BOSTON - On Monday, MassDOT officials announced a major overhaul of exit numbers for Massachusetts highways and routes.

The project will take roughly 2 years as they change exits currently numbered sequentially to a mileage-based system, according to Boston.com.

The change is necessary to meet federal policies in order for the state to continue receiving federal funding. New Hampshire and Delaware will also be implementing the necessary changes to comply with federal policy.

Construction will begin in late summer next year with crews starting on Interstate 91 with a plan to work on a route to route basis. Changes will not be made to the Lowell Connector, Route 213, Interstate 291 as well as Interstate 391.

The early announcement by MassDOT comes in order to prepare the public for exit number changes, traffic delays and a change in signage.

 

“We don’t want to confuse the public when we’re out there,” Neil Boudreau, the MassDOT’s assistant administrator for traffic and safety, shared at a board meeting earlier this week. “We intend to move from west to east.”

While the public adjusts to the new exit numbers, the old exit numbers will remain displayed for up to two years to avoid any confusion for travelers.

“We are not planning to go out and remove them at two years and one day,” Boudreau stated. “The thought process was as we have a new project in that area, we would take them down.”

While adjustments are being made, Boudreau shared that travelers will be updated with the use of electronic billboards, social media and online maps.

Changing exit numbers to a mileage based system is expected to make emergency response easier for police and fire while aiding travelers in finding their destination, MassDOT pointed out.

According to CBS Local, 90% of the cost of the changes will be paid for with federal funding. 

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