U.S. Route 1 in Massachusetts

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U.S. Route 1

Route information
Maintained by MassDOT
Length86.253 mi[1] (138.811 km)
Major junctions
South end US 1 in Pawtucket, RI
Major intersections
North end US 1 in Seabrook, NH
CountryUnited States
CountiesBristol, Norfolk, Suffolk, Middlesex, Essex
Highway system
I-895 Route 1A
Route 1AMA Route C1.svg Route 2
Southbound in Topsfield

U.S. Route 1 (US 1) is a major north–south U.S. Route in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, traveling through Essex, Middlesex, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Bristol counties. The portion of US 1 south of Boston is also known as the Boston–Providence Turnpike, Washington Street, or the Norfolk and Bristol Turnpike, and portions north of Boston are known as the Northeast Expressway and the Newburyport Turnpike.

Route description

From the south, US 1 enters Massachusetts from Rhode Island, immediately entering the city of Attleboro. It closely parallels Interstate 95 (I-95) as it goes through the towns of North Attleborough, Plainville, Wrentham, Foxborough (where Gillette Stadium is), Walpole, Sharon, Norwood, and Westwood. US 1 then has a wrong-way concurrency with I-95 up to the interchange that is the southern terminus of I-93. US 1 then travels concurrently with I-93 from Canton through Downtown Boston; Route 3 joins the concurrency in Braintree. In Downtown Boston, Route 1A and Route 3 separate from US 1 to head toward Logan International Airport and Cambridge respectively, and I-93 and US 1 separate just after passing through the O'Neill Tunnel and crossing the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge. US 1 continues north, crossing the Tobin Bridge as the Northeast Expressway and traveling through Chelsea, Revere, and Malden, then as a four- to six-lane expressway through Saugus, Lynnfield, and Peabody. The route through Saugus was once known for its abundance of kitschy roadside commercial architecture, including the 68-foot (21 m) neon cactus of the Hilltop Steak House and tiki-styled Kowloon Restaurant.[2][3] From Peabody, US 1 again closely parallels I-95 going through the towns of Danvers, Topsfield, Ipswich, Rowley, Newbury, and Newburyport. In Newburyport, US 1 has a mile-long (1.6 km) freeway segment that bypasses downtown and the waterfront areas; Route 1A joins the freeway shortly before it crosses the Merrimack River, entering Salisbury and becoming a surface arterial again. Three miles (4.8 km) later, it enters the state of New Hampshire.

Route 1A runs alongside US 1 in four parts of the state.


US 1 in Massachusetts was constructed in sections throughout the 1930s partly by widening existing roads and also by constructing new right of ways to bypass more congested areas. Originally, most of the highway was two or three lanes in each direction, with numerous widening and improvements made over the years.

Turnpike era

Most of US 1 consists of two former turnpike roads—the Norfolk and Bristol Turnpike and the Newburyport Turnpike. The older roads that these turnpikes were meant to bypass are now mostly Route 1A.

The Newburyport Turnpike opened on February 11, 1805, and was constructed by a private company at a cost of $500,000 (equivalent to $10.2 million in 2023[4]). The turnpike was used by stagecoaches and mail carriers for decades, but toll collection ceased in 1847 as parallel railroads attracted more use. Several sections were rebuilt to accommodate automobile traffic in the early 20th century, but it saw decreased use following the completion of I-95.[5] The section in downtown Newsburyport was bypassed in 1934.[6]

Massachusetts Route C1

MA Route C1.svg

In the early 1930s, Route C1 was designated as an alternate route of US 1 through Downtown Boston. The "C" indicated a city route. The C designation was apparently distinct to the Boston area. Route C1 ran along Brookline Avenue, Beacon Street, Embankment Road (modern Route 28), Charles Street, Lowell Street, Merrimac Street, and Cross Street to the west end of the Sumner Tunnel. In East Boston, it went via Porter Street to Chelsea Street then shifted to the William McClellan Highway (modern Route 1A). As Storrow Drive and the Central Artery opened in the 1950s, Route C1 was rerouted to follow portions of these highways. The Route C1 designation was removed in 1971, with US 1 taking over most of the alignment south of the Charles River, and Route 1A taking over most of the alignment north of the river. US 1 was later moved onto the Southeast Expressway leaving most of the former alignment of Route C1 south of the river as having no number.

