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Everything You've Always Wanted To Know About The "Pike"

Posted by Jim Botticelli  September 5, 2013 11:48 AM

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1963PikePru.jpg
Pike Extended 1963, Pru semi-erected and Buck Printing getting MORE free exposure.

In 1948 the Massachusetts Department of Public Works proposed to build a controlled road to connect Boston to its neighboring communities. Originally called the Western Highway, the project finally was launched in 1955 to connect Stockbridge with Weston. In 1956 President Eisenhower steered the Federal Highway Act through Congress and the Senate, which allowed states to build highways while paying only 10% of the costs. Imagine that kind of government largesse from Republicans today! That cleared the way for the state to easily complete that 100 plus mile stretch of highway in a relatively short period. By 1960 motorists were speeding at an unheard of 60 MPH up and down the toll supported Pike. But only as close to Boston as Weston. What to do? Extend the thing into town of course.

In 1962, the so called 'Boston Extension' project was launched and two years later arrived at everyone's favorite, the much beloved Exit 18 to Allston-Brighton-Cambridge. On February 18, 1965 the entire 135 mile length of the Pike opened up and all was well with the world for the next 38 years. Finally in 2003, the Big Dig extended the Pike to the airport and to Rte 1-A.
(Thanks to UMass for the information used in this blogpost)

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About the author

Jim Botticelli, a 1976 Northeastern University graduate, is a retired Boston Public Schools teacher. In college, he drove a cab and learned the city's cow paths. An avid collector of More »

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