MA 209 Expressway (unbuilt)

A NEW EXPRESSWAY FOR THE SOUTHWEST SUBURBS: In its 1968 Recommended Highway and Transit Plan, the Massachusetts Department of Public Works (MassDPW) announced plans for a new expressway to serve the MA 109 corridor from MA 128 / I-95 (Yankee Circumferential Highway) in Dedham to I-495 (Outer Circumferential Highway) in Milford. Plans were also included for a future extension to MA 146 (Worcester-Providence Turnpike) in Uxbridge to serve for the MA 16 corridor.

The MassDPW stated the purpose for the MA 209 Expressway as follows:

Development plans indicate substantial growth in the MA 109 corridor, even if no new facilities or improvements to existing facilities are constructed. Therefore, major improvements appear to be justified… Whether extended to Uxbridge or stopped at I-495, the MA 209 Expressway would be in the center of the largest remaining expanse of territory not presently served by a high-standard radial facility. It will open up the southwestern portion of the region for development, and provide relief for the existing radial arterials.

The six-lane MA 209 Expressway was expected to carry approximately 60,000 vehicles per day (AADT) from MA 128 southwest to I-495. The four-lane section of MA 209 stretching from I-495 southwest to MA 146 was to have carried approximately 30,000 vehicles per day. Both were to have provided relief for the existing two-lane MA 109 and MA 16 corridors.

Major interchanges were to have been constructed at MA 128, the proposed (but unbuilt) Middle Circumferential Highway, I-495 and MA 146. To avoid congestion at the "T" proposed at the MA 128 / MA 209 interchange in Dedham, the MA 209 Expressway was to have been extended just north of the interchange, terminating at an improved MA 109. This would have provided access to the VFW Parkway in the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston.

The 30-mile-long MA 209 Expressway, which was estimated to cost $30 million, was scheduled for construction after 1975. While a subsequent 1971 study analyzed the location of the expressway relative to land use and displacement, it did not address environmental concerns. Since all of the "Relocated Route 109" (as the plan was also called) alternatives passed through the Charles River watershed and a significant amount of parklands, the MassDPW did not perform an environmental impact study.

On May 11, 1977, the MassDPW and the Central Transportation Planning Staff met with representatives from towns along the MA 109 corridor, and formally informed them that the MA 209 Expressway was "out of the question."

SOURCES: Recommended Highway and Transit Plan, Massachusetts Department of Public Works (1968); "Relocated Route 109 Location Study," Massachusetts Department of Public Works (1971); "Route 109 Corridor Planning Study," Central Transportation Planning Staff (1978); Dan Moraseski.

  • MA 209 shield by Barry L. Camp.


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