Giving Berkshires directions to Pike travelers? Get ready to tell them to take Exit 10

Signs identifying exits 1 and 2 on the Massachusetts Turnpike will soon be changed. The change is part of a federal mandate to use highway mileage markers to label exits, rather than a simple 1, 2, 3 count.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.  

PITTSFIELD — Frosted or not, the Berkshires could seem dream-like to travelers once the state wraps up a roads project.

In coming months, signs identifying exits 1 and 2 on the Massachusetts Turnpike will be changed as part of a sweeping name game that uses highway mileage rather than a simple 1, 2, 3 count.

Exit 1 in West Stockbridge will become Exit 3. Exit 2 in Lee will be labeled Exit 10.

Those are the only two changes coming to the Berkshires, state highway officials say, as they pick up the pace on a $2.8 million project delayed by the pandemic.

[cqembed title="Untitled" content="PGlmcmFtZSB3aWR0aD0iNTYwIiBoZWlnaHQ9IjMxNSIgc3JjPSJodHRwczovL3d3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbS9lbWJlZC83Z0c5LVBsLWZVQSIgZnJhbWVib3JkZXI9IjAiIGFsbG93PSJhY2NlbGVyb21ldGVyOyBhdXRvcGxheTsgY2xpcGJvYXJkLXdyaXRlOyBlbmNyeXB0ZWQtbWVkaWE7IGd5cm9zY29wZTsgcGljdHVyZS1pbi1waWN0dXJlIiBhbGxvd2Z1bGxzY3JlZW4+PC9pZnJhbWU+"]The federal government is paying 90 percent of the cost of the new signs, which are required by the Federal Highway Administration.

The new approach is referred to as a "milepost-based numbering system."

The state Department of Transportation will hold an online information session at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. To register, click here.

An interactive map showing all the locations is available at newmassexits.com.

Thursday's meeting will not discuss the changes coming for Berkshires exits, focusing instead on state and federal roads in eastern Massachusetts. Work is expected to continue through next summer.

The new signs will resemble current ones. For up to two years, an additional sign referring to the exit's former number will be displayed to travelers.

The DOT says the new system makes it easier to add exits, though that long-discussed prospect for the western Pike is now off the table.

Officials also claim the milepost system helps travelers determine distances ahead and aids emergency responders.

The DOT says it will use electronic message boards to advise travelers about work being done. Other types of signs that list exit numbers when referring to cultural or recreation destinations will be updated, the state says.

However, it will fall to businesses themselves to update marketing materials listing the old numbers.

Larry Parnass can be reached at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com, at @larryparnass on Twitter and 413-588-8341.


TALK TO US

If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us.
We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.