Skip to main content

Two Day Drive Along I-95

I had a conference to attend on Friday and Saturday in Portsmouth, NH. Since I decided to save some money and not book a room, but commute instead, I had a couple opportunities to check out new signage along I-95 (and parts of I-93 too) both Friday and Saturday.

1. Friday Drive
For the Friday trip up I used I-93 and US 1 to take me to I-95 in Peabody. The only new sign worth taking a photo of along I-93 was the newly placed Exit 15 attractions sign which had been put up blank in February but recently received its logos:
MassDOT has gone recently to brown backgrounds for the site logo, originally these were a darker blue. The placement of the sign makes it hard to see around the light pole. There was nothing else new to report. The contractor still has additional foundations to pour before they can start installing sign supports along this stretch of I-93 from Braintree to Boston.

There is a new sign replacement project to complete the sign updating along I-95 from Peabody to the NH border. Work along the contract area has only recently begun with just 7% of it reported complete according to MassDOT as of early March. The only signs of work were a few overhead sign support foundations, or holes preparing for foundations and new gore signs for Exits 47 and 48 in the Danvers area. Work has begun on on building a new Merrimack River bridge and widening I-95 between Exits 57 and 58. Here's a photo I took Friday of the construction:

The new bridge is being built east of the current bridge, barriers are along both sides of the roadway while the new 4th lane is built north of the bridge in the existing median. Here's a closer look approaching the bridge from Saturday morning:
There were two lanes closed on Saturday morning, only one Friday.

On the way back I decided to take I-95 around Boston to check out new signage going up between Lexington and Newton. This project, again according to MassDOT, is now 54% complete and still scheduled to be completed this fall. Here's a late afternoon shot of the new overhead for MA 4/MA 225 after the US 3 exit in Burlington:
This is to supplant the ground-mounted new signs put up under the Burlington to Reading sign contract completed in 2011:
That's still standing for now. Here's the next new overhead sign with, surprise, an older sign behind it:
The pole in front is for a traffic camera, which first clued me in a new sign had been installed. There area also more sporadic new signage heading south. Here's the one new sign for MA 2A:
The one mile advance sign has been changed out, but the only other is for MA 2A West...
There is only one new sign for the next interchange, MA 2 heading southbound. The 1/2 mile advance sign for MA 2 West:
The only other new sign in the vicinity is an updated version of the ground mounted Waltham exits auxiliary sign:
New signage had been previously placed at the Totten Pond Road exit when the bridge was reconstructed in 2012. The next new signage under the current contract is for US 20.
This 1 mile advance overhead is followed by a new ground-mounted auxiliary sign for MA 117:
And then a new 1/2 mile advance overhead for US 20:
A separate contract is installing new larger 'Best Route to Logan Airport' with a plane logo and arrow pointing in the correct direction. Here is one of these signs approaching the Mass Pike/I-90 exit:
Similar signs have gone up on I-93 North in Braintree and I-95 South in Peabody (the latter telling drivers to use the US 1 exit). The next new signage is just beyond the I-90 interchange:
Quite a lot of info for one overhead assembly. Three different exits and a blue sign for the one remaining service plaza along '128' heading southbound. The new signs remove the MBTA information from the overheads for Exit 22 and put them onto ground-mounted auxiliary signs:
There is also one new overhead sign for the MA 16 East exit, the last new sign under this contract heading south:
There are more new overhead signage heading southbound from the '128 Add-A-Lane' project which is now concentrating efforts between Great Plain Ave and MA 109 in Dedham. Here's the first:
A new 1/2 mile advance sign for Great Plain Ave. put up last fall. There area also a couple other newer sign assemblies put up at the same time further south, here before the off-ramp to Great Plain Ave:
That covers the 1/2 mile advance sign for MA 135 as well, and a couple at the MA 135 exit:
This one missing a future 'Exit Only' banner, while the one at the off-ramp:
Has the banner but needs a lane for it. There is one more new overhead, the one-mile advance for MA 109, the rest of the signs for that exit still need to be replaced.


2. Saturday
On the trip up Saturday, I decided to heed MassDOT's advice and avoid driving I-93 through Boston due to possible congestion from lanes closed for ceiling replacement in the I-90/Mass Pike Prudential Tunnel. This afforded me the opportunity to check out new I-95 construction and signage northbound:
There is now a new lane-split northbound, following that which existed southbound last year, for rebuilding the north I-95 bridge over MA 135. The barriers are protecting the construction zone. Most of the new lanes have been completed. The hold up for this section is the delay in building the bridges for MA 109 which required a design change due to problems with the subsurface rock. Here's a close-up of the lane split approaching MA 135:
Though somewhat obvious, there is no sign saying you need to stay right in order to access the MA 135 off-ramp. The new median barrier ends after the railroad bridge over I-95 after the Great Plain Ave exit:
The final segment of the Add-A-Lane project to MA 9 is supposed to start later this year.

