvements to the 495-Route 9 intersection will commence at the same duration, with a different budget.[9]

Exit list [ edit ]

Interchanges were to be renumbered to mileage-based numbers under a project scheduled to start in 2016, however this project has been indefinitely postponed by MassDOT.[10][11]

County Location[12] mi [12] km Exit[13] Destinations[13] Notes
Plymouth Wareham 0.000 0.000 Route 25 east – Cape Cod Western terminus of Route 25; Blue Star Memorial Highway continues east
0.012 0.019 1 I‑195 west – Wareham, New Bedford Eastern terminus of I-195; exit 22B on I-195
2.487 4.002 2 Route 58 north – Carver, Plymouth No signage for Route 58 south, which ends at Route 28, 0.45 miles (720 m) to the south
Middleborough 7.600 12.231 3 Route 28 – Rock Village, South Middleboro
12.068 19.422 4 Route 105 – Middleboro Center, Lakeville
14.304 23.020 5 Route 18 / US 44 east – Bridgewater, Plymouth, Lakeville, New Bedford US 44 only appears on northbound signage
14.722 23.693 6 US 44 – Middleboro, Plymouth, Taunton, Providence, RI
Bridgewater 18.962 30.516 7A Route 24 north – Boston Exits 14A-B on Route 24
19.200 30.899 7B Route 24 south – Fall River
Bristol Raynham 21.681 34.892 8 Route 138 – Stoughton, Taunton
Taunton 24.508 39.442 9 Bay Street – Taunton, Easton
Norton 26.906 43.301 10 Route 123 to Route 140 south – Norton, Easton No southbound signage for Route 140
Mansfield 29.875 48.079 11 Route 140 south – Norton No northbound exit
29.913 48.140 12 Route 140 north – Mansfield
32.859 52.881 13A I‑95 north – Boston Exits 6A-B on I-95
Norfolk Foxborough 32.935 53.004 13B I‑95 south – Providence, Rhode Island
Plainville 35.554 57.219 14A US 1 north – Wrentham Access to Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place
35.605 57.301 14B US 1 south – North Attleboro
Wrentham 37.565 60.455 15 Route 1A – Wrentham, Plainville
Franklin 40.954 65.909 16 King Street – Franklin, Woonsocket RI
43.183 69.496 17 Route 140 – Franklin, Bellingham
Bellingham 45.820 73.740 18 Route 126 – Medway, Bellingham
Worcester Milford 48.318 77.760 19 Route 109 – Milford, Medway To Route 16
50.245 80.861 20 Route 85 – Milford, Hopkinton
Middlesex Hopkinton 54.151 87.148 21 W. Main Street – Hopkinton, Upton Signed as exits 21A (east) and 21B (west)

county line
HopkintonWestborough line 57.928 93.226 22 I‑90 / Mass Pike – Boston, Albany, New York Exit 11A on I-90
Worcester Westborough 59.414 95.618 23A Route 9 east – Framingham
59.472 95.711 23B Route 9 west – Worcester

county line
WestboroughMarlborough line 61.758 99.390 23C Simarano Drive – Marlboro, Southboro Interchange constructed in 2000
Middlesex Marlborough 63.155 101.638 24 US 20 – Marlboro, Northboro Split into exits 24A (east) and 24B (west)
64.895 104.438 25A Route 85 – Hudson, Marlboro Access to Route 85 via unsigned Route 85 Connector
64.951 104.529 25B I‑290 west – Worcester Eastern terminus of I-290; exits 26A-B on I-290
Worcester Berlin 67.314 108.331 26 Route 62 – Berlin, Hudson
Bolton 70.006 112.664 27 Route 117 – Bolton, Stow
Middlesex Boxborough 74.652 120.141 28 Route 111 – Boxboro, Harvard
Littleton 77.641 124.951 29 Route 2 – Boston, Leominster Split into exits 29A (east) and 29B (west); exits 40A-B on Route 2
79.176 127.421 30 Route 2A / Route 110 – Littleton, Ayer
80.209 129.084 31 Route 119 – Groton, Acton
Westford 83.297 134.054 32 Boston Road – Westford To Route 225
Chelmsford 87.328 140.541 33 Route 4 – North Chelmsford Northbound exit and southbound entrance
88.175 141.904 34 Route 4 / Route 110 – Chelmsford, Lowell No signage for Route 4 northbound
89.143 143.462 35A US 3 south – Burlington, Logan Airport Access via C/D lanes; exits 30A&C on US 3 north
35B US 3 north – Nashua NH Access to and from C/D lanes; exits 30A-B on US 3 south
Lowell 89.425 143.916 35C Lowell Connector Formerly exit 36; access via C/D lanes; exits 2A&1B on Lowell Conn.
91.192 146.759 37 Woburn Street – South Lowell, North Billerica
Tewksbury 92.284 148.517 38 Route 38 – Lowell, Tewksbury

