Interstate 290 forms a loop connecting the city of Worcester with the Mass Pike (Interstate 90) to the south and Interstate 495, the outer beltway for Boston, to the east at Hudson. The western end of I-290 shares a terminal point with Interstate 395 north from Connecticut. Interstate 190 stems north from the turn of I-290 from the leg through Worcester and the east-west portion to Shrewsbury, Northborough and I-495.
Interstate 290 opened initially by Washington Square in September, 1960. Completion of the route occurred in 1970 with the extension to Marlborough.1
Initial proposals for Interstate 290 looped the route southeast from Worcester to an end point at the confluence of Interstate 90 (Massachusetts Turnpike) and Interstate 495 in Hopkinton. This alignment shifted northward to the present course of I-290 by 1965.1
Construction of I-290 at the eastern terminus included a stub beyond the full cloverleaf interchange linking the freeway with Interstate 495. This changed by the mid-1970s with construction of the Route 85 Connector. The connector leads east from the end of I-290 to Massachusetts 85 at Technology Drive. As part of the work to build the expressway spur, the loop ramp from I-290 east to I-495 north was replaced with a sharp left side ramp.