Massachusetts Route 2A

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Route 2A

Route 2A highlighted in red
Route information
Auxiliary route of Route 2
Maintained by MassDOT
Length98.5 mi[1][2] (158.5 km)
Major junctions
West end I-91 / Route 2 in Greenfield
Major intersections
East end Route 2 in Boston
CountryUnited States
CountiesFranklin, Worcester, Middlesex, Suffolk
Highway system
Route 2 US 3

Route 2A is a 98.5-mile-long (158.5 km) east–west state highway in Massachusetts. It exists in several sections of Massachusetts, mainly as parts of former Route 2 that have been moved or upgraded. Route 2A runs from Greenfield in the west to Boston in the east. It formerly extended to Shelburne Falls in Buckland in the west, but as of 2007, the route terminates at Interstate 91 (I-91) in Greenfield.

Route description

Eastbound at the Garden Theater in Greenfield
Route 2A signage on Massachusetts Avenue near MIT

Route 2A begins at the rotary intersection with Route 2 at I-91 in Greenfield. It passes through downtown Greenfield before reconnecting to its parent route just west of the Greenfield-Gill town line. After a 12.6-mile (20.3 km) silent concurrency, Route 2A leaves Route 2 once more, passing through Orange and Athol. In Athol it passes the former northern terminus of Route 21, which was truncated to Belchertown after the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir. From Phillipston through Westminster, Route 2A weaves around its parent route, crossing it a total of six times with five exits of access off of Route 2. In Fitchburg the road is shared with several other routes as it passes through the northern half of town. Once in Lunenburg it has another short concurrency with Route 13 just north of the former Whalom Park before crossing into Middlesex County at Shirley.

In Shirley, Route 2A passes north of Fort Devens into Ayer, heading into Littleton and crossing I-495 at exit 79 (formerly exit 30). It then turns south through Acton and into Concord before rejoining its parent route once more. As a silent concurrency, it passes south of the historic center of town and north of Walden Pond before splitting again. Route 2A then passes through the Minuteman National Historical Park just south of the Battle Road, the route taken by British troops between the Battles of Lexington and Concord. It then leaves the park, intersecting with I-95/Route 128 at exit 46 (formerly 30). The road passes south of Lexington's town center before winding into Arlington. In Arlington, the road begins a concurrency with U.S. Route 3 (US 3) which eventually joins the route to Massachusetts Avenue (Mass Ave). After US 3 leaves Mass Ave at Alewife Brook Parkway, Route 2A continues through the city of Cambridge, passing by Harvard Yard and through Harvard Square. Due to the one-way circulation patterns of the square, Route 2A follows Mass Ave in the westbound direction and a combination of Massachusetts Avenue, Brattle Street, and Mt. Auburn Street in the eastbound direction before rejoining Mass Ave east of Putnam Avenue. It then passes by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It intersects the junction of US 3 and Route 3 at Memorial Drive before crossing the Harvard Bridge (also known as the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge) and crossing into Boston, ending at Route 2 and Commonwealth Avenue.

Signage mistakes

In 2013, Route 2A signs were extended 2.2 miles (3.5 km) further into Boston through the Back Bay and South End neighborhoods along Massachusetts Avenue. This extension connected it with several additional numbered routes including the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) by its junction with Boylston Street, Huntington Avenue (Route 9), Columbus Avenue (Route 28), and Massachusetts Avenue Connector (which connects with I-93/US 1/Route 3 via I-93 Frontage Road) in Roxbury. Not only did neither the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) nor the Boston Transportation Department, acknowledge that Route 2A had been extended, they denied knowing who put up the signs, indicating it was the action of an unknown organization. The Route 2A signs themselves had either wrong directional banners (signed as a north-south highway at least once north of Melnea Cass Boulevard) or are signed backwards (east going west and vice versa), as it heads in a northwesterly direction towards Commonwealth Avenue beyond Tremont Street. On February 26, Boston television station, WFXT-TV aired an investigative reporting segment showing the incorrect signs and their attempt to track down the source. In the report, Boston transportation officials admitted they had paid a private firm, Jacobs Engineering, to manufacture and put up the signs through a wayfinding improvement grant. The signage errors were caused by problems with the plans developed by Jacobs that apparently were not checked for accuracy before they were approved for installation by the city. The city said they were going to take action against the firm to recoup moneys from Jacobs, and would work to fix the signs as soon as possible.[3] Meanwhile, a MassDOT official reiterated that the eastern terminus of Route 2A is at the intersection of Massachusetts and Commonwealth Avenue and that crews would be removing the MA 2A signs further east. In the city's defense, they stated that they do not typically manufacture, install, or maintain signage pertaining to state entities, similar to an arrangement with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority relating to bus stop signage within the city.

