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Author Topic: Pre Thanksgiving Road Trip: VT to CT via Eastern Mass  (Read 3392 times)

shadyjay

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Pre Thanksgiving Road Trip: VT to CT via Eastern Mass
« on: November 26, 2013, 10:46:42 PM »

Decided to visit my family in CT for Thanksgiving, leaving 11/26 in the afternoon.  Having to drop off a friend near Foxboro, MA, it gave me the opportunity to travel some roads I haven't taken in several years.

The route:
VT 100 S -> VT 107 E -> I-89 S -> I-93 S -> Everett Tpke S -> US 3 S -> I-495 S -> I-95 S -> I-295 S -> I-95 S -> CT 9 N

Observations:
*  I-89, The Lebanon welcome center is apparently now closed for the winter.  The weigh station portion is still open but access to
    the rest area portion is blocked off.  The Sutton tourist info center 30 miles further south was open, though.
*  I-93, The Hooksett Rest Area building has been torn down and work is underway to construct the new "service area".  The liquor
    store remains open.
*  First time traveling through the rebuilt "open road" toll plaza in Hooksett, albeit using cash lanes.  Traffic moves so much nicer and 
    there is a nice long seperated slow down / speed up zone on either side of the plaza.
*  Slow going on I-495 to a few miles outside of Lowell and a few miles approaching I-290 and I-90 exits. 
*  Slow going on I-95 from I-495 to I-295
*  I-295 SB is down to 2 lanes in Mass due to bridge rebuilding
*  Slow going on I-95 from I-295 merge down to a few miles past the RI 4 split.
*  I-95 signage for RI 2 has finally been replaced
*  I-95 CT button copy signage from the RI border to Exit 91 is in pretty bad shape.  I kinda had hoped a "safety improvement"
    project in this section would have replaced signage, but apparently not.  A nice new assembly for Exit 87-SB features
    the yellow "LEFT" tab and aligned exit tabs, on a new curved pipe gantry.  This was replaced as part of a statewide spot overhead
    sign replacement project and not part of a full signing project.
*  I-95 CT was "in the dark" between Exits 89 & 86.... lights not lit at 7 at night.
*  Traffic was heavy on the "turnpike" between Exits 75 and 70, though the I-395 merge was surprisingly quiet.

Weather was dry from leaving VT at 2pm, until I-495 in Mass.  Luckily temps were well above freezing so I didn't have to worry about wintery conditions.  If I left VT later in the day, the drive would mostly have taken longer due to the weather. 

I'm heading back to VT on Friday morning and my route will pretty much be the same, just in reverse. 

Again, no pics.... I'll see what I can get on the return, time and traffic permitting.
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froggie

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Re: Pre Thanksgiving Road Trip: VT to CT via Eastern Mass
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2013, 08:30:39 AM »

Quote
VT 100 S -> VT 107 E

Couldn't you cut the corner going over Bethel Mountain Rd?  Or even taking the river road from Stockbridge?


Quote
*  I-89, The Lebanon welcome center is apparently now closed for the winter.

I'd noticed that myself 2 weeks ago.   Same thing with the I-93 rest area near Littleton.  Yet Vermont's are still open (at least the one on northbound 91 north of Bradford was...didn't pass by any others while I was home).
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spooky

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Re: Pre Thanksgiving Road Trip: VT to CT via Eastern Mass
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2013, 08:36:01 AM »


*  I-295 SB is down to 2 lanes in Mass due to bridge rebuilding

and also across the border in RI.
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shadyjay

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Re: Pre Thanksgiving Road Trip: VT to CT via Eastern Mass
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2013, 12:39:18 PM »

Quote
VT 100 S -> VT 107 E

Couldn't you cut the corner going over Bethel Mountain Rd?  Or even taking the river road from Stockbridge?

