|It has been suggested that History of the Massachusetts Turnpike be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since September 2014.|
|Maintained by MassDOT|
|Length:||138.10 mi (222.25 km)|
|Existed:||1958 (final construction in 2003) β present|
|West end:||Script error: No such module "Jct". in Canaan, NY|
|East end:||Script error: No such module "Jct". in Boston|
The Massachusetts Turnpike (commonly shortened to the Mass Pike or The Pike) is the easternmost Script error: No such module "convert". stretch of Interstate 90. The Turnpike begins at the eastern border of Massachusetts in Boston and connects with the Berkshire Connector portion of the New York State Thruway. The Turnpike traverses the state and serves the major cities of Worcester and Springfield. The highest point on the Turnpike is in the Town of Becket in the Berkshire Hills, at elevation Script error: No such module "convert". above sea level; this is also the highest point on Interstate 90 east of South Dakota.
- 1 Route description
- 2 History
- 3 Controversies
- 4 Future
- 5 Exit list
- 6 Service plazas
- 7 References
- 8 External links
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2012)|
The Massachusetts Turnpike is the major east-west highway in Massachusetts, connecting three of its major cities: Springfield, Worcester, and Boston. It is also the easternmost portion of Interstate 90. The roadway begins at the New York border and continues in a south-easterly direction until the junction with Interstate 84 in Sturbridge; from that point it continues in a north-easterly direction into Boston. The roadway terminates in East Boston at Route 1A, just outside Logan International Airport.
Between the New York border and the I-84 junction, the roadway is a four-lane divided highway, two lanes in either direction. Between I-84 and exit 17 in Newton, it is a six-lane divided highway which grows to eight lanes between the Newton and Cambridge exits where it drops back to six lanes. It stays as a six lane roadway until the Ted Williams Tunnel where it drops back to four lanes until the exit of the tunnel in East Boston.
Plans for the Turnpike date back to at least 1948, when the Western Expressway was being planned. The original section would have connected Boston's Inner Belt to Newton with connections with US 20 and Route 30 for traffic continuing west. Later extensions would take the road to and beyond Worcester. From the beginning, the corridor was included in federal plans for the Interstate Highway System, stretching west to the New York state line and beyond to Albany.
Also included in the route was the planned Springfield Bypass, which had been proposed to provide a bypass of US 20 in the Springfield area. Part of this route (and that of the eventual Turnpike) used the grading from the never-opened Hampden Railroad. Similarly, the West Stockbridge Bypass provided a new route of Route 102 from Route 183 in Stockbridge west to Route 102 just east of the state line in West Stockbridge; this latter route was built prior to the Turnpike.
The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority was created in 1952 by a special act of the Massachusetts General Court (legislature) upon the recommendation of Governor Dever and his Commissioner of Public Works, William F. Callahan. (1952 Acts and Resolves chapter 354; 1952 Senate Doc. 1.) The enabling act was modeled upon that of the Mystic River Bridge Authority (1946 Acts and Resolves chapter 562), but several changes were made that would prove of great importance fifty years later. Callahan served as chairman of the Authority until his death in April 1964.
Construction began in 1955, and the whole four-lane road from Route 102 at the state line to Route 128 (now also Interstate 95 in Weston) opened on May 15, 1957. The Berkshire Thruway opened on May 26, 1959, connecting the west end to the New York State Thruway mainline south of Albany. Prior to its opening, traffic used Route 22 and US 20 in New York. At the Massachusetts/New York state line, one can see where the Turnpike made an abrupt right turn before terminating at Route 102, as the old pavement still exists for Turnpike Authority and State Police vehicles to access this remote stretch of highway.
After political and legal battles related to the Boston Extension inside Route 128, construction began on March 5, 1962, with the chosen alignment running next to the Boston and Albany Railroad and reducing that line to two tracks. In September 1964 the part from Route 128 east to exit 18 (Allston) opened, and the rest was finished on February 18, 1965, taking it to the Central Artery.
The Interstate 90 designation was assigned to the Turnpike in 1959 with the completion of plans for the Interstate Highway System. Early proposals took I-90 across the northern part of the state, along Route 2, but this was rejected as too costly. With the completion of the Boston Extension, that too was designated as I-90.
In the 1990s, then-Governor William Weld took the decision to turn over the assets of Boston's Big Dig project to the Turnpike Authority. During this time he appointed James Kerasiotes to the Turnpike Authority to continue the authority's oversight of the Big Dig project.
In 1991, construction began on the extension of the Massachusetts Turnpike to Logan Airport, via the Ted Williams Tunnel as part of the Big Dig interstate/tunnel project. The final extension opened in 2003; the eastern end of I-90 now merges into Route 1A.
