Skip to main content

I-93 Signage Update

I took advantage of the first (and seemingly now, only) real good weather day of the week to take a quick road trip up I-93 north of Boston to check out the progress of the two sign replacement projects nearing completion. On my way, I checked out progress on the rehabilitation of the Neponset River Bridge which carries MA 3A from Quincy to Boston. Work has been going on for three years, and the work is now almost completed. Last week they opened all the lanes northbound...
Here's the view approaching Neponset Circle, not jammed with traffic as usual:
 The I-93 on-ramp, still with 1980s overhead signage (more below) lies just beyond. Meanwhile, while they still have restrictions southbound, new signage has gone up (and on the northbound side as well):
The 3A sign on the right seems to have some spacing issues at the top. The signs though are an improvement over the 1970s era signs they replaced.

I-93 Signage
A. Southern Project (Somerville to Wilmington)
Work on the southern project is almost completed. According to MassDOT the project was 84% complete as of a couple weeks ago. The remaining work appears to be related to regulatory signage. I noticed there was a need for more speed limit signs heading northbound. As for overhead signage, most appears up. For signs that had been placed prior to this past May, see my previous post. As for newer signage since then...
While the overhead signs above were there in June, the on-ramp signage to the right was old, it has since been updated. Both new overheads use the original gantries placed when I-93 opened in the 1970s. Some of the signage over both lanes, though, has been replaced by cantilevered versions for specific exits:
The MA 16 and MA 60 exits used to be on the same overhead, now they are on separated signs:
 Heading northbound, the other new signs south of I-95 that were not there in June are for the MA 28 Fellsway exit:
The signs in the distance on MA 28 were replaced as well, though one old one is still there. While the signage for Montvale Ave was up in June, it was blocked by the old sign that had not been taken down yet:
Besides putting the remaining signs up for the I-95/MA 128 exit, MassDOT has been busy repaving the highway in the area of the interchange:
MassDOT policy prohibits the placing of MA 128 shields on the overhead signs, so the 'publicly preferred' designation for the roadway gets auxiliary signs at each ramp entrance (well, almost, see below). This is the northbound assembly at the south I-95 off-ramp:
The South 128 sign is there, just out of frame. The Commerce Way exit signs are supplemented by portable message boards indicating when the next train will arrive.(not pictured)

Heading back southbound, here are the new I-95 signs (sorry for the picture quality going this direction):
Notice there's not auxiliary sign for MA 128 here, though there is at the North I-95 on-ramp:
The signs for the next two exits were largely in place in June. I was able, though to get a better photo of the new Park St exit sign and I-93 reassurance marker this time:
The rest of the signage southbound was new. Here is the Fellsway West exit signage heading toward Boston:
The MA 60 Exit sign now has a 'To MA 16 West' addition to complement the next exit which is only for MA 16 East:
In addition to 'Big Green Signs' MassDOT has installed Overhead Warning Signs as well (BYWS?), this for hieight restrictions in the Big Dig Tunnels (formerly on a ground mounted sign):
Meanwhile to the right, the project to complete a sound barrier wall along this section of I-93 has been completed. The auxiliary MA 16 sign at right is a holdover from before the sign replacement project. Here's the southbound signage for MA 16 East complementing the MA 16 West signage at MA 60:
The only other change to an exit sign contents is the now MA 38 exit which used to be MA 28/MA 38:
The '3 Mi/4 Min' variable message sign indicates the time to the Zakim Bridge. Good news to me, since when I went by northbound traffic was backed up to the MA 38 on-ramp. Here are the new overheads for the last two exits covered by this sign replacement contract:
The sign to the left is for the HOV lane that is restricted to 2+ occupant vehicles during the morning commute. Here's the signage just before the beginning of the HOV lane:
This is the last sign on a new overhead assembly. The final signs for Assembly Square are on the original gantries:
Though the contract officially runs to Exit 28 southbound, the sign for the Leverett Connector (MA 28/MA 3 North) is new as well.

