Massachusetts changing highway exit numbers to mileage-based ones

Massachusetts is planning to change its exit signs from a numbering system to a mileage-based one.

Transportation officials said the new exit numbers will allow drivers to know the number of miles they've driven and how many they have left to their destination more easily. They'll no longer be in sequential order.

It's a change happening across the country and it's part of a federal mandate.

During the next six months, MassDOT will begin an outreach program to let the public know about the change.

The project will start next summer in Western Massachusetts and move eastward, with an estimated completion in the spring of 2021. The old exit signs will stay installed at each new exit for at least two years.

There are some areas where this change won't happen:

  • For exits leading to the same interchange, lettered exits will be used, such as exit 50a and 50b.
  • Routes that currently don't have exit numbers won't be assigned ones, including Route 28, 57 and 79.
  • Routes with their first exit less than 1 mile from the state line or the start of the highway would be exit 1.
  • Exit numbers are the following corridors won't be changed: Route 213, Interstate 291, Interstate 391, and the Lowell Connector.

Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Delaware are the only states that haven't made the changes.

The project will be paid for through Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program funds. Ninety percent of the project will be funded through federal money, while the remaining 10 percent will be funded thought state highway funds.

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