October 26, 2017

State collecting input on I-495/Mass Pike interchange plans

The new all-electronic tolling system on the Massachusetts Turnpike has enabled MassDOT to change the configuration of the I-495 interchange.

Massachusetts is looking for thoughts from the public on plans to overhaul the interchange of the Massachusetts Turnpike and I-495.

Few details have been released on what the state has in mind, but the Department of Transportation says last year's transition to all-electronic tolling on the Pike has allowed for the first significant changes at the interchange since it was built in the 1960s.

A new design for the interchange would aim for better traffic flow and safety for what the state says is a major entry point for trucks into Eastern Massachusetts. The interchange covers an area where Hopkinton, Southborough and Westborough meet.

When tollbooths were in place, cars passed through the same area whether they were going east or west on the Pike, or north or south on 495. That no longer has to be the case now that tolls are collected automatically as cars drive along the Pike.

It is a dangerous interchange, according to the state, which said 460 crashes took place between 2011 and 2015, including two fatal accidents.

The state has completed a study on potential changes to the interchange and plans to select a preferred design after two public meetings next month.

Public input sessions are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Nov. 15 at Hopkinton Middle School at 88 Hayden Rowe St., and at 7 p.m. on Nov. 16 at Westborough Town Hall at 34 W. Main St.


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