Skip to main content

Some 2010 Massachusetts Sign Photos

The recent holidays gave me an excuse to travel back to my home state and check out progress on the various highway projects, particularly signing projects, going on. While not much progress has been made on MA 3 , one old sign taken down (the original Exit 20 sign for I-93 South), nor on I-93 from Randolph to Boston (1% completed since last spring, a few blue gas/food/lodging signs), there has been new signage put up for other road construction related projects south of Boston.

1. The "128" Add-A-Lane Project. This project, which will add a fourth travel lane between the MA 24 Exit (Exit 4 on I-93/US 1) and the MA 9 Exit (Exit 20 on I-95/128), has started its lane adding-phase after several years of bridge reconstruction projects. Currently, work is mostly complete around the I-95 South interchange and is proceeding north (on I-95) toward the South US 1 Exit and north (on I-93) to MA 24 South exit (confused yet?). New signs started going up on I-95 toward US 1 last fall. Here are the only new ground-level signs on I-95/US 1/MA 128 after the I-95 north merge. Notice one new sign missing in the center?
No US 1 sign. None has ever been put up on the I-95 portion of '128' going this direction, while only 1 appears after the US 1 on ramp going southbound. Here's some of the newer overhead signs heading toward the US 1 South Exit:
Ironically, US 1 is the second ramp at the interchange and is mentioned first. You can see on the left with the widening the grass median has been replaced by cement barriers. This will be the case from MA 24 northward to just before US 1 where the median becomes much wider. Here you can contrast old (left) and new (right) overhead signs:
The final overhead assembly northbound (for now) is made up completely of new signage:
You can also see the sign on the road above has been replaced also, there are, as of now, no references to MA 128 along the road as existed before construction. Turning around now:
At the MA 109 exit, an old sign appears on a new VMS assembly. While the signs on this gantry are old:
The new bridge being built as part of the project can be seen behind it. They have added a new sign assembly 1/2 mile later:
Remnants of the old bridge can be seen on the right. On the road above the sign is new and you can make out a North US 1 trailblazer, but again, no MA 128 signs (there are no more until the 'End 128' sign at what MassDOT now refers to as the the I-93/95 split. The project has also produced a better advanced guide sign for I-93:
The previous sign was a small sign on the left with I-93 and I-95 shields and '2 miles'. This sign is not new, put up last summer, but it's one of the few signs I've seen in Mass. that has the distance in feet:
The posting of this sign allows me to digress by taking the exit ramp and seeing some of the unique signs on the streets around this exit. For example, at the intersection with University Avenue, if one is looking to access '128' North this is what you see:
A 'Mass. Green Sign' before a differentiation was made between state and US routes (Notice again no 128 sign). Turning the corner, however, one gets these signs:
Did we suddenly enter New Jersey? There is also another circle 128 sign across from the intersection in the distance (no photo). And after one turns around one can get directed to interstates directed in opposite directions:
The extra I-95 sign was apparently put up on behalf of unions. What will it read when updated to include US 1?

2. The Burgin Parkway Extension onramp project. This is another project now almost complete which involved moving access to MA 3 south and I-93 from the Parkway from a surface street to a flyover ramp to remove traffic accessing the Crown Colony office development near the Quincy Adams T Station (Exit 19 of off MA 3) from the onramp traffic. In the course of the project, new overhead signs were put up on the existing parkway and new ramp to match those being changed along MA 3. The previous overhead signs were after the T station, now the new first overhead sign is a 1/2 mile earlier and tries to fit in all the possible destinations:
As the road splits the signs provide more detail for the three destinations of traffic:
In this case, the split between the access point for the T Station and office park (the old route to the MA 3 ramps) and the new highway ramps. Notice the shield signs have MA 3 first. Definitely not correct according to MUTCD rules which say interstates should be listed first. However, since MA 3 and I-93 North go together, putting MA 3 after the I-95 shield would imply it is routed on I-93 to I-95 or I-93 South, which is not correct. This is not repeated in the next sign:
There are not, however, like the BGS sign assemblies on MA 3 North itself, any MA 3 or US 1 North trailblazers which are to be put on the right pole of the sign. While one for MA 3 does appear in the photo below (bottom right), sorry about the sun glare, no US 1 sign is present:
I did spot in Downtown Boston, US 1 and MA 3 shields added to a pole of one of the I-93 Big Dig tunnel entrance ramp overhead signs, did not have my camera though. Hopefully more will be put up this year, and maybe the Route 3 signage project will be completed. It appears only 4 more signs (on the Washington Street onramp, opposite where I was taking photos) need replacing, and the promised pole signage to be added, to complete the project which started in 2005. The I-93 project is to be done by 2012, but at the 1% a year pace, dare we say 2099?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Relief Route That Wasn't: The Never Built I-70 Bypass in the Mid-Mon Valley

In June 1963, a small blurb in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette read that The Westmoreland Engineering Company was awarded a $24,060 bid to study the proposed construction of Interstate 70 in Westmoreland and Washington Counties.  The study was to see what the construction and right-of-way costs "...to modernize the existing highway to Interstate requirements within eight months." (1)  This small, non-attributed, three paragraph article came less than a decade after the completion of a four lane highway that linked the Mid-Mon Valley to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This would be the start of a 15 year process to upgrade and improve Interstate 70 - a process that ultimately never produced a single foot of new highway.

This is the story, albeit brief, of the I-70 that never came about.

Background:
What is now known as Interstate70 from Washington to New Stanton began as a connecting highway for the region to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Known as the "Express Highway", construct…

A look at Pittsburgh's Saw Mill Run Boulevard

Saw Mill Run Boulevard - Pennsylvania State Route 51 - runs through the narrow Saw Mill Run Valley.  It begins at the intersection of Clairton Road and Provost Road at the City of Pittsburgh Line with Brentwood.  It ends at the West End Circle at the entrance to the West End Bridge.  A four lane highway for its the entire length, Saw Mill Run Boulevard consists of interchanges at the South Portal of the Liberty Tubes and with the Parkway West.  It is an expressway from the Parkway to the West End Circle (West End Bypass).  One of the most well known traffic tie-ups in the Pittsburgh area occurs between Maytide Street and PA 88 (Library Road) which is simply known as 'Maytide and 88.'

History:
Saw Mill Run Boulevard was part of the 1928 Allegheny County 'City Beautiful' bond issue.  The bonds resulted in the creation of Saw Mill Run, Ohio River, Allegheny River and Mosside Boulevards. (1)   After the completion of the Liberty Tunnels in 1924, Downtown Pittsburgh was offic…

The Many Failed Plans of Pittsburgh's Wabash Bridge and Tunnel

The December 27, 2004 opening of the Wabash Tunnel ended over 70 years of proposals and speculation for the use of the over 100 year old facility.  The tunnel, which is now a reversible roadway that is an alternative route for rush hour traffic, saw many failed plans during the 20th Century.  These plans included options for mass transit, converted and new bridges for vehicles, and other forms of transportation.

Brief History:
Constructed in 1902-04, the Wabash Bridge and Tunnel was planned and financed by rail mogul, Jay Gould.  Gould began his "Battle of the Wabash" with the established railroads of the city in 1890.  He would finally emerge victorious, but during that struggle, Gould would see many setbacks that would eventually result in the railroad's bankruptcy in 1908.  On October 19, 1903, when the two ends of the bridge were to be joined together over the Monongahela River, the 109' bridge collapsed; killing ten men.  Construction would resume four days later …