Route 2 highlighted in red
|Length||142.29 mi (228.99 km)|
|Existed||1927, 1971 (current alignment)-present|
|West end||in Petersburgh, NY|
|East end||Beacon Street in Boston|
|Counties||Berkshire, Franklin, Worcester, Middlesex, Suffolk, Norfolk|
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.
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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.
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 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.
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.
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. In place of the highway project, the MBTA Red Line was extended from Harvard to Alewife in the 1980s.
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 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.
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.
|County||Location||mi||km||Old exit||New exit||Destinations||Notes|
|Berkshire||Williamstown||0.000||0.000||west - Troy, NY||Continuation into New York|
|3.824||6.154||south - Pittsfield||Western end of concurrency with US 7|
|6.221||10.012||north - Bennignton, VT||Eastern end of concurrency with US 7, the beginning of the Mohawk Trail|
|6.746||10.857||south - Hancock, Stephentown, NY||Northern terminus of Route 43|
|North Adams||11.571||18.622||south - Adams||Western end of concurrency with Route 8|
|11.740||18.894||south||Northern terminus of Route 8A "U" segment|
|12.405||19.964||north - Clarksburg, Stamford, VT||Eastern end of concurrency with Route 8|
|Franklin||Charlemont||29.807||47.970||south - Hawley, Windsor||Western end of concurrency with Route 8A|
|30.4||48.9||north - Heath, Wilmington, VT||Eastern end of concurrency with Route 8A|
|Buckland||37.390||60.173||east - Shelburne Falls||Former western terminus of Route 2A|
|37.806||60.843||south - Buckland, Ashfield||Western end of concurrency with Route 112|
|Shelburne||38.062||61.255||north - Shelburne Falls, Colrain||Eastern end of concurrency with Route 112|
|38.942||62.671||west - Shelburne Falls, Buckland||Former western end of concurrency with Route 2A|
|Greenfield||47.398||76.280||26||43||south / east - Springfield, Hartford, CT, Greenfield Center||Western end of concurrency with I-91 and Route 2A. Current western terminus of Route 2A|
|50.139||80.691||27||46||north - Brattleboro, VT, White River Jct., VT||Eastern end of concurrency with I-91|
|50.789||81.737||—||—||/ - Greenfield, Bernardston||Interchange|
|51.480||82.849||East end of freeway|
|52.242||84.075||west - Greenfield Center||Western end of concurrency with Route 2A|
|Erving||57.1||91.9||Gateway Drive to - Northfield, Millers Falls|
|57.4||92.4||Forest Street to - Northfield, Hinsdale, NH|
|57.7||92.9||Prospect Street to - Millers Falls|
|64.865||104.390||east to - Orange, Wendell||Eastern end of concurrency with Route 2A|
|65.060||104.704||West end of Super-2 freeway|
|Orange||66.571||107.136||14||67||West River Street – Orange Center|
|69.788||112.313||15||70||- Orange, Worcester|
|70.676||113.742||16||71||south - Amherst, Belchertown||Western end of concurrency with US 202|
|Worcester||Athol||75.155||120.950||17||75||- Athol, Petersham|
|Phillipston||76.474||123.073||18||77||- Athol, Phillipston|
|79.009||127.153||19||79||north / - Gardner, Winchendon, Phillipston||Eastern end of concurrency with US 202; western end of divided freeway|
|Templeton||81.915||131.829||20||82||Baldwinville Road – Templeton, Baldwinville|
|83.459||134.314||21||83||/ - Templeton, Ashburnham|
|Gardner||86.500||139.208||22||86||- Gardner, Hubbardston|
|87.253||140.420||23||87||Pearson Boulevard - South Gardner|
|Westminster||89.738||144.419||24||90||north / West Main Street south - Winchendon, Westminster||Western end of concurrency with Route 140; signed as exits 24A (south) and 24B (north) westbound (scheduled to be 90A (south) and 90B (north) westbound)|
|91.764||147.680||25||92||/ south - Westminster||Eastern end of concurrency with Route 140|
|92.568||148.974||26||93||Willard Road / Village Inn Road||Eastbound exit only|
|93.479||150.440||27||94||Narrows Road / Depot Road|
|Fitchburg||94.495||152.075||28||95||- Fitchburg, Princeton|
|Fitchburg-Leominster line||96.279||154.946||29||—||Mount Elam Road||Partial at-grade intersection with right-in/right-out connections only|
