Massachusetts Roads - US 44/MA 138/140

and US 44/MA 138/MA 140

The fun with US 44 is just beginning.

WB at MA 114A, clearly near RI. Old enough to have the arrows through text.

Old button-copy, westbound on the Super-2.

US 44 WB/MA 140 NB through the town square of Taunton, picking up MA 138 SB at the first left turn, with the last two signs across the same intersection from each other. MA 140 just gets tugged along with US 44 (or, perhaps, MA 44) without ever having its direction signed, leading to the misleading situation in the first photo where MA 140 NB appears to be signed SB. All routes need to be treated equally. If you can't tell the WEST and the arrow with the shield are funky, you're clearly not a roadgeek.

US 44 EB/MA 140 SB (again notice lack of proper directional signage) ditching MA 138 SB on the southeast corner of the square. As shoddy as Mass. paddle signage is, you don't even know that southbound is to the right at the old signal, only NB to the left. Of course, this photo was really taken for the MA 44 error shield.

MA 140 NB leaves just a bit to the west, finally signed properly.

Globe Liquors is the only brand that recycles highway signs for its stores. It's always fun to frame one of their photos as a legitimate highway sign, but here you even have the SOUTH and Interstate outline. I'd guess this came from somewhere along I-495 to the west.

Okay, US 44 is somewhat out of place in MA (in fact, it's north of US 6), but US 58 is even more ridiculous. Try MA 58. This shield is gone now because US 44 is gone from here now, as I'll explain in the next caption.

Formerly US 44 WB at and turning onto MA 58, now just erroneous paddle signs. Modern US 44 is just to the north.

Ongoing construction on the US 44 freeway as of March 2004. US 44 follows a 2-lane expressway (traffic lights but controlled access - and passing is allowed!) around Middletown, but that alignment abruptly ended and 44 returned to clogged surface roads through Carver. The freeway, now that it's open, takes 44 straight into MA 3 just north of the current interchange. During construction, there was a small piece already built, which was unnumbered (i.e. 44 wasn't rerouted till the whole thing opened). It looks like US 44 now multiplexes with MA 3 so that it can still end at MA 3A in Plymouth, and instead of becoming MA 44A, the old route is now unnumbered.

A view along and under the bridge that now carries MA 80 over US 44.

On the newly opened freeway in 2006.

The western end of the freeway stub during construction, and the WB onramp from Industrial Park Road that has since opened. Although the freeway serves essentially nothing, businesses are already springing up around its current end, so Plymouth/Carver is slowly becoming a center for southeastern Mass.

At the end of Industrial Park Road at MA 80, this sign points you indeed to US 44, not MA 44. MA 80 is a curious road, shaped somewhat like a reverse C, so that while you're heading southeastward to US 44 if you make a left, you'd actually be on 80 WEST. MA 80 still ends at old US 44, instead of being extended along the old road to MA 3 Exit 6.

Old US 44 EB (still current at that time), not so much a detour for NB MA 3 as it is the ramp to said route. This resembles Woonsignage in Rhode Island.

Massachusett's only signed bike route (and signed quite well, actually), Bike 1 runs from Boston to Cape Cod, and from the age of this Plymouth sign has been around for a couple of decades now. I see some good opportunities for other Bike routes (westward along MA 2 and MA 2A, northward up the coast).

Onto MA 138 alone
Onto MA 140 alone

Into Rhode Island on US 44
Onto MA 105
Onto MA 58
Onto MA 3
US 44 on Steve Anderson's
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