The legislature separated the Turnpike into a western portion, from the New York border to Interstate 95, and the eastern Metropolitan Highway System, which includes a Script error: No such module "convert". stretch of the Turnpike from Interstate 95 to East Boston, the Ted Williams, Sumner, and Callahan tunnels under Boston Harbor, and I-93 from Southampton Street through the Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill tunnel and the Leonard P. Zakim Bridge to the foot of the Tobin Bridge. Finances for the two parts of the Turnpike are accounted for separately.
At a January 22, 2009, board meeting, the Turnpike decided to stop charging a one-time $25.95 fee for the acquisition of a Fast Lane toll transponder, replacing it with a 50-cent monthly recurring service fee. The implementation of the 50-cent monthly fee was canceled after long delays at toll plazas on Easter Sunday.
Under a plan to save state funds, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) announced plans to close eleven of its branches in leased locations and move the operations into facilities owned by MassHighway and the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority located in toll plazas, visitor centers, and offices. RMV branch closings were planned for Framingham, Lowell, North Attleboro, Cambridgeside Galleria Mall in Cambridge, New Bedford, Eastfield Mall in Springfield, Southbridge, Falmouth, Eastham, Beverly, and Boston. Also, a portion of the newly increased sales tax in the state averted a planned toll increase. The MTA will receive approximately $100 million from the state general fund over the next few years, alleviating the need for the toll hike.
Under legislation signed into law by Gov. Deval Patrick on June 26, 2009, the turnpike was folded into a new super-agency that controls all surface transportation in the state. The new agency, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), operates all highways formerly under MassHighway and the Turnpike Authority as well as eight urban roadways formerly owned and maintained by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). In addition, MassDOT oversees the RMV, MBTA, regional transit authorities, and the state aeronautics commission. The new Transportation Department began operations on November 1, 2009. According to MTA board member Mary Z. Connaughton's blog entry for the Boston Herald, all of the pilgrim-hat signage unique to the Turnpike will be eliminated. However, in a personal correspondence with AARoads.com's road blog, a MassDOT official said that usage of the hat would actually increase. When guide signs on Interstates 95 and 495 are replaced, the current "MassPike" signage will be replaced with pilgrim hat shields.
Former Turnpike Authority funding and jurisdiction
The Turnpike Authority also owned the Callahan Tunnel and Sumner Tunnel, the other two road connections between downtown Boston and East Boston under Boston Harbor. Upon completion of the Central Artery/Tunnel Project, all tunnels constructed as part of the Big Dig, including the O'Neill Tunnel segment of I-93, were transferred to its control. The Authority received no state or federal government funding. Its revenues came from tolls, leases on air rights and service areas, and advertising. Its assets were all transferred to the new MassDOT agency as part of the restructuring of agencies.
The Massachusetts Turnpike is a toll road; the 2009 reform law requires tolls collected on the Western Turnpike be spent there, and those collected on the Metropolitan Highway System must be spent there.
It costs $5.10 for a Class 1 passenger vehicle to travel east from Exit 1 (Route 41), in West Stockbridge, to Logan Airport, in East Boston. Additionally, a flat-rate toll barrier for the Ted Williams Tunnel exists on the westbound side of the turnpike between exits 26 and 25, imposing a $3.50 charge for Class 1 passenger vehicles. Therefore, motorists who are destined to travel away from Logan International Airport via I-90 West will be assessed a $3.50 additional charge, since the only interchange east of this toll barrier other than the eastern terminus at Route 1A is Exit 26, leading into the airport itself. From Exit 1, in West Stockbridge, to Exit 14/15 (I-95 and Route 128), in Weston, the Massachusetts Turnpike is a closed-system toll road, using long-distance tickets obtained once by a motorist on entrance, and surrendered on exit, at toll gates. The toll gates exist at all exits and entrances from Exit 1 to Exit 14/15. From Exit 14/15 to its eastern end in East Boston (in other words, east of the toll barrier residing between Exits 14 and 15), the Massachusetts Turnpike is an open-system toll road. There are toll plazas at Exit 18/19/20 in Allston, in both mainline directions and on the interchange ramps. There also is a toll plaza on the mainline at the westbound entrance to the Ted Williams Tunnel, in East Boston. Exits 16, 17, and 21β26, plus the eastbound-only Route 1A junction have no toll plazas on their ramps.