Massachusetts Route 17

MA Route 17.svg

For a period of time during the 1950s, a segment of US 1 in Massachusetts and New Hampshire was routed onto what later became I-95. The roadway that had been US 1 was designated as Route 17 from Danvers to Salisbury[7] and New Hampshire Route 17 (NH 17) for a short distance in Seabrook.[8] Once the I-95 designation was adopted, Route 17 and NH 17 were restored to being US 1.

Northeast Expressway

Causeway (center) for the unbuilt section of the Northeast Expressway across Saugus Marsh

The Northeast Expressway was planned to extend north, as part of I-95, from Saugus, through Lynn, Lynnfield and Peabody. The highway would bisect the Saugus Marsh and Lynn Woods Reservation. The highway would then connect with the present junction of I-95 and Route 128 in Peabody. The Northeast Expressway was planned to carry the I-95 designation from Charlestown to Peabody. The first section of the expressway built was the Tobin Bridge over the Mystic River, which opened in 1950. In various stages, the Chelsea and Revere portions opened from 1956 to 1958. The highway carried the I-95 designation from 1955 (in its planning stages) to 1973. It was among the canceled highways affected by Governor Francis Sargent's February 1970 moratorium on expressway construction within Route 128. US 1 replaced I-95 on the Northeast Expressway, in the 1970s after I-95 joined Route 128 from Westwood to Peabody around Boston.[9]

Relocation in Boston

In the late 1980s, at the request of the Metropolitan District Commission (now the Department of Conservation and Recreation) in an attempt to reduce the incidence of overheight vehicles finding their way onto Storrow Drive,[10] US 1 was moved onto I-93 south of and through Boston, leaving the old route—Veterans of Foreign Wars Parkway (VFW Parkway), Jamaicaway, Riverway, and Storrow Drive through Dedham, Chestnut Hill, West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, and central Boston—without a number. There are still some street signs incorrectly indicating the former alignment as US 1, and many local residents still refer to parts of VFW Parkway and Jamaicaway as "Route 1", as if it still runs along its old trajectory.

Saugus–Revere proposed widening

1955 Yellow Book plan for the Boston area showing the Northeast Expressway path and paths of other proposed Interstate Highways within Route 128

In the early 2010s, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) proposed a $137-million (equivalent to $187 million in 2023[11]) project to widen the existing 2.4-mile (3.9 km) four-lane highway section to six lanes, from north of Route 99 in Saugus to south of Route 60 in Revere. The proposal consisted of adding a 12-foot (3.7 m) travel lane and 10-foot (3.0 m) shoulder in each direction. Work would also include reconstruction of the Copeland Circle interchange by eliminating the existing rotary, and demolition of the existing 1957 bridges from the never-built highway extension. The Lynn Street/Salem Street interchange in Malden, and the Route 99 interchange in Saugus, were slated to be reconstructed. Major rock blasting would be required for the project due to a massive ledge next to the highway, and seven bridges would be replaced and three others upgraded to handle the new lanes. In 2012, $10 million (equivalent to $13.1 million in 2023[11]) was added to the state budget with the intent to be used for design costs and pulling permits for US 1.[12] The project was expected to begin in 2012, but no further movement by the state has been implemented. Since then, town officials have made the push to ask MassDOT to revisit the project and begin development.[13]

Major intersections

CountyLocationmi[1]kmOld exitNew exitDestinationsNotes
US 1 south – Pawtucket
Continuation into Rhode Island
I-95 north – Foxboro, Boston
Exit 1 on I-95; northbound access to I-95 north and southbound access from I-95 south
1.8452.969 Route 123 (Highland Avenue) – Attleboro, Brockton, Valley Falls, RI, Lincoln, RI
Route 1A south – Attleboro, Providence, RI
No direct access from southbound entrance from northbound Route 1A
North Attleborough3.9746.396
I-295 to I-95 – Attleboro, Boston, Warwick, RI
Exit 2 on I-295
Route 120 west (Hoppin Hill Avenue) – Cumberland, RI
Route 1A north (Park Street) – Plainville, Wrentham
NorfolkPlainville8.37013.470 Route 106 (Bacon Street) – Mansfield, Easton, Plainville
Route 152 south (Taunton Street) – Plainville, Attleboro, Seekonk, Wrentham
10.60017.059 I-495 (Blue Star Memorial Highway) – Cape Cod, MarlboroI-495 exit 36
To Route 140 – Wrentham, Foxboro
Right-in/right-out intersection with Main Street northbound, East Street southbound
Sharon18.59729.929 I-95 – Boston, Attleboro, Providence, RIExit 19 on I-95
Walpole19.26431.002 Route 27 (High Plain Street) – Walpole, Medfield, Sharon
Norwood23.05837.108Neponset Street / Nahatan Street – Norwood, CantonPendergast Circle; roundabout interchange

