The Lowell Connector is a three mile freeway spur stemming north from U.S. 3 and Interstate 495 into the city of Lowell. The four to six-lane route was completed in 1962.1 It was designated Business Spur I-495 and signed as such until a decommissioning in the 1980s. The connector is currently unnumbered.

Lowell, MA - 1969

Business Spur I-495 appears on the 1970 Official Massachusetts Highway Map.

Lowell - 1970 Massachusetts Official Highway Map

Lowell - 1969
The Lowell Connector branches north from a wye interchange with U.S. 3. Interchanges along the freeway connect with I-495, Industrial Avenue, Plain Street and Route 3A.

Lowell Connector north
Ramps from Interstate 495 come together ahead of the Lawrence city line and Lowell Connector northbound mainline. 07/29/07
A parclo interchange (Exit 3) follows with Industrial Avenue to adjacent retail, business and industrial park areas. 07/29/07
The Lowell Connector runs north alongside River Meadow Brook to MA 3A at Thorndike Street. A diamond interchange (Exit 4) joins the freeway with Plain Street next. 07/29/07
Plain Street connects the Lowell Connector with adjacent Massachusetts 110 (Chelmsford Street) and the Meadow Brook Center retail plaza. Parker Street west from Plain Street leads to the Highlands neighborhood. 07/29/07
Bending northeast, the freeway approaches a parclo interchange (Exits 5A/B) with Massachusetts 3A (Thorndike Street). 07/29/07
The freeway ends at a signalized intersection with Gorham Street in 2,000 feet. 07/29/07
Exit 5A departs for Massachusetts 3A south as it overtakes Gorham Street to Bleachery and south Lowell. The mainline ends at Gorham Street directly. 07/29/07
Massachusetts 3A extends north along Thorndike Street to the Gallagher Intermodal Center and a split diamond interchange with Massachusetts 110 (Appleton Street) by South Common park. MA 110 turns east while MA 3A takes Westford Street to the west. 07/29/07
The Lowell Connector ends as traffic defaults onto Gorham Street north to the city center. 07/29/07
Gorham Street intersects Elm and Highland Streets just north of the Lowell Connector end at the Middlesex County Superior Courthouse. 07/29/07
Lowell Connector south
The Lowell Connector travels with six overall lanes from Thorndike Street (MA 3A) south to the trumpet interchange (Exits 2B-A and 1B) with Interstate 495. The freeway runs between Massachusetts 110 (Chelmsford Street) and River Meadow Brook south to Industrial Avenue (Exit 3). 07/29/07
Exit 3 departs from the Connector south to Industrial Avenue. Industrial Avenue angles northwest from a rotary with the south side ramps to Cross Point towers and MA 110. The road east serves an industrial park and links with Swan Street east to Boston Road. 07/29/07
Crossing over Industrial Avenue, guide signs partition traffic for ramps to Interstate 495 south to Worcester and north to Lawrence. Exits 2B-A depart next to connect with the U.S. 3 freeway north to Nashua, New Hampshire. 07/29/07
U.S. 3 travels northwest from Lowell to Tyngsborough before entering New Hampshire at Nashua. Motorists taking Exit 2A join the adjacent ramp from I-495 south to U.S. 3 north. 07/29/07
A loop ramp (Exit 1B) follows from the Lowell Connector mainline to Interstate 495 north to Lawrence, Haverhill and Salisbury. The Connector mainline otherwise defaults onto U.S. 3 south toward Boston via a wye interchange (Exit 1A). 07/29/07
Lowell Connector scenes
3 photos
3 photos
3 photos
A lone shield remained for Business Spur I-495 along Plain Street east at Quimby Avenue for the Lowell Connector. This sign was taken down by 2008. 06/27/05, 07/29/07
A diamond interchange connects Plain Street with the Lowell Connector between Avenue C and Turner Street. 07/29/07
The southbound on-ramps to the Lowell Connector simply reference the connections with Interstate 495 and the U.S. 3 freeway south. 07/29/07

Sources:
  1. Outer Circumferential Highway (I-495), BostonRoads.com.


Photo Credits:

    06/27/05 by AARoads and Carter Buchanan. 07/29/07 by AARoads.

Connect with:
Interstate 495

Page Updated 09-20-2016.

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