county line
TewksburyAndover line 94.613 152.265 39 Route 133 – Tewksbury, Andover Southbound off-ramp begins in Essex County
Essex Andover 97.000 156.106 40A I‑93 south – Boston Exits 44A-B on I-93
97.045 156.179 40B I‑93 north – Concord NH
99.411 159.986 41 Route 28 – Lawrence, Andover Split into exits 41A (south) and 41B (north) northbound
Lawrence 100.149 161.174 42 Route 114 – North Andover, South Lawrence Split into exits 42A (east) and 42B (west)
North Andover 100.953 162.468 43 Massachusetts Avenue – North Andover Southbound access from C/D lanes originating at Marston St. exit
North AndoverLawrence line 101.370–


44 Merrimack Street Access via C/D lanes; NB ramp exits onto SB C/D lanes to Merrimack St.; NB entrance includes direct entrance from Sutton Street
Lawrence 45A Commonwealth Drive
Marston Street north – Methuen
Northbound signage; accessible to and from C/D lanes
Southbound signage; accessible to and from C/D lanes
45B Marston Street south – Lawrence Access to and from C/D lanes
Methuen 103.121 165.957 46 Route 110 (Merrimack Street) – Pleasant Valley
104.057 167.464 47 Route 213 (Loop Connector) – Methuen, Salem NH Exit 5 on Route 213; eastern terminus of Rte. 213
Haverhill 105.788 170.249 48 To Route 125 – Ward Hill, Bradford Access via Industrial Avenue
106.624 171.595 49 Route 110 / Route 113 (River Street)
107.303 172.687 50 Route 97 – Haverhill, Salem NH
108.997 175.414 51 Route 125 – Haverhill, Plaistow NH Split into exits 51A (south) and 51B (north)
111.182 178.930 52 Route 110 – Haverhill, Merrimac
Merrimac 114.894 184.904 53 Broad Street – Merrimac, Merrimacport
Amesbury 117.854 189.668 54 Route 150 – Amesbury
118.880 191.319 55 Route 110 east to I‑95 south – Salisbury, Boston Northbound exit and southbound entrance
Salisbury 120.95 194.65 I‑95 north – Portsmouth NH Northern terminus; exit 59 on I-95; access to I-95 south via Route 110
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ Executive Office of Transportation - Office of Transportation Planning Roads GIS Data
  2. ^ Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, November 1, 1996.
  3. ^ "Interstate 476,". Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  4. ^ Shortest and Longest 3-digit interstates, Note the discrepancy between the mileage listed on and the actual mileage indicated by the exit list from Interstate 476. Google Maps lists the distance as 130 miles (210 km).
  5. ^, Outer Circumferential Highway: Historical Overview Retrieved Jan. 24, 2010 [self-published source?]
  6. ^ "Outer Circumferential Highway - Historic Overview - AN OUTER LOOP FOR EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS". Steve Anderson's Boston Roads website. 2015. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  7. ^ MassDOT (April 2014). "A 2014 Synthesis; the Status of Intelligent Transportation Systems Deployment" (PDF). Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  8. ^ Worcester Telegram (March 29, 2015). "State outlines improvements to congested I-495-Mass Pike interchange". Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  9. ^ MassDOT (November 7, 2012). "Interstate 495/Route 9 Interchange Improvement Study". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  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. ^ Robert H. Malme (2017). "Massachusetts Interstate Highways Exit Lists". Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  12. ^ a b MassDOT Planning Division. "Massachusetts Route Log Application". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  13. ^ a b Massachusetts Department of Transportation. "Exit Numbers and Names: Route I-495 (Wareham to Salisbury)". Retrieved August 21, 2014.

External links [ edit ]

Route map:

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