I-95 north (Route 128) / Route 1A south – Peabody, Portsmouth, NH
Southern terminus of concurrency with I-95 / Route 128; signed as exits 29A (Route 1A) and 29B (US 1)
Westwood26.92243.3271428East Street / Canton Street
Dedham28.13145.2721327University Avenue – MBTA / Amtrak Station
I-95 south – Providence, RI
Northern terminus of concurrency with I-95 / Route 128; southern terminus of concurrency with I-93 at exit 1
30.05348.3662 Route 138 (Washington Street) – Stoughton, MiltonSplit into exits 2A (south) and 2B (north)
Milton31.26250.3113Ponkapoag Trail – Houghton's Pond
Route 24 south (Fall River Expressway) – Fall River
32.88252.9185 Route 28 (Main Street) – Randolph, MiltonSplit into exits 5A (south) and 5B (north)
Braintree35.08756.4676 Route 37 (Granite Street) – Braintree, Holbrook, West Quincy
Route 3 south (Pilgrims Highway) – Cape Cod
Braintree Split; southern terminus of concurrency with Route 3; exit 43 on Route 3
Quincy36.76459.1668Furnace Brook Parkway – Quincy
37.81560.8579Adams Street / Bryant Avenue – North Quincy, West Quincy, MiltonRamps with Granite Avenue northbound and Bryant Avenue southbound
Milton38.63962.18310Squantum Street – MiltonSouthbound exit only
To Route 203 / Granite Avenue – Ashmont, East Milton
Signed as exits 11A (south) and 11B (north) southbound; no northbound access to/from southbound Granite Avenue
Route 3A south (Gallivan Boulevard) – Quincy, Neponset
No northbound exit
41.31666.4921313AFreeport Street – DorchesterNorthbound exit only
41.50166.7891413BMorrissey Boulevard north – Savin HillNorthbound exit, southbound entrance
43.02169.2361514Columbia Road – Dorchester, South Boston
43.74970.4071615ASouthampton Street – Andrew SquareNorthbound exit, southbound entrance
44.16371.0731815BMassachusetts Avenue / Frontage Road – RoxburySigned as exit 15 southbound
45.10972.5962016 I-90 / Mass Pike / Albany Street – Logan Airport, Worcester, South StationSouth Bay interchange; signed as 16A (South Station) and (I-90) southbound
45.99374.0192317Government CenterNorthbound exit, southbound entrance
46.12174.2252316BPurchase StreetSouthbound exit and entrance
Route 1A north (Callahan Tunnel) – Logan Airport, Government Center
Southbound exit, northbound entrance; split into exits 17A (Government Center) and 17B (Logan Airport)
Route 3 north (Storrow Drive) / Route 28 – Leverett Circle, Cambridge
Northern terminus of concurrency with Route 3
Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge over the Charles River
I-93 north – Somerville, Concord, NH
Northern terminus of concurrency with I-93; no access from southbound US 1 to northbound I-93 or from southbound I-93 to northbound US 1