After protests from Western Massachusetts residents that their toll money was funding the Big Dig, a Boston highway project, tolls were removed on a western portion of the freeway in July 1996: no toll was charged for passenger-vehicle travel between Springfield (Exit 6, Interstate 291) and the New York (Exit 1, West Stockbridge) border in either direction.
Tolls were reinstated between exit 1 and exit 6 in October 2013 at the same toll rates from 1996. The tolls were reinstated because of a Massachusetts state transportation financing package approved in early 2013.
Travel between exits 16 and 17, both in Newton, is a "free movement": no toll is charged for travel between these two exits. At exit 16, traffic can enter the Turnpike only eastbound and may exit from the Turnpike only westbound.
Motorists can pay tolls to toll-booth personnel or use the Fast Lane electronic toll-collection system, whereby transponders installed in the cars (typically on the inner windshields) are recognized automatically in special lanes at toll plazas, the toll amounts then being withdrawn from the motorists' accounts. Fast Lane is compatible with the E-ZPass electronic toll-collection system, which is used in the northeastern United States, south to Virginia and west to Chicago. MassDOT planned to eliminate the name Fast Lane, and begin simply using the E-ZPass brand name for the ETS system beginning in October 2011, when the Citizens Bank sponsorship contract expires. All signage at toll plazas will be changed to the standard white-on-purple E-ZPass signs.
In September 2012, MassDOT introduced prepaid E-ZPass transponders called E-ZPass "On-the-Go".
- The Shaw's Supermarket between exits 16 and 17.
- The Crowne Plaza and Gateway Office complex in Newton Corner at exit 17.
- The Copley Place Mall at exit 22 (1984).
- The new One Beacon development at parcel 9, between Beacon St. and Brookline Ave., including a 23-story apartment complex and mixed use development.
- New construction on parcels 8, and 10 adjacent to Fenway Park (2008β2018).
- Near BU Bridge, Boston University announced long-term plans to extend its campus over the highway.
There is one major air rights property that the MTA does not own and that is the Prudential Center Complex constructed beginning in 1965. This property includes a Shaw's Supermarket, the Prudential Tower office and residential buildings, the Shops at Prudential Center mall, the Hynes Convention Center, and the Back Bay MBTA station.
In 2001, the Turnpike Authority and the City of Boston agreed on guidelines for air rights development for the remaining parcels over the highway in Boston from the I-93 interchange to Commonwealth Avenue (with the exception of a parcel adjacent to the historic Fenway Studios). While development is not presently planned for all of this corridor, the agreement provides de facto zoning rules should it take place.
MTA Board firings
Since 2001, the Turnpike Authority had come under fire from state politicians in a fight for control of the quasi-state agency. Beginning in 2001, former Massachusetts acting Governor Jane Swift (Republican) attempted to fire Christy Mihos, a former Turnpike board member and Jordan Levy, the current[when?] Vice Chairman of the board.
Mihos and Levy had cast votes on the board to postpone a toll hike. Swift objected, saying such a delay was "fiscally irresponsible" and saying the two men "interfered with the effective daily management of the Authority." Mihos and Levy refused to step down and sued Swift to retain their positions. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruled that the Turnpike was "not part of the machinery of the government" and therefore not subject to Swift's decisions.
Proposed MTA/MassHighway merger
Governor Mitt Romney, elected in 2002 during a fiscal crisis, ran on a political platform of streamlining state government and eliminating waste. Part of this was the elimination of the Turnpike Authority. Romney wanted to fold the Turnpike into MassHighway, the state highway department, operated under the Executive Office of Transportation. A first step to this was to replace the Chairman of the Board, Matthew J. Amorello with someone loyal to the Governor. The Governor has the power to appoint members to the board, but the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) advised in an advisory opinion that "nothing in G. L. c. 81A explicitly provides for the removal and reassignment of the chairperson to the position of "member."
Romney put pressure on Amorello to step down. Amorello announced he would do so in 2007, after Romney would have left office. Romney continued to press the legislature to give him the power to remove members from the board, specifically the chairman, pointing to a series of financial and construction mishaps over the last several years. However, the legislature instead sought to keep Amorello on board by extending the terms of various board members to prevent Romney from removing Amorello.
I-90 connector ceiling collapse
|40x40px||Wikinews has related news: Portion of ceiling collapses in Boston tunnel|
In response to a fatality caused by the collapse of the ceiling of the eastbound I-90 connector tunnel approaching the Ted Williams Tunnel on July 10, 2006, and in response to Amorello's refusal (at the time) to resign, Romney took legal steps to have Amorello forcibly removed as head of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, culminating in Amorello's resignation on August 15, 2006. The next day, John Cogliano was sworn in as the new Chairman of the Turnpike Authority by Romney.
