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Massachusetts Route 3A

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Route 3A marker

Route 3A
Route 3A highlighted in red
Route information
Length97 mi[1] (156 km)
Southern section
Length53.392 mi[1] (85.926 km)
South end Route 3 in Plymouth
US 44 in Plymouth
Route 53 in Kingston
Route 53 in Quincy
North end I-93 / US 1 / Route 3 / Route 203 in Boston
Northern section
Length22.504 mi[1] (36.217 km)
South end I-95 / US 3 / Route 128 in Burlington
Lowell Connector in Lowell
Route 110 in Lowell
Route 113 in Tyngsborough
North end NH 3A in Hudson, NH
CountiesPlymouth, Norfolk, Suffolk, Middlesex
Highway system
MA Route 3.svg Route 3MA Route 3B.svg Route 3B
New England 6.svg Route 6N.E.New England 7.svg Route 7

Route 3A is a 97-mile-long (156 km) state highway in eastern Massachusetts, which parallels Route 3 and U.S. Route 3 from Cedarville in southern Plymouth to Tyngsborough at the New Hampshire state line.

Route 3A has two major posted segments, separated by a lengthy concurrency with Route 3 and US 3. Its southern portion parallels Route 3 from Cedarville in southern Plymouth to Neponset in the Dorchester area of Boston. Towns and cities that Route 3A traverse along its path include Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury, Marshfield, Scituate, Cohasset, Hingham, Weymouth and Quincy.

North of Neponset, Route 3A runs, unsigned, concurrently with Route 3 and U.S. Route 3 to Burlington, before separating again (MassHighway counts the mileage along MA 3 between the two sections as part of MA 3A mileage).

The northern portion of which parallels U.S. Route 3 in northwestern Middlesex County. It stretches from Interstate 95 (Route 128) in Burlington to the New Hampshire state line, where it continues as Route 3A.

Route description

Plymouth to Boston

This segment parallels Route 3 from Cedarville in southern Plymouth to Neponset in the Dorchester area of Boston. Towns and cities that Route 3A traverse along its path include Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury, Marshfield, Scituate, Cohasset, Hingham, Weymouth and Quincy.

The Claire Saltonstall Bikeway between Boston and Cape Cod intersects at Route 3A. Once in the Cedarville portion of Plymouth where Route 3A begins, and intersects again about 14 miles later in historic downtown Plymouth between South and Market Streets along Sandwich Street.

Boston to Burlington

This segment is concurrent with Route 3 (to Cambridge) and then U.S. Route 3 (from Cambridge to Burlington). As an 'A' route concurrent with its parents, this segment is not posted.

Burlington to Tyngsborough

Northbound 3A entering Tyngsborough
Northbound 3A entering Tyngsborough

This segment parallels US 3 from Interstate 95 (Route 128) in Burlington to the New Hampshire state line, where it continues as New Hampshire Route 3A. The part south of Route 113 in Tyngsborough is former US 3.

The section from Burlington to Billerica is currently being widened from 2 to 4 lanes.


From 1922 to 1926, Route 3A between Kingston and Quincy was New England Interstate Route 6A. In 1926, when New England Interstate Route 6 became Route 3, Route 6A became Route 3A.

In the 1930s Route 3A's route was shifted onto new alignments built to reduce traffic problems in several communities through which the highway traversed. This included a bypass of Hingham Square along Broad Cove Road and Otis Street along Hingham Harbor replacing the original route that took it down Lincoln Street to downtown Hingham then along North Street to Summer Street. Chief Justice Cushing Highway was built around the same time and Route 3A was put on this highway from south of the Hingham Harbor rotary through Cohasset to Scituate. This replaced a routing along long-existing roadways such as Country Way in Scituate, South and North Main Streets in Cohasset and East Street to Summer Street in Hingham. Along East Street from Hull Street to Summer, Route 3A shared the highway with Route 128 in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

In the 1950s and early 1960s Route 3A was extended to take over the original path of Route 3 south of Kingston to Plymouth and north of downtown Quincy to Neponset when Route 3 assumed its current freeway route. In between those locations, old Route 3 was designated Route 53. The section of old Route 3 from Cedarville south to the Sagamore Rotary near the Cape Cod Canal in Bourne is unnumbered.