Route 99 (New Rutherford Avenue) to I-93 north – Charlestown, Somerville
Southbound exit, northbound entrance
Mystic RiverTobin Bridge (toll)
SuffolkChelsea49.56779.770Beacon StreetNorthbound exit to Beacon Street, southbound entrance from Everett Avenue
50.03880.528Fourth StreetNorthbound exit to Fourth Street, southbound entrance from Fifth Street
50.32380.987Sixth StreetNorthbound entrance only
50.61881.462Carter Street – Chelsea, East BostonSouthbound exit and entrance
51.37882.685Webster Avenue – Chelsea, EverettNorthbound exit, southbound entrance
Route 16 (Revere Beach Parkway) to Route 1A – Revere Beach, Lynn, Everett, Somerville
Northbound access to/from Route 16 east; southbound access to/from Route 16 west
Revere52.51784.518Sargent Street – West RevereNorthbound exit, southbound entrance
53.34885.855 Route 60 (Squire Road) – Malden, RevereCopeland Circle; roundabout interchange
53.85486.670Lynn Street – Saugus, MaldenPartial cloverleaf interchange with right-in/right-out ramps to Salem Street
MiddlesexNo major intersections
Route 99 south (Broadway) – Malden, Everett
No northbound exit
55.51189.336Essex Street – Saugus, MelroseCloverleaf interchange
56.03990.186Main Street – Saugus, WakefieldCloverleaf interchange
57.16291.993Lynn Fells Parkway west – Melrose, StonehamTrumpet interchange
Route 129 west (Walnut Street) / Walnut Street east – Lynn, Wakefield, Reading
Cloverleaf interchange; south end of concurrency with Route 129
Route 129 east (Salem Street) / Salem Street west – Lynn, Swampscott
Diamond interchange; north end of concurrency with Route 129
I-95 south / Route 128 (Yankee Division Highway) – Waltham
I-95 / Route 128 exit 63
I-95 north – Portsmouth, NH, Maine
I-95 exit 66; northbound exit, southbound entrance
62.327100.306Lowell Street – PeabodyPartial cloverleaf interchange
Danvers63.233101.764 Route 114 (Andover Street) – Peabody, MiddletonCloverleaf interchange
63.848102.753Centre Street – DanversPartial cloverleaf interchange
64.902104.450 Route 62 (Maple Street) – Danvers, MiddletonCloverleaf interchange
65.598105.570 I-95 – Boston, Portsmouth, NHI-95 exit 70
Topsfield68.782110.694 Route 97 (High Street) – Topsfield Ctr., Haverhill, Beverly
Rowley73.819118.800 Route 133 (Haverhill Street) – Rowley, Ipswich, Gloucester, Georgetown, N. Andover

Route 1A south / Route 113 west (Merrimac Street) – Downtown Newburyport
Diamond interchange
Route 110 west (School Street) / Pleasant Street east – Amesbury, Haverhill
Route 1A north (Beach Road) – Salisbury Beach
85.953138.328 Route 286 (Forrest Street) – Amesbury, Seabrook, NH, Hampton Beach
US 1 north – Seabrook
Continuation into New Hampshire
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also


  1. ^ a b Planning Division (2012). "Massachusetts Highway Route Log". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  2. ^ "Extinction-Level Events: Vanishing American Kitsch on Boston's Route 1". Wearethemutants.com. 2017-09-12. Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  3. ^ "Saugus, MA - Frightening Saugus, Part 2". www.roadsideamerica.com. Archived from the original on 2008-05-02.
  4. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved February 29, 2024.
  5. ^ Sessler, Amy (November 18, 1990). "One for all". The Boston Globe. pp. North 1, North 9, North 10. Retrieved January 22, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ Sessler, Amy (December 16, 1990). "Old Route 1 remains true to its rural roots". The Boston Globe. pp. North 1, North 18. Retrieved January 22, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "Mt. Ann Park Reservation in West Gloucester". The Boston Globe. June 3, 1956. p. 92. Retrieved April 11, 2020 – via newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "(advertisement)". The Portsmouth Herald. Portsmouth, New Hampshire. January 10, 1956. p. 5. Retrieved April 11, 2020 – via newspapers.com.
  9. ^ "Northeast Expressway (US 1)". Bostonroads.com. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  10. ^ Personal Conservation 3-2016 with Steve Timmins, MassDOT Highway Signing Engineer
  11. ^ a b Johnston, Louis; Williamson, Samuel H. (2023). "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved November 30, 2023. United States Gross Domestic Product deflator figures follow the MeasuringWorth series.
  12. ^ "Revere, Malden, Saugus call for relief to Route 1 gridlock". Boston Globe. 2014-01-09. Retrieved 2015-01-05.
  13. ^ "Joint Letter 12-10-13 Route 1 - Improvement MPO". Gary Christenson, Daniel Rizzo, Scott Crabtree. 2013-12-10. Retrieved 2015-01-05.

External links

U.S. Route 1
Previous state:
Rhode Island
Massachusetts Next state:
New Hampshire