Route Expressway Exit Lists
and Future Exit Numbers*
On October 18,
2019 MassDOT announced it would convert the state's limited access
highway exit numbers to the Geographic Reference or Milepost Exit
Numbering system between late summer 2020
and 2022 (some media reports have the project completed by spring
2021). This follows a four year
delay for the project originally announced in fall of 2015 (Project No.
608024) that would have converted the state's limited access highway's
exit numbers in 2016 and 2017.
The new project appears to be similar to the
earlier one in that it will start converting exits west to east (and
each highway north to south or east to west) over probably a 2 year
period. Differences include that it will be proceeded by a public
information campaign and the creation of a new website that will
provide information on the new exit numbers. Also, this project will
not include the Lowell Connector or Route 28 along with I-291 and
I-391, due to the small number and/or close proximity of the exits.
When the project starts in 2020 it will not
change exit signs, but will replace the numbers on the exit tabs, as
shown in the left diagrams from MassDOT from 2015, and place yellow
Old Exit # tabs under the gore signs with the new exit numbers:2
On November 19, 2019 MassDOT unveiled a website
its own logo:
which contained lists of the future 'proposed'
exit numbers. The proposed numbers are mostly, unlike those from the
postponed 2016 project which was determined on a 'round down'
philosophy, based on simple rounding (below .5 down, for .5 and above,
up). They also eliminated the proposed use of Exit 0 which reduced the
need for many lettered exits for many routes. Public hearings will be
held to get citizen comments. I plan to attend the February 11 meeting
The following lists have the current number and
the proposed exit number, based on the numbers in the 2015 contract
documents, for each state highway listed:
the 2020 Exit Renumbering project, MassDOT does not plan to add
milepost exit numbers to highways without existing exit numbers, some
of the highways listed here were to have numbers under the postponed
2015 renumbering project.
** Numbers listed
were to be added under the postponed 2015 exit renumbering project.
Lists include suggestions as to how
some of the proposed exit numbers may be changed to more accurately
reflect the mile posts.
(1) Post by
Roadman in AARoads Forum, Northeast Group, I-90 / Mass Pike Signing Work
thread, 5/10/2016, downloaded from:
(2) Taken from p.
A00803-5 from Project 608024, Project Drawings and Detail Sheets, Part
1, MassDOT, Highway Division, downloaded from:
Link under 'File Attachments.'
History about the
postponement of the 2015 contract:
10/5/16: It appears MassDOT has indefinitely postponed
work to change exit numbers to those based on highway mileposts. Work
was to start in January 2016 to convert highway exit numbers, first in
the western part of the state then working eastward (except for
numbers on the Mass. Turnpike/I-90 which will be changed under another
contract) with a completion date for the entire project of early 2018.
However, it appears the start of work is now on hold, with no specific
start date announced. This appears to be the results of feedback from
politicians and the public after news of the project got out.
Officials on Cape Cod were publicly critical of MassDOT's plan (see
in the Cape Cod Times) and the State Highway Administrator, Tom
Tinlin is quoted in a Worcester
Telegram & Gazette article saying he had not yet signed off
on the project. In a public meeting in June, officials indicated the
existing exit numbers would be used on the new signs, but that the
exit tabs and gore signs would be designed to hold the larger milepost
numbers if converted sometime in the future. Back in April, MassDOT
announced the winning bidder for a project to replace exit signs on
I-495. The contract was modified to include a clause whereby the state
would inform the contractor whether to use milepost based numbers or
keep the sequential numbers for the new signs at a later time.
On October 1, MassDOT re-advertised a project
first advertised last year that would have replaced exit signs in the
Big Dig and Mass Pike tunnels in Boston with those with new numbers.
Based on a website forum comment from a MassDOT sign engineer, the new
contract will now install signs with the existing numbers, but like
with US 6, the signs will be designed to display milepost based
numbers, if and when a switch is made. He also indicated that for the
time being, this will be standard operating procedure for new signage
replacement contracts. Signs on the Mass Pike designed for the use of
milepost numbers will use the current sequential numbers as well. (1)
A MassDOT official quoted in this July
29 Article in the Cape Cod Times says “We continue to evaluate
what would be in the best interest of Massachusetts taxpayers and
drivers with the federal government’s milepost-based exit numbering
initiative,” “Logistically, there are many questions which still need
to be answered concerning how Massachusetts would transition to
distance-based numbering and what the potential impacts could be on
the communities we serve." For more details about the reluctance by
MassDOT to start the conversion, see This
Check Out Other Exit Lists:
Site Created: February 10, 2014
Last Updated: January 12, 2020
2013-2020 Robert H. Malme