Oh, but I did!  I prefer the latter since it puts less wear and tear on my vehicle and 107 is a straight shot 50mph route from Stockbridge to Bethel.
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Alps

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Re: Pre Thanksgiving Road Trip: VT to CT via Eastern Mass
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2013, 04:58:18 PM »


*  I-295 SB is down to 2 lanes in Mass due to bridge rebuilding

and also across the border in RI.
I can't think that this is an issue, even during peak times.

shadyjay

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Re: Pre Thanksgiving Road Trip: VT to CT via Eastern Mass
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2013, 02:24:33 PM »

So the return trip is complete.  The route was pretty similar:

CT 9 SB -> I-95 NB -> I-495 NB -> US 3 NB -> Everett Tpke NB -> I-93 NB -> I-89 NB -> VT 107 WB -> Blackmer -> VT 100NB


Comments/Observations:

*  Quiet through CT
*  Signs for the closed welcome center in RI are all removed
*  First time through Providence in quite a while.  Nice pullthrough between I-195 and US 6, which says I-95 North/Boston Ma.
*  The "forgotten" I-95 SB assembly for RI Exit 30, right on the border is still there
*  The building at the I-95 NB welcome center in Mansfield before I-495 is closed, with portable restrooms available.  Was it ever
    opened this summer?
*  The ground-mounted I-95 NB exit sign for I-495 NB is still there
*  I-495 was awesomely quiet, up until I-290
*  Still amazing how the "advance control city mileage" points change after every exit.  Some say:  ## - Worcester, ## Lowell,  ##
    Lawrence; others say ## - Mass Pike, ## Lawrence, ## Portsmouth NH, for example.
*  I-495 NB final overhead for I-90 has been replaced with a sign similar to that on I-95/128, with the MassPike logo replacing the 
   text.
*  I-495 NB rest area just outside Lowell still has its building closed, but has portable restrooms.  The place was packed.
*  I-93 Hooksett Rest Area - visitor info center building is gone (just like SB side), liquor store remains.  Temporary trailers provide
   restrooms and some tourist information.  Food and fuel service will be in the new building, along with a liquor store.
*  Construction continues on the I-93 bridge over I-89.  Traffic entering I-89 NB from NH 3A has a stop sign now.

Pretty uneventful drive... though the malls looked packed along the way.  No ramp backups leading to said malls.  Everything moved along smoothly.


« Last Edit: November 30, 2013, 08:46:17 AM by shadyjay »
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KEVIN_224

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Re: Pre Thanksgiving Road Trip: VT to CT via Eastern Mass
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2013, 05:54:19 PM »

How come you went on CT Route 9 South? Was heading towards RI a must for your trip? :P
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shadyjay

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Re: Pre Thanksgiving Road Trip: VT to CT via Eastern Mass
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2013, 08:36:45 AM »

I brought one of my coworkers down to Franklin, MA so the best route from there to CT is down I-95.  Same for the return.  My trip took me to my hometown which is just off CT 9 about 4 miles north of I-95.  If I wasn't going via Franklin, Mass, I'd shoot down I-91 from I-89 and then to CT 9 S, and the trip would take 4 hours.  But going via eastern Mass added an extra 2 hours.  At least I had company for some of the ride and some "financial assistance" in the gas dept.  I paid $3.69 in Niantic CT.  A station in Warner, NH where we stopped for lunch at McDonalds was $3.32. 

In reality, there are half-dozen ways I could've gotten between CT and Franklin.  I-84 would've involved dealing with Hartford area traffic, as well as the Mass Pike, which was very backed up on Tuesday.  I-395 to US 6 is a possibility but I just took I-395 over the summer, so I covered that route.  Plus, ever since they reduced the number of lanes on US 6, its not as much fun.  So I-95 was the other alternative, taking I-295 on the way down and going straight through PVD on the return.  If it wasn't a time-sensetive trip, I probably would've backtracked from Franklin back to I-95 and taken 128 to either 3 or 93.  And if finances and time permitted, I would've gone I-95 right up to Maine, turned around in Kittery, and taken Rt 4 or 101 across to 93, just to say I hit all 6 New England states in one trip.  But that wasn't happening this time.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2013, 08:42:37 AM by shadyjay »
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