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Mass. Pike Changes Could Improve Daily Commutes

MassDOT has reviewed the overcrowded interchange and has presented it’s findings to the Hopkinton Board of Selectmen.

For hundreds of commuters headed in to Boston each morning the Route 495 and Route 90 interchange creates a serious problem according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s latest findings.

Have no fear MassDOT says, changes are near.

In 2012 Congressman Jim McGovern, D-Worcester, was able to secure fund to study the backup of traffic on Route 495, Route 90 and Route 9.

The plans for the Route 495 and Route 90 interchange include adding lanes to the exit ramps from I-495 so people traveling through the interchange can avoid weaving.

“The primary thought process behind this recommendation was that every movement throughout the process would be assigned a lane,” Callie Cenizal, MassDOT’s Project Manager, said. “With the advanced signage and warning you would be able to stay in a lane and not have to weave between lanes.”

Also included in the plan is a separate exit off Route 495 northbound to Route 90 eastbound. This ramp would allow for a smoother, straighter transition for cars and would improve the backup caused by vehicles slowing down to make the turn through the toll booth.

The project, according to Cenizal, was designed to be implemented after Mass. pike eliminates cash tolls and goes to an EZ-Pass only system. However it can work with the tolls as they are currently set up.

One of the major concerns Hopkinton’s leaders raised was about the traffic that will avoid the intersection during the construction.

“There is a concern on Hopkinton’s part that during construction people hoping to avoid the work will start using local roads and one of the local roads that will be impacted is our West Main Street,” Town Manager Norman Khumalo said.

Traffic at the interchange is already at or above capacity during rush hour and Cenizal said it is expected to rise another 15 percent by 2035.

A final draft is expected to be submitted to the Secretary of Transportation within a few weeks. At that point it will go to the engineering stage.

More information about the project can be found on the MassDOT's website .

Patrick Waterman January 09, 2013 at 10:57 PM
And people, when you're getting off 495 and getting on the pike, or vice versa, pick a toll booth that's ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE DIRECTION YOU ARE GOING. DON'T FLY ACROSS AFTER PAYING THE DAMN TOLL!! Everybody does this and I do not see what's so damn hard about it.
Sean O'Donnell January 09, 2013 at 11:19 PM
Yes, weaving is what causes many of the crashes and backups in the area. MassDOT hopes this solution will solve that problem.
Frank D'Urso January 10, 2013 at 03:59 PM
Reminder: The Mass Pike was paid off in 1984, and the continuing overhead is a lingering cash cow and temple of mismanagement. Big Dig excesses were dumped onto Mas Pike finances as yet another unfair tax on Metro West commuters. Thanks Jim McGovern for getting money to study the issue, but the study was TUNNEL VISIONED on keeping the current model in place. Gov's Romney and Patrick have made strides in reigning in the quasi public agency from lavish spending, but really we should be focusing on proper management and public fairness. a 5 cent per gallon temporary addition to the gas tax would pay off the Pike and the Big Dig excess as well as the cost of taking down tolls, all within five years. And then that tax would be gone. And all progress towards this goal would be transparent and communicated and updated on a website. Let's address the real problems in out state instead of more "make work" projects like this.
Frank D'Urso January 10, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Correction - "SHOULD have been paid off"

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