Scott Fybush scott@fybush.com
Fri Nov 20 01:02:17 EST 2009

A. Joseph Ross wrote:

> I believe there were some major powers in the Legislature at the time 
> who were from farther west.  This may be why there are so many exits 
> around the Springfield-Chicopee area.   It may also be why there is I-
> 91 along the Connecticut River, but no similar north-south road in 
> Worcester County.

The Connecticut River itself may also explain the existence of a 
north-south road - there were natural north-south trade and travel 
routes along the river going back to the 18th century, if not earlier.

There was never really a comparable natural route north-south through 
hilly Worcester County. The 1920s-era system of New England regional 
road numbering designated "Route 12," which still runs south from NH 
through Worcester County and into Connecticut to this day, but it never 
spawned a north-south US route to match US 5 along the Connecticut River 
or US 1 along the coast.

(And yes, route 8 through the Berkshires and route 10 through the 
Pioneer Valley are also still-extant remnants of the old New England 
routes, as is route 14 through central Mass. and eastern Connecticut.)

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