Massachusetts Route 2
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Massachusetts Route 2

Route 2 marker

Route 2
Route 2 highlighted in red
Route information
Length142.29 mi[1] (228.99 km)
Existed1927, 1971 (current alignment)-present
Major junctions
West end in Petersburgh, NY
East endBeacon Street in Boston
CountiesBerkshire, Franklin, Worcester, Middlesex, Suffolk, Norfolk
Highway system
N.E. ->

Route 2 is a 142.29-mile-long (228.99 km) major east–west state highway in Massachusetts. Along with Route 9 and U.S. Route 20 to the south, these highways are the main alternatives to the Massachusetts Turnpike/I-90 toll highway. Route 2 runs the entire length of the northern tier of Massachusetts, beginning at the New York border, where it connects with New York State Route 2, and ending near Boston Common in Boston. Most of the route is a freeway through central Massachusetts, with the longest non-freeway portions being the western and eastern ends. Portions of Route 2 follow the Mohawk Trail, while older alignments are known as Route 2A.

Route description

Route 2 proceeds east from the New York state line on a winding, scenic path in Berkshire County through Williamstown, where it serves the Williams College area and through North Adams, where it serves the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. East of North Adams, Route 2 ascends via a hairpin turn into the Hoosac Range along what is known as the Mohawk Trail.

Route 2 then enters Franklin County, meeting Interstate 91 at an interchange in Greenfield and briefly runs concurrently with I-91. While the old Route 2 becomes Route 2A and goes through downtown Greenfield, Route 2 exits off I-91 as a short expressway before becoming a two-lane freeway. Outside Greenfield, Route 2A temporarily ends and merges with Route 2. Route 2 remains a regular two-lane surface road in Gill and through Erving, though it has some grade-separated interchanges in Millers Falls at its intersection with Route 63. There is another gap in the two-lane expressway in the Erving area. Recently, the road in Erving was routed to the north and straightened to avoid the paper mill next to the river. This rerouting led to the road being shortened by less than a tenth of a mile.

Once the road enters the Town of Orange, Route 2A resumes and diverges from Route 2. At this point, Route 2 again becomes a two-lane expressway. In Orange, Route 2 runs concurrently with U.S. Route 202. The road at this point enters the town of Athol in Worcester County. After its eastern interchange in Phillipston when US-202 departs to the north, Route 2 becomes a full four-lane expressway, though not to Interstate standards at most points. It continues through Gardner into Fitchburg where Route 2 has several at-grade intersections with Oak Hill Rd, Palmer Rd, Mt. Elam Rd and Abbott Ave. At the intersection with Mt. Elam Rd, a traffic light remains in use on the eastbound side. Continuing east into Leominster, Interstate 190 splits off, heading south to Worcester.

Route 2 continues east to Middlesex County and enters Boston's outer loop at the interchange with Interstate 495 in Littleton. It continues as an expressway into Acton, where the expressway ends at the traffic light intersection with Piper Rd and Taylor Rd, and Route 2 becomes a regular divided highway at most points and just a four-lane highway at other points. At the Concord Rotary, a major traffic choke point, Route 2 intersects with Route 2A and the eastern terminus of Route 119 (which is concurrent with Route 2A). After the rotary, the road loses its dividing wall as it passes by the State Police (who have an emergency-only traffic light) and over the Assabet River. Route 2A formerly broke away from Route 2 at the next traffic light to go left into Concord but is now overlaid with Route 2. At Crosby's Corner, the sixth intersection after the rotary, Route 2A exits under the highway while Route 2 veers right (but still heads east). While the highway is divided across Lincoln, there is a single traffic light intersection at Bedford Rd.

Convergence of Routes 2, 3, and 16 at Alewife.

At this point, Route 2 enters Lexington and still is a divided four-lane road with surface intersections. It then heads to Boston's inner belt, crossing Interstate 95/Route 128. In Arlington, Route 2 is a six-lane and then eight-lane limited-access highway until east of Exit 60 (Lake St), where it narrows with little warning to six lanes and then to four lanes. This section of expressway actually meets the standards of an interstate highway.[] The final off-ramp leads toward the large parking garage at the MBTA Alewife Station. At this point the road heads into Cambridge.

