VHB I-495/I-90 Interchange Design Work Nears Completion

Hopkinton and Westborough, MA

June 17, 2024

VHB is celebrating a milestone on the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) I-495/I-90 interchange improvements project as design work nears completion. As a design-build project, design and construction have been delivered in lockstep since 2022; now, with the design nearing completion, the focus—and majority of the workload—will shift to the remaining construction, led by design-build partners Barletta Heavy Division, O&G, and Aetna Bridge.

GIS map of wetlands areas. Digital rendering showing eventual traffic flow through the project area.

For the past two years, VHB has committed 216 team members to the project, drawing from its deep bench of highway, traffic, structural, and ITS engineers and environmental scientists to design the new mainlines of I-90 and I-495, eight new reconfigured ramps, new bridge structures, and solutions for the sensitive environmental resource area. While the bulk of the design work is concluding, construction is accelerating and will continue through 2025, with a smaller team of VHBers continuing to support the project through environmental monitoring, construction-related design needs, and traffic engineering to manage the ongoing flow of nearly 200,000 daily vehicles through the project area.

Contractors Barletta Heavy Division, O&G, and Aetna Bridge Company will bring VHB’s designs to life to significantly change the interchange’s original configuration, which funneled all traffic at the “dumbbell interchange” through MassDOT’s tolling plaza. This created a bottleneck that caused major congestion, contributing to crash rates at the interchange that were twice the statewide average. MassDOT transitioned to electronic tolling in 2018, rendering the physical toll plaza obsolete and the interchange’s funneling inefficient. The new configuration will improve traffic flow by reducing queuing and congestion, enhancing commuter safety, and shortening travel times.

To learn more about our bridge and highway design-build services in Massachusetts, contact Don Cooke, Regional Service Lead, Transportation or Bob Penfield, Managing Director—Highway & Structures.

Digital rendering of the I-495 and I-90 interchange project area.