The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is announcing it is taking steps to install federally-mandated mile-based exit signs on the Commonwealth’s major and limited access highways, including, but not limited to, I-90, I-93, I-95, Route 3 and I-495. Public meetings will be held in the coming months to provide information to residents, business leaders, tourist attraction property owners and other community members.
The Federal Highway Administration’s 2009 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices mandated that all states establish a mile-based exit numbering system. The conversion to a mile-based exit numbering system will be implemented on a route-by-route basis, starting in Western Massachusetts and moving eastward, and is scheduled to be completed in spring 2021. For individual routes, exit numbering conversion will take place east to west or north to south.
During a transition period for motorists, “Old Exit” signs will be installed at each converted exit for a minimum of two years. Installation of mile-based exit signs will begin in late summer, 2020. Signs will be installed during off-peak hours, with minimal traffic impact expected.
“The conversion to mile-based exit numbers will benefit drivers by providing an obvious and straightforward calculation of driving distances,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “Massachusetts will complete installing the new signs in Spring 2021 and in the coming weeks and months we will have a comprehensive process to inform the public about the changes. Even when the new exit signs are installed, the existing exit signs will remain in place to allow travelers the time to get accustomed to the changes.”
The project’s estimated cost is $2.8 million, with 90% paid through Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funds and the remaining 10% through state highway funds.
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