On November 27, 2006, departing Attorney General Tom Reilly (Democrat) announced the state will launch a civil suit over the collapse of the ceiling in the Ted Williams Tunnel. The Commonwealth will be seeking over $150 million from project manager Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff, builder Modern Continental Construction Co. and the manufacturer of the epoxy used to hold the ceiling bolts.
On October 18, 2006, the Turnpike board voted to remove all tolls west of the Route 128 Toll Plaza in response to a recommendation made by Eric Kriss, a former fiscal adviser to Romney, in which he had been asked to review the Turnpike situation following the July 2006 tunnel ceiling collapse.
On October 19, 2006, members of the Massachusetts Legislature Transportation Committee were quoted in The Boston Globe as saying that the Governor's actions may require state law to be amended for the toll removal to happen. In addition, questions have been raised in regard to how the State would fund the maintenance of the Turnpike after the removal of the tolls.
The issue of the removal of the tolls is highly charged politically. Several members of the state Democratic Party declared this as a political maneuver to bolster the gubernatorial campaign of Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healy, a Republican, who was behind in the polls at the time of the announcement. Also, because the MTA Board is composed of Romney appointees, Kriss's former association with the Romney administration and the ongoing election at the time, the issue was clouded by accusations of partiality and political agendas from both sides of the aisle.
In the November 9, 2006, edition of The Boston Globe, Romney announced his intention to try to remove the tolls before Governor-elect Deval Patrick, a Democrat, was inaugurated in January 2007, but this did not occur. As of January 2009, Patrick's plan was to remove all tolls west of Interstate 95, except at the West Stockbridge and Sturbridge tolls.
Future plans in the state call for the re-routing of the highway over the former Beacon Park Yard, in order to free up space and make the highway safer. Plans call for the beginning of construction in 2016, with completion scheduled for 2020.
There have been proposals of adding exits in Becket, Blandford, Warren, and Oxford since the removal of the toll booths. There is a Script error: No such module "convert". gap between exits 2 (Lee) and exit 3 (Westfield) and a Script error: No such module "convert". gap between exit 8 (Palmer) and exit 9 (Sturbridge). If a car misses the exit, it is an hour to return back. If those exits are built, the distance from Blandford to Westfield would be Script error: No such module "convert". and the distance from Lee to Beckett would be Script error: No such module "convert".. The Warren exit would cut the distance in half.
Like most closed-loop toll systems, the Mass Turnpike uses a system of sequentially numbered interchanges. All of the interchanges also have names, again a common practice among closed-loop toll systems. Every interaction with the highway is numbered and named, regardless of whether an exit is available or not. For example, Interchanges 14 and 15, labeled as the Weston Interchange, are the same interchange, but use different toll systems eastbound and westbound. Another example of this is Interchanges 18 and 20, the Allston/Brighton Interchange, which has the same situation (with Interchange 19 being the mainline toll booth). Interchanges 21, 22A, and 23 all do not have exits but are entrance-only interchanges.
|This section contains a table that is missing mileposts for one or more junctions. Please help by .|
There are 11 service areas (plazas) on the Massachusetts Turnpike, named for the towns in which they are located. Each plaza offers Gulf gas stations and Gulf Express convenience stores. Most offer McDonald's restaurants, with some plazas having Boston Market and D'Angelo as the main food offerings. Some plazas also have secondary food such as Auntie Anne's pretzels, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Papa Gino's pizza, Original Pizza, and Fresh City restaurants. Some restaurants at some plazas also offer a drive thru.
The plazas are:
- Lee Plaza between exits 1 and 2
- Blandford Plaza between exits 2 and 3
- Ludlow Plaza between exits 7 and 8
- Charlton Plaza between exits 9 and 10
- Westborough Plaza between exits 11A and 11 (westbound only)
- Framingham Plaza between exits 13 and 12 (westbound only)
- Natick Plaza between exits 13 and 14 (eastbound only)
All service areas except for the westbound Lee Plaza and the eastbound Blandford Plaza feature dog walk areas. All service areas except the westbound Lee, the Blanford, and the Ludlow Plazas offer special family restrooms. A weigh station is located on the eastbound side of the turnpike in Charlton between exits 9 and 10.
