US 3 shield from wikimedia US 3 / Northwest Expressway (Updated 12/4/19)1

21 Miles, From I-95/128 in Burlington to NH Border

Interchange

Milepost

Current Exit Number

Future Exit Number

 I-95 shield image from wikimedia(MA 128 shield image from wikimedia) South - Providence, RI (SB)

72.0

25A

72A**

 I-95 shield image from wikimedia(MA 128 shield image from wikimedia) North - Portsmouth, NH (SB)

72.0

25B

72B**

 MA 62 shield image from wikimedia - Burlington, Bedford

72.9

26

73

 Concord Rd - Billerica, Bedford

76.1

27

76

 Treble Cove Rd - N. Billerica

77.5

28

78

 MA 129 shield image from wikimedia - Billerica, Chelmsford

79.7

29

79 (80)*

 Lowell Connector

81.2

30A

80 (81A)*

 I-495 shield image from wikimedia North - Lawrence

81.2

30B

81A (81B)*

 I-495 shield image from wikimedia South - Marlborough

81.2

30C

81B (81C)*

 MA 110 shield image from wikimedia -  Chelmsford

81.5

31

81C (82)*

 MA 4 shield image from wikimedia - North Chelmsford, Chelmsford

83.7

32

84

 MA 40 shield image from wikimedia - Westford, North Chelmsford

85.8

33

86

 Westford Rd - Tyngsborough

88.0

34

88

 MA 113 shield image from wikimedia - Dunstable, Tyngsborough

89.6

35

90

 Middlesex Rd - S. Nashua, NH (NB)

91.0

36

91

This exit list contains both the current exit number and proposed future exit number when MassDOT converts US 3 to the Geographic Reference or Milepost Exit Numbering system. MassDOT plans to convert exit numbers starting in late summer 2020 with routes in the western and southern parts of the state. This project was first planned for 2016, but eventually postponed. The future numbers listed are those provided at the MassDOT Exit Renumbering Project website, downloaded Nov. 21, 2019. US 3's mileage is a continuation of the mileage of MA 3 from it's beginning at MA 2A in Cambridge.1

*Numbers in ( ) listed for the postponed 2016 Renumbering Project.

**MassDOT originally proposed numbers for the SB I-95 exits as 70A and 70B. Due to comments sent to MassDOT by myself and others that the exit was closest to mile marker 72, the exit number will be changed to 70 A/B on a subsequent US 3 revised exit list.

1. I sent comments to MassDOT suggesting that since US and MA 3 are treated as the same road why not sign the highway from NH to Cape Cod simply as US 3, and, perhaps, like US 1, it could all be moved off of local streets in the Boston area. This was the answer I received:

"The MA Route 3 designation cannot be changed to US 3 because Route 3 between the Mass. Ave Bridge and I-93 at Leverett Circle does not meet current AASHTO design standards, particularly regarding minimum vertical bridge clearances, to be given a US Route designation.  Rerouting US 3 between Burlington and Boston via I-95 (128) and I-93, which would require AASHTO review and approval before implementation, is not considered a practical option at this time.  This is due to capacity constraints at the I-95/I-93 interchange in Woburn, and would also require an outreach effort and highway sign changes that are beyond the scope of this project."

I also suggested that, as an alternative to the above, since most drivers think of Routes 3 north and south of Boston as 2 routes, perhaps they could be simply split into 2 routes with the designation removed between Burlington and Braintree, the response:

"As you note, media traffic reporters, the general public, and others generally consider Route 3 to be two separate roads, one from Braintree south and the other from Burlington north.  Also, the freeway segments of US 3 and MA 3 already have distinct sets of exit numbers that do not duplicate – this will still be the case after milepost numbering is implemented.  For these reasons, and given the additional outreach effort and changes to highway signs required – both of which are outside the scope of this project, MassDOT sees little tangible benefit to the public to justify removing the Route 3 designation between Braintree and Burlington entirely."

© Robert H. Malme 2014-2020