The shield for Massachusetts Route 2, located across from the Boston Common

The limited access highway portion ends at a signalled intersection, where it merges with U.S. Route 3 south and Route 16 west in Cambridge and continues as a four-lane surface road to the Boston Public Garden. Route 2 follows Alewife Brook Parkway, Concord Ave, Fresh Pond Parkway, Gerry's Landing Rd, and Memorial Drive (all parkways maintained by the Department of Conservation and Recreation) through Cambridge. It crosses into Boston heading southward on the Boston University Bridge. It winds through the Boston University campus as Mountfort Street and crosses over both the Massachusetts Turnpike and Commonwealth Avenue before heading due east towards Kenmore Square, while running parallel to U.S. Route 20. Immediately east of the Boston University campus, it crosses into Kenmore Square, which is also the eastern terminus of U.S. Route 20. From Kenmore Sq, Route 2 follows Commonwealth Ave to Arlington St. It circles the Public Garden, using Arlington St to Boylston St to Charles S. Route 2 goes along northbound Route 28 at the intersection of Charles St and Beacon St between Boston Common and the Public Garden. Shortly after, Route 2 ends on U.S. 3 or Route 3 while Route 28 north joins with the southbound of Route 3.


The route amalgamates and supersedes various named highways in some cases going back to the pre-automobile era. For example, parts of Route 2 are sometimes known as the Cambridge and Concord Turnpike and the Mohawk Trail.

New England 7.svg

In the early 1920s, Route 2 was known as New England Interstate Route 7 (NE-7), a major road connecting Boston with Troy, New York. NE-7 ran roughly where Route 2A (the original surface alignment of Route 2) does now except near the New York state line. NE-7 used current Massachusetts Route 43, New York State Route 43 and New York State Route 66 to reach Troy. Current Route 2 from Williamstown to Petersburgh was previously numbered as Route 96.

Route 2 connected as a highway in its current right-of-way at Alewife Brook Parkway at some point before 1937.[2]

An upgraded Route 2 was originally planned to continue as Boston's Northwest Expressway (merging with a re-routed U.S. Route 3 at the Arlington-Lexington or Arlington-Cambridge border) to a junction with Interstate 695, the Inner Beltway, but this, along with the Inner Beltway itself, was cancelled in 1970, accounting for the abrupt narrowing at Alewife.[3][4] In place of the highway project, the MBTA Red Line was extended from Harvard to Alewife in the 1980s.[]

Crosby's Corner intersection

This major project has been planned since 1999. The intersection had an average of 90 accidents a year. The project was intended to solve the traffic and safety problems that had long occurred at the Crosby's Corner intersection (junction of Route 2 and 2A) in Concord. The project, which was expected to cost $71.9 million, widened Route 2 from Bedford Rd in Lincoln to 300 feet west of Sandy Pond Rd in Concord. The project eliminated the at grade intersection, realigned Route 2, and constructed new entrance and exit ramps along with new service roads next to Route 2. The project was expected to begin in 2011. The state spent $25-35 million for property takings in the path of the new alignment of Route 2. In January 2010 a speeding tanker truck carrying liquid asphalt flipped over on Route 2 and crushed three cars. The truck driver was med-flighted to a Boston hospital with serious injuries. The highway was shut down for five hours causing traffic delays for the 46,000 commuters daily. The accident put the spotlight back on the Crosby's Corner project.

The full project included building a new overpass bridge over Route 2 and building multiple service roads next to Route 2. Fourteen retaining walls were built to accommodate the new interchange ramp construction. Work also consisted of a new signalized intersection. The project was put out to bid for contractors on September 19, 2011. A contractor was expected to be chosen over the winter and construction was expected to begin in Spring 2012 on the estimated $55 million project.

The Army Corps of Engineers published a notice[5] for this project, because of its impact on wetlands at Crosby's Corner. During the summer of 2012, activity on this portion of Route 2 included surveying and the installation of orange-painted stakes. Signs were added in January 2013 indicating that construction would start on January 14. As of April 2014 the project was underway and predicted completion was Spring 2016.[6]

The project was completed in 2016, with a large improvement in traffic flow.[]


Concord rotary

A project to improve the Concord Rotary, at the convergence of Route 2, Route 2A/119 (Elm St), Barrett's Mill Rd and Commonwealth Ave, has been in planning since 2003 or even earlier. More than 61,000 cars use this rotary on a typical day, and the backed up traffic can be significant. The improved intersection would include overpasses for local streets, while Route 2 traffic would continue unimpeded at grade. However, the project was removed from the funded portion of the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization's (MPO) Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) in August 2009 and is currently on hold.[7]

Major intersections

MassDOT is scheduled to replace the old sequential exit numbers with the new milepost-based exit numbers beginning in summer 2020,[8][9] which have been delayed since 2016.[10][11]

