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State to test new traffic pattern at I-95, Mass Pike interchange to reduce bottleneck

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  July 11, 2013 06:02 PM

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Massachusetts Department of Transportation

State transportation officials are temporarily instating a new traffic pattern at the I-95/I-90 interchange July 17 in an effort to reduce congestion. If the experiment works, the change will be made permanent.

State transportation officials next week plan to test a new traffic pattern they hope will alleviate congestion at the interchange that connects two of the state's busiest roadways: the Massachusetts Turnpike and Interstate 95.

The change will be in place for two weeks, but if the experiment goes well, officials will make the new pattern permanent.

Starting July 17, officials will temporarily close a section of Interstate 95's northbound right lane to thru traffic at the interchange where Massachusetts Turnpike drivers merge onto the highway to try to reduce bottleneck traffic.The lane will become a dedicated lane for motorists coming off the turnpike and entering Interstate 95 north.

State officials said traffic builds up as vehicles from the Mass Pike and Route 30 merge onto I-95 northbound in Weston, just north of I-95's exit 23-24-25, since I-95 traffic still travels in the right lane where the other traffic merges. This causes a build-up of vehicles through the toll plaza and even onto the Mass Pike, officials said.

Planners hope closing a portion of the right lane on I-95 northbound, which dedicates an entire lane to the mergers, will help address the issue that is a source of frustration for many local commuters.

Barrels and cones will mark off the right lane, and digital highway signs will let drivers know about the change.

During the test, MassDOT officials will be collecting information to ensure the new configuration alleviates congestion as predicted. If the trial period proves successful, MassDOT will make the changes permanent by installing new signs and new lane markings later this summer.

For more information, visit MassDOT's website explaining the change.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

Follow her on Twitter: @jaclynreiss

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