Now back to progress of new signage along I-95 from Newton to Lexington. The latest overhead assembly to go up is approaching the MA 16 exit ramp:
The new I-90 signage matches that previously put up at the off-ramp with the yellow toll banner and Mass Pike logo replacing text. The 'missing Exit 22' is handled by separate new signage for that exit and auxiliary MBTA logo signage seen in the distance. The next new overhead sign was in addition to the new Totten Pond Rd overheads put up in 2012 at the interchange itself. This is the 3/4-Mile advance sign:
Like southbound, new signage is sporadic along I-95 in Waltham and Lexington. This is the 1-Mile advance for Trapelo Road:
The next new sign is at the off-ramp westbound:
Unlike southbound, there are no new overheads for the MA 2 Exit, the next new sign is at the ramp for MA 2A (and the only remaining service plaza northbound):
If you can see the mile marker, this one day will be Exit 46. There is one additional new sign for MA 2A on the C/D ramp after the Service Plaza:
This one for MA 2A West. The last remaining new signs for this project are for the MA 4/MA 225 Exit in Lexington:
There is a new 1-Mile Advance, and 1/2 mile advance signage which, unlike Southbound, are not accompanied by older signage:
And the last new sign is at the westbound off-ramp:
The only new section of '128' lacking new signage now is the section between I-93 and US 1 in Peabody. The only other section of I-95 needing a signage update, besides the remainder of the 'Add-A-Lane' project area, is south of I-93, Exit 12 to the RI border.

In the way home I took a quick trip into Maine via the US 1 bridge that was closed for repair the last time I was in Portsmouth in June 2013:
Here's the view looking south toward Portsmouth, and here is the view heading north:

Here's a photo a left-over detour sign for US 1 in Maine:

On the way home I was able to confirm most of the erroneous MA 2A signs along Mass Ave in Boston's South End had been removed following a Feb. TV report which left some Boston transportation officials with egg on their faces. The few remaining signs have had their directional banners removed, replaced by either 'To' or 'Jct' banners. I could not get any decent photos of these remaining signs, that will have to wait until my next trip into Boston.

To see previous photos taken of new signage check out my I-93 Photo Page or I-95 Photo Page .

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The story on how the unbuilt US 40 Expressway in Brownsville took 40 years to complete.

For nearly four decades, the four lane US 40 just east of Brownsville came to an abrupt end - shown in the photo above - at Grindstone Road in Redstone Township.   In the late 1960s, what was then the Pennsylvania Division of Highways (PennDOH) extended a new four lane alignment of US 40 eastwards from Broadway Street slightly over one mile to Grindstone Road where an incomplete diamond interchange was built.  Earlier in the decade, PennDOH had built a four lane US 40 in Washington County into Brownsville complete with a new crossing over the Monongahela River known as the Lane Bane Bridge.  This new highway and bridge allowed US 40 to bypass the older Intercounty Bridge and downtown Brownsville. 

After this new highway opened, nothing would happen to it for nearly forty years.  US 40 traffic would use the ramps for this planned diamond interchange and then jog on Grindstone Road briefly before continuing towards Uniontown on the original National Road. 
What is unknown (at least to…

The story of the Boy Scout Ramps on Interstate 79 North in NW Pennsylvania

If you are traveling on Interstate 79 North of Pittsburgh, you may notice the remnants of a set of off and on ramps at mile 100 just north of Exit 99 (US 422).  There's a story behind these ramps.  Forty years ago, these ramps were built specifically for two Boy Scout Jamboree's that were held at Moraine State Park - 1973 and 1977.  The ramps purpose were to provide access to the north shore of Lake Arthur where the bulk of the festivities and campsite for the Jamboree were located.  (Lawrence County Memories has a great write up and map of the festivities on its site.)

Not long after the Jamboree ended the ramps were abandoned.  There are still remnants of the Boy Scout Ramps today.



Above: Sattelite view of the Boy Scout Jamboree Ramps. 
Below: A view of the ramps from I-79 South.



The google street view image above gives a view along West Park Road of where the set of ramps intersected the highway.  The ramps provided direct access to North Shore Drive (which is the right tur…

The few clues of the Northern Durham Parkway

Sometimes when you look through a box of maps for the first time in five years, you come across something you may have easily over looked.  Such was the case when I found a 2004 (so rather recent) map of Raleigh.  This map was made by the Dolph Map Company for WakeMed.  In the Northwestern corner of Wake County, there were two items to the map showing roads that are still not in existence 13 years later.

The road is the Northern Durham Parkway - this is a proposed 19 mile highway from US 501 north of Durham to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.  The first proposals for this highway date back to 1967 when Eno Drive-Gorman Road was listed on the Durham Area Thoroughfare Plan. (1)  Other proposals called the highway the Northwest and Northeast Durham Loop. (2)  The route would serve as a northern and eastern bypass of Durham almost serving as a near loop.  The route was fought vigorously for three decades by the Eno River Association citing concerns for the the Eno River, nearby n…