CountyLocation[12]mi[12]kmOld exit[13]New exit[9]DestinationsNotes
BerkshireWilliamstown0.0000.000 west - Troy, NYContinuation into New York
3.8246.154 south - PittsfieldWestern end of concurrency with US 7
6.22110.012 north - Bennignton, VTEastern end of concurrency with US 7, the beginning of the Mohawk Trail
6.74610.857 south - Hancock, Stephentown, NYNorthern terminus of Route 43
North Adams11.57118.622 south - Adams[14]Western end of concurrency with Route 8
11.74018.894 southNorthern terminus of Route 8A "U" segment
12.40519.964 north - Clarksburg, Stamford, VTEastern end of concurrency with Route 8
FranklinCharlemont29.80747.970 south - Hawley, WindsorWestern end of concurrency with Route 8A
30.448.9 north - Heath, Wilmington, VTEastern end of concurrency with Route 8A
Buckland37.39060.173 east - Shelburne FallsFormer western terminus of Route 2A
37.80660.843 south - Buckland, AshfieldWestern end of concurrency with Route 112
Shelburne38.06261.255 north - Shelburne Falls, ColrainEastern end of concurrency with Route 112
38.94262.671 west - Shelburne Falls, BucklandFormer western end of concurrency with Route 2A
Greenfield47.39876.2802643 south / east - Springfield, Hartford, CT, Greenfield CenterWestern end of concurrency with I-91 and Route 2A. Current western terminus of Route 2A
50.13980.6912746 north - Brattleboro, VT, White River Jct., VTEastern end of concurrency with I-91
50.78981.737 /  - Greenfield, BernardstonInterchange
51.48082.849East end of freeway
52.24284.075 west - Greenfield CenterWestern end of concurrency with Route 2A
Erving57.191.9Gateway Drive to  - Northfield, Millers Falls
57.492.4Forest Street to  - Northfield, Hinsdale, NH
57.792.9Prospect Street to  - Millers Falls
64.865104.390 east to  - Orange, Wendell[15]Eastern end of concurrency with Route 2A
65.060104.704West end of Super-2 freeway
Orange66.571107.1361467West River Street – Orange Center
69.788112.3131570 - Orange, Worcester
70.676113.7421671 south - Amherst, BelchertownWestern end of concurrency with US 202
WorcesterAthol75.155120.9501775 - Athol, Petersham
Phillipston76.474123.0731877 - Athol, Phillipston
79.009127.1531979 north /  - Gardner, Winchendon, PhillipstonEastern end of concurrency with US 202; western end of divided freeway
Templeton81.915131.8292082Baldwinville Road – Templeton, Baldwinville
83.459134.3142183 /  - Templeton, Ashburnham
Gardner86.500139.2082286 - Gardner, Hubbardston
87.253140.4202387Pearson Boulevard - South Gardner
Westminster89.738144.4192490 north / West Main Street south - Winchendon, WestminsterWestern end of concurrency with Route 140; signed as exits 24A (south) and 24B (north) westbound (scheduled to be 90A (south) and 90B (north) westbound[9])
91.764147.6802592 / south - WestminsterEastern end of concurrency with Route 140
92.568148.9742693Willard Road / Village Inn RoadEastbound exit only
93.479150.4402794Narrows Road / Depot Road
Fitchburg94.495152.0752895 - Fitchburg, Princeton
Fitchburg-Leominster line96.279154.94629Mount Elam RoadPartial at-grade intersection with right-in/right-out connections only
98.007157.7273098Merriam Avenue / South Street
3199 - Fitchburg, LeominsterSigned as exits 31A (south) and 31B (north) westbound (scheduled to be 99A (south) and 99B (north) westbound[9])
100.355161.50632100 - Leominster, Lunenburg
101.125162.74533101 south - Worcester/Mechanic St, LeominsterNorthern terminus of I-190; exits 19A-B (old exits 8A-B) on I-190
Lancaster102.429164.84334102Mechanic Street / Harvard StreetExit partially in Leominster
103.497166.56235103 south - LancasterNorthern terminus of Route 70
104.917168.84836105Shirley Road – Lancaster, Shirley
106.419171.26537106Jackson Road – Devens, Reserve Forces Training AreaSigned as Exits 37A (no public access) and 37B westbound, exit partially in Harvard (scheduled to be exits 106A and 106B westbound[9])
38109 /  - Harvard, AyerSigned as exits 38A (south/west) and 38B (north/east) (scheduled to be exits 109A (south/west) and 109B (north/east)[9])
MiddlesexLittleton113.050181.93639112Taylor Street – Littleton
40113 - Marlboro, LowellSigned as exits 40A (south) and 40B (north) (scheduled to be exits 113A (south) and 113B (north)[9]); exits 29A-B on I-495 (scheduled to be exits 78A-B[16])
Boxborough115.505185.88741115Newtown Road – West Acton, Littleton
