Interstate 495 is the outer beltway serving Boston metropolitan area commuters. Cities directly served by I-495 include Lowell, Lawrence and Haverhill. The highway also provides part of a bypass route from the Mass Pike south to Cape Cod and north to the New Hampshire Seacoast.
Until 1996, I-495 was the longest three-digit Interstate highway, when I-476 in Pennsylvania was extended north from Plymouth Meeting to Clarks Summit.
Interstate 495 north at the trumpet interchange and access road to the Mass Pike at Westborough. Photo taken 10/06/14.
Plans for 2021 or beyond call for improving the I-90/495 interchange. With the Mass Pike switch to all electronic tolling (AET) on October 28, 2016, the toll plaza between the two trumpet interchanges linking the beltway and toll road was no longer needed. The removal of the toll barrier allows for the addition of flyovers or other high speed ramps to eliminate some of the weaving traffic patterns currently in place.
Interstate 495 was built in segments between 1958 and 1982.1 The route ended at Interstate 95 in Foxborough from the north until June 17, 1975, when AASHTO approved the southeasterly extension to Interstate 195 at Wareham. With mileage gained from the cancellations of both I-95 along the Southwest and Northeast Expressways through Boston, and the Inner Belt Expressway for I-695, the I-495 extension superseded Route 25 1 Interchanges were renumbered to start at Wareham instead of Foxborough.