Much of Route 3A is sometimes referred to as the "Cape Way" due to its history as the only major road to Cape Cod from Boston prior to the opening of Route 3. The "Cape Way" name is reflected in numerous business names along 3A's length.

The section of Route 3A south of the intersection with Route 113 in Tyngsborough (all but the northern few miles of the route) was formerly U.S. Route 3, prior to the construction of the Northwest Expressway, a freeway connection from I-95 in Burlington to the Everett Turnpike in Nashua, New Hampshire, which was given the U.S. Route 3 designation.

Major intersections

PlymouthPlymouth0.000.00 Route 3 – Boston, Cape CodSouthern terminus; Exit 3 on Route 3
State Road south – Scusset BeachRoute 3A joins/leaves State Road
MA Route 3.svg
Plimoth Plantation Highway to Route 3 – Plymouth, Boston
Southern terminus of Plimouth Plantation Highway
15.0024.14 US 44 west – Middleborough, ProvidenceEastern terminus of US 44
Kingston18.3029.45 Route 3 – Plymouth, Cape Cod, Braintree, BostonExit 18 on Route 3
18.7030.09 Route 80 west to US 44Eastern terminus of Route 80
18.9030.42 Route 106 west to Route 27 – HalifaxEastern terminus of Route 106
20.3032.67 Route 53 north – HanoverSouthern terminus of Route 53
Duxbury20.6033.15 Route 3 – Plymouth, Cape Cod, Quincy, BostonExit 20 on Route 3
24.2038.95 Route 14 west – Pembroke, BostonEastern terminus of Route 14
25.0040.23 Route 139 – Pembroke, Green Harbor
Marshfield27.7044.58 Route 139 east – Brant RockSouthern end of concurrency with Route 139
28.1045.22 Route 139 west – HanoverNorthern end of concurrency with Route 139
Scituate34.5055.52 Route 123 west – Norwell, BrocktonRotary; Eastern terminus of Route 123
Hingham42.2067.91 Route 228 – Hull, Rockland
NorfolkQuincy49.0078.86 Route 53 south – WeymouthNorthern terminus of Route 53
Quincy Shore Drive southInterchange; Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Neponset RiverBridge
SuffolkBoston53.6086.26 Route 203 west (Gallivan Boulevard) / Morrisey Boulevard – AshmontEastern terminus of Route 203
53.6186.28 I-93 south / US 1 south / Route 3 southSouthern terminus of silent concurrency with Route 3 / US 3
See Route 3/US 3
MiddlesexBurlington74.8120.4 I-95 / US 3 / Route 128 – Waltham, Lowell, Peabody, Portsmouth, NHNorthern terminus of silent concurrency with Route 3 / US 3; Exit 51 on I-95 / Route 128
77.20124.24 Route 62 east – Wilmington, North ReadingSouthern terminus of concurrency with Route 62
77.80125.21 Route 62 west – Bedford, ConcordNorthern terminus of concurrency with Route 62
Billerica82.40132.61 Route 129 east – Reading, WakefieldSouthern terminus of concurrency with Route 129
83.60134.54 Route 129 west to US 3 – Chelmsford, Nashua, NHNorthern terminus of concurrency with Route 129
US 3.svg
Lowell Connector south to I-495 / US 3
Exits 5A-B on the Lowell Connector
87.70141.14 Route 110 east / Thorndike Street – Haverhill, LawrencePartial interchange; Southern terminus of concurrency with Route 110
87.90141.46 Route 110 west – Chelmsford, WorcesterNorthern terminus of concurrency with Route 110
Chelmsford91.10146.61 Route 4 south to US 3 – Chelmsford, LexingtonNorthern terminus of Route 4
91.80147.74 Route 40 west – GrotonEastern terminus of Route 40
Tyngsborough95.10153.05 Route 113 west – DunstableSouthern terminus of concurrency with Route 113
Tyngsborough Bridge over the Merrimack River
95.30153.37 Route 113 east – LowellNorthern terminus of concurrency with Route 113
97.00156.11 NH 3A north – HudsonContinuation into New Hampshire
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


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This page was last edited on 15 March 2021, at 16:26
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