Massachusetts highway exits to get new mileage-based numbers

BOSTON (WHDH) - Highway exit numbers across the Bay State will soon be changing.

Massachusetts is set to adopt mileage-based exit numbering and move away from the sequential exit numbering method, according to MassDOT.

The changes are being made under a federal mandate that threatens to take federal funds away from states that don’t comply with the numbering system.

In 2009, the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices mandated that all states establish the mileage-based exit numbering system. Outside of the Bay State, New Hampshire and Delaware are the only other states that have not yet complied.

Conversion to the mileage-based numbering system will be implemented on a “route-by-route” basis. Work will start in the western part of the state and move east. For individual routes, exit numbering conversion will take place east to west or north to south.

Construction on the new highway signs is slated to begin next summer. Work is expected to be completed by January 2022. Old exit numbers will stay up for two years after the changes are completed.

MassDOT says the changes will bring driver-friendly navigation, more accurate emergency response, national uniformity, and reduced maintenance costs.

The project will be paid for through the Federal Highway Safety Improvement Fund.

MassDOT will hold 12 public information meetings prior to the changeover.

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