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Interstate 90 or I -90 is an Interstate Highway in the US state of Massachusetts. The route crosses the entire state, passing the state’s 3 largest cities, Springfield, Worcester, and the state capital, Boston. The entire route is a toll road, namely the Massachusetts Turnpike. The state is densely populated, but this is especially evident in the east, which is largely urbanized around the capital and largest city of Boston. The route in Massachusetts is 222 kilometers long.
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I-90 at Stockbridge in Western Massachusetts.
Interstate 90 in New York turns into Massachusetts at West Stockbridge, the last state on this route. The landscape is wooded with numerous lakes along the way. The highway has 2×2 lanes. The first city one encounters is Springfield, with 154,000 inhabitants. The conurbation is somewhat larger and includes cities such as Holyoke and West Springfield, together with 680,000 inhabitants. Interstate 91 intersects here, which runs from Hartford and New Haven in Connecticut to the state of Vermont in the north. After this, one crosses the Connecticut River, and crosses Interstate 391, but there are no interchanges here. East of Chicopee, it crosses Interstate 291, which leads to downtown Springfield.
After the city, the road again leads through the countryside, a wooded and slightly hilly area. At Sturbridge, Interstate 84 from Hartford and Scranton ends at Interstate 90. After this you pass Worcester, with 176,000 the second largest city in Massachusetts. This also marks the beginning of the urbanity that remains on the rest of the route. The south side of the city crosses Interstate 290, which runs to downtown Worcester and towards Leominster, and Interstate 395, which leads to New London and New Haven in Connecticut. The highway passes south of Worcester and has 2×3 lanes here. The many suburbs are located in the woods and are sparsely built up. At Westborough one crosses Interstate 495, the long ring road well around Boston. One passes again a number of suburbs, of which Framingham with 66,000 inhabitants is the largest.
Just west of Newton, it crosses Interstate 95, which forms Boston’s ring road. This interchange is complex with a number of toll plazas. After this, the real densely built-up area of the city begins, which is largely in the woods. The largest suburb is Cambridge, where universities are located. The highway widens here; 2×4 lanes. It passes just south of downtown Boston where one interstates 93crosses, which runs to Providence in the south, and Nashua and Concord in the north. This junction is very complex, with no less than 11 different lanes under which the highway runs. After this, the highway continues in a tunnel under the harbor, the Ted Williams Tunnel, and ends at Logan International Airport, on State Route 1.
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I-90 under Crowne Plaza in Boston.
The first plans for a highway date back to 1948, when the Western Expressway was planned. The initial plans include only the Boston section, later to Worcester, and later to the New York border. The corridor was later included in the Interstate Highway plan.
Construction began in 1955, and on May 15, 1957, a 120-mile stretch from the New York border to I-95 was completed. In September 1964, the highway was extended 12 miles into Boston to exit 18, and on February 18, 1965, the last link to I-93 opened in downtown Boston.
In 1991, the Big Dig project was started, which mainly affected I-93, but also extended Interstate 90 to Logan Airport through the Ted Williams Tunnel, slightly to the east, making I-90 a several kilometers longer. This was completed in 2003.
In Allston, an inner suburb of Boston, I-90 made a curve around a shunting yard with container handling, which originally also contained a large toll station near an exit complex. The track complex was already partially decommissioned in 2013, and further decommissioned in 2017, and with the introduction of electronic toll collection, the physical toll stations have also been removed. This gave room to reposition I-90 and to reduce the space required by the exit complex. As part of a $1.1 billion urban regeneration project, I-90 has been rerouted here and replaced an 8-lane overpass.
I-90 is a toll road for its entire length. There is a separate toll for the Ted Williams Tunnel to Logan Airport in Boston, only due west you have to pay tolls. The toll road is operated by MassDOT, the Massachusetts department of transportation, a government agency. The toll rates were not adjusted between 1996 and 2016 and are low by European standards. There was no toll on the portion west of Springfield between 1996 and 2013, and the toll was reintroduced on October 15, 2013. Since October 28, 2016, the toll collection is fully electronic with electronic toll collection.
Every day, 20,600 vehicles pass the New York state border, increasing to 45,000 vehicles west of Springfield and 46,600 vehicles through Springfield. There are 51,000 vehicles east of Springfield, rising to 95,000 vehicles east of I-84. 83,000 vehicles and 85,000 vehicles pass through Worcester west of I-495. 89,000 vehicles east of it and 122,000 vehicles west of I-95.
123,000 vehicles pass through Boston east of I-95, peaking at 132,000 vehicles in the west of the city. Near the center, 120,000 vehicles drove west of I-93 and 70,000 vehicles entered the Ted Williams Tunnel.