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Officials: Give Harvey's Private Access to Mass Pike

The idea was generated to alleviate traffic issues at the Routes 495/90/9 interchanges.

 

There are certain givens when it comes to the Westborough rotary: confused out-of-town drivers, and a passing truck. But a new proposal may take one of those constants away.

At its March 27 meeting, the Board of Selectmen voted to send a letter to Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary Richard Davey in support of allowing trucks from Harvey’s to access the Mass Pike from Route 135 near the Hopkinton border. Allowing the access will significantly reduce the number of trucks going through the downtown areas of both Westborough and Hopkinton, explained.

The idea is not new, but it has gained momentum in light of a recent focus on congestion at the Routes 495/90/9 interchanges. MassDOT recently commissioned a project team to examine remedies for the increased traffic.

“They find that in the next 20 years, gridlock will occur at Route 495 south and Route 9 east in the morning and, in the evening, on Route 495 south again,” said Town Planner Jim Robbins.

At a public meeting in Westborough on March 27, MassDOT consultants projected up to a 20 percent increase of traffic on Route 495 and up to a 10 percent increase in traffic on Route 9 over the next two decades. For that reason, a number of proposals are being considered to alleviate the pressure. These include possibly widening off ramps and adding extra lanes.

Both Malloy and Robbins support the idea to allow trucks from Harvey’s to use gated access roads onto the Mass Pike that are currently only used by emergency personnel. One road leads into the Westborough Service Plaza and would allow the trucks to enter the Mass Pike westbound. The other leads directly onto the Mass Pike eastbound. Both are on the Westborough-Hopkinton border and next to the Harvey’s facility. It was suggested that the move would take a large number of Harvey's trucks out of the Routes 495/90/9 congestion.

The issue, Robbins said, is that it would be allowing public access for a private company. The access roads are owned by the state.

Granting permission would require legislation. The selectmen learned that the next step was to send a letter of support to Davey.

“I think this makes sense to proceed in this fashion,” said Selectman Tim Dodd.

The motion was passed unanimously.

Nicole March 28, 2012 at 04:47 PM
This would be great! I live off of 135 near Harvey's and I am constantly stuck behind a truck all the way to the rotary.
Gary Kelley March 28, 2012 at 07:43 PM
A common sense solution! I like it.
Mike March 28, 2012 at 09:09 PM
“They find that in the next 20 years, gridlock will occur at Route 495 south and Route 9 east in the morning and, in the evening, on Route 495 south again,” said Town Planner Jim Robbins Are you kidding me? There's a small gap (most days) between Rt9 @McDonalds and 495 eastbound, 495 to 9W, particularly during school is aleady jammed. They can figure this out in 20 minutes any day of the week. Good news is if there are that many cars then the economy must be fixed, everyone has jobs, real estate market will be back. Either that or there's a Casino in Foxborough
Allen Edinberg March 29, 2012 at 12:58 PM
I think that they should open these ramps as FastLane only options for businesses and residents in the area. Many would pay a fee per use above and beyond the cost of getting off the pike at 495.
Mark Derderian March 29, 2012 at 01:20 PM
These trucks are already running on public roads. Let them do it. In addition the pike should have been toll free years ago. Shouldn't that be the real topic.
Joseph ONeill April 29, 2012 at 03:01 PM
It would also ruduce harveys carborn foot print, putting tons less carborn into the towns air each year and that is a added health beniffit! It makes sence, it would improve the quality of life for the towns People and 11 years of debating a good idea is long enough!

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