Major intersections

FranklinGreenfield0.00.0 I-91 / Route 2 – North Adams, Boston, Springfield, Brattleboro, VTWestern terminus at a traffic circle; exit 43 on I-91
1.11.8 US 5 / Route 10 – Deerfield, BernardstonCourt Square
Route 2 west – North Adams, Williamstown
Western terminus of unsigned Route 2 concurrency
Gill8.012.9French King Bridge over the Connecticut River
Erving9.114.6 Route 63 – Northfield, Millers FallsInterchange; connection via local roads
Route 2 east – Athol
Eastern end of unsigned Route 2 concurrency
Route 78 north – Warwick, Winchester, NH
Southern terminus of Route 78

Route 122 south to US 202 – New Salem, Worcester
Northern terminus of Route 122
Route 32 north – West Royalston, Richmond, NH
Western end of Route 32 concurrency
Route 32 south – Petersham, Barre
Eastern end of Route 32 concurrency

Route 2 west / US 202 south – Greenfield, Belchertown
Exit 77 on Route 2/US 202

Route 2 east / US 202 north – Boston, Winchendon
Exit 77 on Route 2/US 202
Route 2 / US 202 south – Fitchburg, Boston, Greenfield, Belchertown
Western end of US 202 concurrency; exit 79 on Route 2
US 202 north – Baldwinville, Winchendon
Eastern end of US 202 concurrency
Route 101 south – Queen Lake, Petersham, Barre
Western end of Route 101 concurrency
35.557.1 Route 2 – Fitchburg, Boston, Greenfield, North AdamsExit 83 on Route 2
Route 101 north – Gardner, Ashburnham
Eastern end of Route 101 concurrency
Gardner38.662.1 Route 68 – Hubbardston, Holden, Gardner

Route 2 east / Route 140 south – Concord, Boston, Princeton, Shrewsbury
Western end of Route 140 concurrency; exit 92 on Route 2

Route 2 west / Route 140 north – Athol, Greenfield, Winchendon
Eastern end of Route 140 concurrency; exit 92 on Route 2
Route 31 south – Princeton
Western end of Route 31 concurrency
Route 12 north – Ashburnham, Keene, NH
Western end of Route 12 concurrency
Route 12 south – Leominster, Sterling
Eastern end of Route 12 concurrency
Route 31 north – Ashby, Greenville, NH
Eastern end of Route 31 concurrency
Route 13 south – Whalom, Leominster
Western end of Route 13 concurrency
Route 13 north – Townsend, Milford, NH
Eastern end of Route 13 concurrency
Route 225 east – Groton, Westford
Western terminus of Route 225
Route 111 north – Groton, Nashua, NH
Western end of Route 111 concurrency

Route 111 south / Route 110 west to Route 2 – Harvard, Worcester
Eastern end of Route 111 concurrency; western end of Route 110 concurrency
Littleton69.2111.4 I-495 – Marlboro, Taunton, Lowell, LawrenceExit 79 on I-495

Route 110 east / Route 119 west – Lowell, Chelmsford, Groton, Townsend
Eastern end of Route 110 concurrency; western end of Route 119 concurrency
Acton74.8120.4 Route 27 – Chelmsford, Lowell, Acton

Route 119 west / Route 2 west / Route 111 north – Fitchburg, West Acton
Western end of Route 2 concurrency; eastern terminus of Route 119; southern terminus of Route 111
78.9127.0 Route 62 – West Concord, Maynard, Bedford

Route 126 south to Route 117 – Walden Pond, Framingham, Waltham
Northern terminus of Route 126
Route 2 east / Cambridge Turnpike – Boston
Eastern end of Route 2 concurrency
Lexington85.3137.3Marrett Road – Minuteman Park
85.6137.8 I-95 / Route 128 – Canton, Providence, RI, Peabody, Portsmouth, NHExit 46 on I-95/Route 128

Route 4 north / Route 225 west – Lexington, Bedford
Western end of Route 4/Route 225 concurrency

Route 4 south / Route 225 east – Belmont, Cambridge
Eastern end of Route 4/Route 225 concurrency
US 3 north / Mystic Valley Parkway – Winchester, Lowell
Western end of US 3 concurrency
Route 60 east – Medford, Malden
Western end of Route 60 concurrency
Route 60 west (Mystic Street) / Massachusetts Avenue – Belmont
Eastern end of Route 60 concurrency; Route 2A/US 3 join Mass. Ave.
US 3 south / Route 16 (Alewife Brook Parkway) – Boston, Medford, Watertown
Eastern end of US 3 concurrency
95.9154.3Harvard SquareRoute 2A passes by Harvard University

US 3 north / Route 3 south (Memorial Drive) to Route 2 – Boston
Interchange, northern terminus of Route 3; southern terminus of US 3
Charles RiverHarvard Bridge
SuffolkBoston98.5158.5 Route 2 (Commonwealth Avenue) – Kenmore Square, Downtown BostonEastern terminus; Massachusetts Avenue continues east to I-90/Mass Pike
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ Office of Transportation Planning. "2007 Road Inventory". Executive Office of Transportation. Archived from the original on September 27, 2006.
  2. ^ a b Google (January 1, 2014). "Route 2A" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  3. ^ Rothstein, Kevin; Beaudet, Mike (February 26, 2014). "Wrong Way Street Signs Send Hub Drivers on Roads to Nowhere". Boston: WFXT-TV. Archived from the original on March 5, 2014.

External links