Project will replace rotary with modern interchange to ease congestion, enhance safety
METHUEN – Tuesday, July 1, 2014 – Today, MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey was joined by Merrimack Valley area elected officials to break ground on a project to convert the Methuen Rotary, which connects I-93 with Routes 110 and 113, into a modern “partial cloverleaf” interchange that will simplify the network of streets, ease congestion, and enhance safety in the area.
“We are committed to investing in transportation improvements that support a growing economy across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Deval L. Patrick. “The Methuen Interchange Reconstruction project is an excellent example of this commitment and will benefit area residents and visitors for years to come.”
First built in 1959, the rotary interchange was designed to accommodate traffic volumes well beneath what exist today. As a result, traffic regularly backs up on Routes 110 and 113 as well as on I-93, causing delays and higher than normal crash rates.
“It’s well documented: this entire interchange has outgrown its efficiency, usefulness, and its reliability,” said MassDOT Secretary Davey. “This project’s design is a reflection of the needs and uses of today, and more importantly, will allow us to give everyone who for years have been waiting in a delay something back: their time.”
Beginning this month, the $66.4 million project will replace the rotary with two new ramps: one offramp from I-93 northbound and one onramp from I-93 southbound, both at exit 46. The ramps will join a realigned segment of Routes 110 and 113 that will allow for easier travel east and west through new traffic signals installed at two intersections.
“The Methuen Rotary and I-93 interchange project has been a long time coming and it is encouraging to see substantial movement forward,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. Since 2009, I have worked in conjunction with state officials to secure significant federal funding and support to advance this critical infrastructure project that means so much to the region. As many residents know, this is an integral part of the transportation artery that links people from the Third District to jobs, commerce and recreation along the northern-Massachusetts corridor, and into the city of Boston. The project will benefit economic development, public safety and the livelihood of residents well into the future. Today’s announcement is a testament to strong, longstanding public/private partnerships and the local, state and federal organizations who came together to find an efficient solution to a complex problem.”
In addition to reconfiguring the interchange, the project is also adding new features specifically designated for use by pedestrians and cyclists on Routes 110 and 113. Routes 110 and 113 will run in a new west-to-east alignment that, with the removal of the rotary, will provide a safer environment for the both modes of travel, while limiting the conflict points and controlling them with traffic signals and crosswalks.
The project is expected to be complete in April 2018.
“The Methuen rotary project is a long overdue improvement for our city’s infrastructure, once completed it will make travel easier and safer for our residents and commuters,” said Methuen Mayor Stephen N. Zanni. “On behalf of the city of Methuen, I appreciate the initiative the Governor’s office has taken on this project and the efforts put forth by Congresswoman Niki Tsongas to shepherd the work forward. We are looking forward to seeing this construction get underway and the long-term positive impact it will have for our city.”
“Reconstruction of the Methuen Rotary will relieve much of the current traffic congestion in this part of the Merrimack Valley and add significant safety features for drivers, pedestrians and bikers alike,” said Senator Barry Finegold. “I thank Governor Patrick for the increased ease with which many of my constituents will now be able to travel on Route 110, Route 113 and I-93.”
“This project has been long awaited for the residents of Methuen and will address significant safety and congestion concerns that have made it one of the most dangerous intersections in the state,” said Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives. “I look forward to the completion of this project so that travelers using the rotary can benefit from safer conditions as soon as possible.”
"I am most grateful that our state and federal delegations were able to hold onto the funding during the recessionary period,” said Representative Linda Dean Campbell. “This project will greatly promote economic development along the river between Methuen and Lowell."
“Improving this intersection is a worthy use of transportation funds,” said Representative Frank Moran. “Safety and congestion have been an issue for many years and I am pleased we are working towards improvement.”
In 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) was created to unify the state’s various transportation agencies. MassDOT now includes the Highway Division, the MBTA and Rail Transit Division, the Aeronautics Division, and the Registry of Motor Vehicles. MassDOT is committed to providing a safe and reliable transportation system to all those who travel in the Commonwealth and works to deliver excellent customer service. MassDOT has been nationally recognized for its innovative approach to transportation, including the Accelerated Bridge Program, the “Where’s My Bus and Train?” apps and “Fast 14” work. For more information, visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot blog: http://blog.mass.gov/transportation/, or follow MassDOT on twitter at https://twitter.com/MassDOT and Facebook at www.facebook.com/massdotinfo.