Massachusetts Roads - I-95 Abandoned

Abandoned I-95 NB

Between the Hale Street overpass and Exit 57 in Newburyport, just south of I-495, I-95 was once two strips of two-lane freeway, very much separated from each other. Then the new freeway was built, first four SB lanes to the west of the original SB lanes, and then four NB lanes over the original SB lanes, leaving an abandoned stretch of road that swings out to the east and comes back. It's easy to see from aerial photos how the old road went, but the brush has mostly grown back in at surface level, hiding the old alignment unless you know where to look - either climbing down the Hale St. overpass or following a trail back from MA 113 down Exit 57.

Starting with the NB-EB movement, walking southward from MA 113 along the original Exit 57 down to the original roadway. As you can see, there are traces of ramp pavement here even though MassHighway took care to tear this portion up. But beyond the fence is still their property.

The ramp path is better developed in 2012, and traces of the old road are fainter as newly planted trees overgrow it. Take heart, for the path does curve around to the old alignment. The last photo looks back at MA 113.

Yes, this is original striping; the three-lane striping is just before the original exit (where one would enter the abandoned roadway), and then it goes back to two-lane striping to the south. Nature is starting to encroach upon the pavement, but there is certainly at least 12' of passable space even as is, and with a little maintenance this would be a perfectly usable stretch of road.

Original post-and-cable guiderail from the construction of the freeway.

Two views from the southern end of the freeway section, facing northward. The second one is off of Hale Rd., and you can see bright shiny stripes. Until some relatively recent point in time (early-mid '90's?), MassHighway used the southern section of abandoned I-95 for stripe testing; you can tell it's not currently in use because the wild grass is slowly overgrowing the newly painted left yellow stripe.

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