Acton117.612189.27842117 - Maynard, Acton
118.013189.92443117 north - West ActonWestbound left exit and eastbound entrance; western terminus of concurrency with Route 111
118.013189.924East end of freeway
Concord120.465193.870 west / west / north - LittletonRotary; western end of concurrency with Route 2A; eastern terminus of Routes 119; southern terminus of Route 111
121.691195.843 (Main Street) - West Concord, Maynard
123.901199.399 south (Walden Street) to  - Walden Pond, WalthamNorthern terminus of Route 126
124.824200.88550125 eastPartial interchange; eastern end of concurrency with Route 2A
Lincoln126.256203.189Bedford RoadAt-grade intersection; to Route 2A
Lexington128.135206.213West end of freeway
128.527206.84452127 /  - Providence, RI, Portsmouth, NHSigned as exits 52A (south) and 52B (north) (scheduled to be exits 127A (south) and 127B (north)[9]); exits 29A-B on I-95 / Route 128 (scheduled to be exits 45A-B[17])
129.010207.62153128Spring Street – LexingtonNo westbound exit
130.002209.21854129Waltham Street – Lexington, WalthamSigned as Exits 54A (Waltham) and 54B (Lexington) (scheduled to be exits 129A (Waltham) and 129B (Lexington)[9]); westbound exits and eastbound entrances
130.894210.65355130Pleasant Street – LexingtonEastbound exit and westbound entrance
131.435211.52456131Winter Street – BelmontEastbound signage
north / west / Winter Street - Lexington, BedfordWestbound signage; southern terminus of Route 4; eastern terminus of Route 225
Arlington-Belmont line131.990212.41757132Dow Avenue – Arlington, Belmont
Belmont132.711213.57858133Park Avenue – Arlington
Belmont-Arlington line133.690215.15359134 - Belmont, Arlington
Arlington134.130215.86160135Lake Street – East Arlington
134.649216.697Alewife StationEastbound exit only
Arlington-Cambridge line134.915217.125East end of freeway
Cambridge135.005217.269 north / east (Alewife Brook Parkway) - Medford, WoburnWestern end of concurrency with US 3 and Route 16
136.354219.440 west (Huron Avenue) - Watertown, West NewtonEastern end of concurrency with Route 16
139.280224.149 south (Memorial Drive)Eastern end of concurrency with US 3
Charles River139.349224.260Boston University Bridge
SuffolkBoston139.531224.553 (Commonwealth Avenue) - Brighton, Kenmore Square
No major junctions
SuffolkBoston140.446226.026 west (Commonwealth Avenue)Kenmore Square; eastern terminus of US 20
140.881226.726 west (Massachusetts Avenue)Eastern terminus of Route 2A
141.556227.812 south (Clarendon Street)One-way southbound
142.35229.09Beacon StreetEastern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also


  1. ^ Executive Office of Transportation, Office of Transportation Planning - 2005 Road Inventory
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ User: BigRock (April 9, 2007). "Boston's Cancelled Highways". Google Maps. Retrieved 2010.
  5. ^[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-16. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Route 2 Concord Rotary Reconstruction Project". Archived from the original on 2014-11-07. Retrieved .
  8. ^ "Milepost-based Exit Renumbering" (PDF). Massachusetts Department of Transportation. December 5, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Route 2 Renumbering" (PDF). Massachusetts Department of Transportation. December 5, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ "No signs yet from Massachusetts on exit-conversion launch". Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ 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 2016.
  12. ^ a b "MassDOT Route Log Application". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2019.
  13. ^ "Major highway routes and exits". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on October 15, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  14. ^ Google Maps (July 2014). "Street View". Google. Retrieved 2015.
  15. ^ Google Maps (September 2011). "Street View". Google. Retrieved 2015.
  16. ^ "I-495 Renumbering" (PDF). Massachusetts Department of Transportation. December 5, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  17. ^ "I-95 Renumbering" (PDF). Massachusetts Department of Transportation. December 5, 2019. Retrieved 2019.

External links

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata

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