June 9 2016
Improvement Work Approved for Route 128/Route 3 Exit Ramp
Funds for roadwork at one of the area’s most difficult and dangerous highway exit ramp have been approved.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has approved a set of short-term improvements to the interchange of Interstate 95/Route 128 and U.S. Route 3 at Exit 32, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), a release from State Rep. Ken Gordon’s office states.
The FHWA has approved a change order to an existing contract that will re-stripe and widen small strips of MassDOT land alongside the highway. The improvements will create dedicated lanes with the use of signage, lane striping and lane barriers. These new lanes will separate the traffic exiting and entering I-95 for Route 3 North from the traffic accessing Middlesex Turnpike in Burlington, the release explains.
Work is expected to begin by the end of the year along the interstate, with work to the ramps and collector roads to begin in the spring.
Rep. Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) and Senator Ken Donnelly (D-Arlington) attracted the attention of MassDOT engineers last December when they hosted a forum on the traffic issues facing Burlington drivers, the release states. The forum was attended by some 100 local leaders and residents. The engineers presented various short-term and long-term proposals to address traffic concerns.
The legislatures followed up on the forum with a letter to Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack on February 4, urging her to include the improvements developed at the forum in her proposal for change orders to the federal government, and she did so.
“The engineers from MassDOT listened to our concerns,” said Gordon, who sits on the Joint Committee on Transportation. “One of our most challenging and dangerous bottlenecks occurs at that exit,” said Gordon. “The separation of traffic heading toward Lowell on Route 3 from the traffic bound for Burlington will address this pressure point.”
Gordon says the highway work will effect traffic on roads of Burlington and Bedford.
“These days, most of us use the GPS in our phones or car radios to identify pockets of traffic and get around them,” said Rep. Gordon. “This means that a driver coming south on Route 3, or east on Route 2, can see the traffic on I-95 ahead and leave the highway in Bedford or Burlington, jamming up town roads that were not built for the number of cars traveling on them.”