B. Northern Project (Wilmington to NH Border):
This project is behind its southern counterpart. MassDOT indicated it was 79% complete as a couple weeks ago. There are still some older overhead assemblies present and places where only the new vertical sign supports have gone up. Still, this is great progress over last May when no new overhead signs were present.
Here's the first new signage northbound for  Concord St in Wilmington:
The new I-93 North reassurance marker is partly hidden by the white SUV on the right. The next new signs are for  the MA 62 and MA 125 exits:
Here's a view of the signage at the MA 125 off-ramp:
Notice the orange tag referencing the new sign placement in back, this implies this sign was put up recently. Another example of new MassDOT Big Yellow Warning Signs is northbound before the lane drop in Andover:
A relatively new I-93 mile marker is below the sign, hopefully in the next few years to reflect a new exit numbering system for the highway. The next big interchange is with I-495 near Lawrence, here given a 2-mile advance sign just before the MA 133 exit:
Here are the new signs at the I-495 interchange itself:
The last new signs I checked out northbound were for MA 110/MA 113 and River Road just before I-93 crosses the Merrimack River:
While turning around I got a photo of the typical I-93 on-ramp signage in this area:
Typically these 'Mass. Guide Signs' have 2 destinations, but all the I-93 southbound ones I've seen just indicate Boston. 

Heading southbound, here's an example of new signs still needed to be put up just before the I-495 exit:
One of the vertical posts for the new overheads can be seen on the right. Given the lack of I-93 signage on overheads heading north, I assume the new overheads will just have I-495 exit related information. Here's another photo heading south showing a new sign for the MA 125 exit and the fall foliage in the Andover area:
One of the last new highway overheads heading south for this part of the project is at the ramp for MA 125 previewing the MA 62 exit ahead:
Both projects will hopefully be wrapped up by the end of the year (they were supposed to be completed this past summer and MassDOT lists them as inactive (completed) projects). Since the same contractor is responsible for the I-93 replacement project south of Boston, which has barely been started in the year since it was let, hopefully the completion of these two contracts will allow resources to be shifted south. When there is progress on I-93 between Boston and Randolph, I will post an update.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 38

California State Route 38 is a fifty-nine-mile State Highway located entirety in San Bernardino County and a component of the Rim of the World Highway.  California State Route 38 begins at California State Route 18 at Bear Valley Dam of the San Bernardino Mountains and follows an easterly course on the north shore of Big Bear Lake.  California State Route 38 briefly multiplexes California State Route 18 near Baldwin Lake and branches east towards the 8,443-foot-high Onyx Summit.  From Onyx Summit the routing of California State Route 38 reverses course following a largely westward path through the San Bernardino Mountains towards a terminus at Interstate 10 in Redlands.   Pictured as the blog cover is California State Route 38 at Onyx Summit the day it opened to traffic on August 12th, 1961.   Part 1; the history of California State Route 38 California State Route 38 (CA 38) is generally considered to be the back way through the San Bernardino Mountains to Big Bear Lake of Bear Valley

The original alignment of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh

Firebaugh is a city located on the San Joaquin River of western Fresno County.  Firebaugh is one of the oldest American communities in San Joaquin Valley having been settled as the location of Firebaugh's Ferry in 1854.  Traditionally Firebaugh has been served by California State Route 33 which was one of the original Sign State Routes announced during August 1934.  In modern times California State Route 33 is aligned through Firebaugh on N Street.  Originally California State Route 33 headed southbound passed through Firebaugh via; N Street, 8th Street, O Street, 12th Street, Nees Avenue and Washoe Avenue.  The blog cover depicts early California State Route 33 near Firebaugh crossing over a one-lane canal bridge.  The image below is from the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Fresno County which depicts the original alignment of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh. Part 1; the history of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh The community of Firebaugh is named in honor of Andr

Driving the Watkins Glen Historic Road Course - New York

  Situated at the south end of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, Watkins Glen is well known for wineries along Seneca Lake and waterfalls at Watkins Glen State Park . But one thing that gives the town much renown is its connection to the world of auto racing. The raceway at Watkins Glen Internationa l holds a number of big races every year, such as Six Hours at the Glen and the NASCAR Cup Series . The history of auto racing at Watkins Glen starts during the 1940s when the race followed a course on local roads and also through the streets of downtown Watkins Glen. It's a course that you can follow today, preferably at a more moderate speed than the auto racers of yore raced at. Let's explore the history of the original course, how it came to by and why it is no more. Organized races through the village of Watkins Glen and surrounding roads were first proposed and started by Cameron R. Argetsinger in 1948, marking the beginning of post-war sports car