- "State Numbered Routes with Milepoints in District 4" (PDF). Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
- Vanhoenacker, Mark (August 18, 2014). "What Does This Beloved Road Sign on the Massachusetts Turnpike Actually Mean?". Slate.com. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- It has been reported variously that the sign was changed due to confusion among motorists who sometimes mistakenly turned in the direction the arrow pointed (right) when attempting to enter the turnpike,Montgomery, M. R. (February 28, 1991). "Redrawing the Native American Image". The Boston Globe. p. 69. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
Too many tourists, non-English readers and reflexive drivers were always turning right, following the politically incorrect arrow to nowhere., or that it was the result of a letter campaign describing the signs as offensive to Native Americans.http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1917&dat=19891122&id=2XIhAAAAIBAJ&sjid=hYgFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1152,5928057
- "The real builder of the Big Dig". Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- "Lessons of Boston's Big Dig". Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- "Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90)".
- "A Handy Guide to the Big Dig Screw-Up".
- "MGL Chapter 81A, Section 3".
- Martin Finucane (January 21, 2009). "Fast Lane transponders will be free, but users will see a new fee". The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
- Noah Bierman (April 22, 2009). "After Easter snafus, Pike puts toll taker layoffs on hold". The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
- "Fast Lane Transponders Are Now Fee Free". WBZ TV. Retrieved 2009-08-06.[dead link]
- Riley, David Riley (July 3, 2009). "Registry to close Framingham branch, 10 other locations". The MetroWest Daily News. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
- "Masspike toll hike scrapped". WWLP. Associated Press. June 29, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
- "Chapter 25 of the Acts of 2009". The 186th General Court of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2009-11-05.
- "Governor Patrick signs bill to dramatically reform transportation system". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. June 26, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
- "About Us". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
- Connaughton, Mary Z. (July 21, 2009). "Hats off, Governor". Boston Herald. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
- "Mass Turnpike Authority to be absorbed by new Mass Surface Trans Authority". Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- "The Big Dig". Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- Schworm, Peter (October 16, 2009). "End of the road for Mass. Pike". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
- "Western Mass. tolls set to be restored". "The Boston Globe"
- "E-ZPass purple coming to Massachusetts Oct 1 2011 - bank ads coming down". Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- "Massachusetts E-ZPass signs go up starting next week, FAST LANE signs replaced". Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- "Toll Plaza Signs: E-ZPass Replaces Fast Lane". MassDOT Blog. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- "Prepaid E-ZPass offers alternative for transponders". The Boston Globe
- "The Future of Boston". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-11-28.
- Casey Ross (2008-09-19). "Developer hopes for a hit at Fenway". The Boston Globe. pp. C1, C6. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
- The Daily Free Press - BU says campus future is up in the air
- guidelines for air rights development
- "JORDAN LEVY & another vs. THE ACTING GOVERNOR & another". 2001-11-19. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
- "JORDAN LEVY & another vs. THE ACTING GOVERNOR & another SJC-08730". 2002-05-07. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
- "ANSWER OF THE JUSTICES TO THE GOVERNOR.". 2005-06-29. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
- "REQUEST FOR ADVISORY OPINION, A-108 SJC-09461". 2005-06-29. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
- Murphy, Sean P. (2006-06-02). "Budget amendment in Senate would let Amorello keep job". The Boston Globe.
- Lehigh, Scot (2006-07-14). "Amorello, now adrift". The Boston Globe.
- "Cogliano Sworn In as New Turnpike Chief". WCVB. 2006-08-16. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
- Herbst, Svea (2006-11-28). "Mass. to sue Big Dig firms over tunnel accident". Reuters.
- Murphy, Sean P.; Andrea Estes (2007-07-11). "Wide risk, wide blame". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-10-09.
- Saltzman, Jonathan (2008-11-15). "Companies to settle for $26m in tunnel collapse". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-10-09.
- Finucane, Martin (2009-03-27). "AG settles with final two firms in fatal collapse of Big Dig tunnel". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-10-09.
- "Turnpike Task Force Final Report" (PDF).
- Mishra, Raja; Mac Daniel (2006-10-19). "Pike board acts to end tolls west of Route 128". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
- Daniel, Mac (2006-10-10). "Ending Pike tolls is called illegal". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-10-26.
- Rocheleau, Matt (23 October 2013). "Photos: Conceptual designs of project to straighten Mass. Pike in Allston". Boston Globe. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
- MassDOT Highway Division. "I-90 Interchange Numbers". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
- MassDOT Planning Division. "Massachusetts Route Log Application". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
- Massachusetts Department of Transportation. "Exit Numbers and Names: Route I-90 (West Stockbridge to Boston)". Retrieved August 22, 2014.
- "Travel Service Plazas & Tourist Information Centers". Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- Ingraham, Joseph C. "Boston To Chicago; New Section of Thruway Completes Express Route Between Cities Boston To Chicago". The New York Times. May 24, 1959. Resorts Travel section, page XX1.
Route map: Bing
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