|98.007||157.727||30||98||Merriam Avenue / South Street|
|31||99||- Fitchburg, Leominster||Signed as exits 31A (south) and 31B (north) westbound (scheduled to be 99A (south) and 99B (north) westbound)|
|100.355||161.506||32||100||- Leominster, Lunenburg|
|101.125||162.745||33||101||south - Worcester/Mechanic St, Leominster||Northern terminus of I-190; exits 19A-B (old exits 8A-B) on I-190|
|Lancaster||102.429||164.843||34||102||Mechanic Street / Harvard Street||Exit partially in Leominster|
|103.497||166.562||35||103||south - Lancaster||Northern terminus of Route 70|
|104.917||168.848||36||105||Shirley Road – Lancaster, Shirley|
|106.419||171.265||37||106||Jackson Road – Devens, Reserve Forces Training Area||Signed as Exits 37A (no public access) and 37B westbound, exit partially in Harvard (scheduled to be exits 106A and 106B westbound)|
|38||109||/ - Harvard, Ayer||Signed as exits 38A (south/west) and 38B (north/east) (scheduled to be exits 109A (south/west) and 109B (north/east))|
|Middlesex||Littleton||113.050||181.936||39||112||Taylor Street – Littleton|
|40||113||- Marlboro, Lowell||Signed as exits 40A (south) and 40B (north) (scheduled to be exits 113A (south) and 113B (north)); exits 29A-B on I-495 (scheduled to be exits 78A-B)|
|Boxborough||115.505||185.887||41||115||Newtown Road – West Acton, Littleton|
|Acton||117.612||189.278||42||117||- Maynard, Acton|
|118.013||189.924||43||117||north - West Acton||Westbound left exit and eastbound entrance; western terminus of concurrency with Route 111|
|118.013||189.924||East end of freeway|
|Concord||120.465||193.870||west / west / north - Littleton||Rotary; western end of concurrency with Route 2A; eastern terminus of Routes 119; southern terminus of Route 111|
|121.691||195.843||(Main Street) - West Concord, Maynard|
|123.901||199.399||south (Walden Street) to - Walden Pond, Waltham||Northern terminus of Route 126|
|124.824||200.885||50||125||east||Partial interchange; eastern end of concurrency with Route 2A|
|Lincoln||126.256||203.189||Bedford Road||At-grade intersection; to Route 2A|
|Lexington||128.135||206.213||West end of freeway|
|128.527||206.844||52||127||/ - Providence, RI, Portsmouth, NH||Signed as exits 52A (south) and 52B (north) (scheduled to be exits 127A (south) and 127B (north)); exits 29A-B on I-95 / Route 128 (scheduled to be exits 45A-B)|
|129.010||207.621||53||128||Spring Street – Lexington||No westbound exit|
|130.002||209.218||54||129||Waltham Street – Lexington, Waltham||Signed as Exits 54A (Waltham) and 54B (Lexington) (scheduled to be exits 129A (Waltham) and 129B (Lexington)); westbound exits and eastbound entrances|
|130.894||210.653||55||130||Pleasant Street – Lexington||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
|131.435||211.524||56||131||Winter Street – Belmont||Eastbound signage|
|north / west / Winter Street - Lexington, Bedford||Westbound signage; southern terminus of Route 4; eastern terminus of Route 225|
|Arlington-Belmont line||131.990||212.417||57||132||Dow Avenue – Arlington, Belmont|
|Belmont||132.711||213.578||58||133||Park Avenue – Arlington|
|Belmont-Arlington line||133.690||215.153||59||134||- Belmont, Arlington|
|Arlington||134.130||215.861||60||135||Lake Street – East Arlington|
|134.649||216.697||—||—||Alewife Station||Eastbound exit only|
|Arlington-Cambridge line||134.915||217.125||East end of freeway|
|Cambridge||135.005||217.269||north / east (Alewife Brook Parkway) - Medford, Woburn||Western end of concurrency with US 3 and Route 16|
|136.354||219.440||west (Huron Avenue) - Watertown, West Newton||Eastern end of concurrency with Route 16|
|139.280||224.149||south (Memorial Drive)||Eastern end of concurrency with US 3|
|Charles River||139.349||224.260||Boston University Bridge|
|Suffolk||Boston||139.531||224.553||(Commonwealth Avenue) - Brighton, Kenmore Square|
||No major junctions|
|Suffolk||Boston||140.446||226.026||west (Commonwealth Avenue)||Kenmore Square; eastern terminus of US 20|
|140.881||226.726||west (Massachusetts Avenue)||Eastern terminus of Route 2A|
|141.556||227.812||south (Clarendon Street)||One-way southbound|
|142.35||229.09||Beacon Street||Eastern terminus|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|