On Wednesday, June 20, the state house voted to bring additional funding to local communities for road and bridge repair. The funding will move forward a proposal that would open the Mass Pike to trucks near the Westborough-Hopkinton line.
Included in the legislation is a provision that would provide $100,000 in funding to study the feasibility of allowing limited truck access directly to the Mass Pike from Route 135. This project has the potential to decrease the number of trucks from the E.L. Harvey facility that pass through local roadways in Hopkinton and Westborough.
The Hopkinton Board of Selectmen have discussed the issue several times, and have even discussed a letter to MassDOT. The Westborough Board of Selectmen discussed a similar letter to MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey in support of allowing trucks from Harvey’s to access the Mass Pike from the Hopkinton border.
The idea is not new, but it gained momentum in light of a recent focus on congestion at the Routes 495/90/9 interchanges. MassDOT recently commissioned a project team to examine remedies for the increased traffic.
“They find that in the next 20 years, gridlock will occur at Route 495 south and Route 9 east in the morning and, in the evening, on Route 495 south again,” said Westborough Town Planner Jim Robbins.
Robbins supports the idea to allow trucks from Harvey’s to use gated access roads onto the Mass Pike that are currently only used by emergency personnel. One road leads into the Westborough Service Plaza and would allow the trucks to enter the Mass Pike westbound. The other leads directly onto the Mass Pike eastbound. Both are next to the Harvey’s facility.
The issue, Robbins said in March, is that it would be allowing public access for a private company. The access roads are owned by the state. Granting permission would require legislation.
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.