U.S. Route 3

U.S. Route 3

U.S. Route 3 marker

U.S. Route 3
Route information
Length: 277.00 mi[1] (445.79 km)
Existed: 1926[1] – present
Major junctions
South end: Route 2A / Route 3 in Cambridge, Mass.
  Route 2 in Cambridge, Mass.
Route 16 in Cambridge, Mass.
Route 60 in Arlington, Mass.
I-95 / Route 128 in Burlington, Mass.
I-495 in Chelmsford, Mass.
Everett Tpke. in Nashua, N.H.
NH 101 near Manchester, N.H.
US 4 near Concord, N.H.
I-93 in Franconia, N.H.
US 2 in Lancaster, N.H.
North end: Route 257 near Chartierville, Quebec
Highway system

United States Numbered Highways
List • Bannered • Divided • Replaced

U.S. Route 3 is a north–south United States highway that runs from its southern terminus in Cambridge, Massachusetts[2] through New Hampshire to its terminus near Third Connecticut Lake at the Canadian border, where the road continues north as Quebec Route 257.

In New Hampshire parts of US 3 are known as the Daniel Webster Highway. From Burlington, Massachusetts to Nashua, New Hampshire, US 3 is a freeway. (The 6.7 miles (10.8 km) in New Hampshire are a free portion of the Everett Turnpike.) A second freeway portion exists in northern New Hampshire, where US 3 utilizes the Franconia Notch Parkway and a short segment of Interstate 93, before proceeding on two-lane roads north to the border with Canada. While the southern terminus has not changed there have been different northern termini to this route.

Massachusetts Route 3 continues beyond Boston to Cape Cod, but has never been part of US 3.


Route description

  mi km
NH 241.49 388.55
MA 35.52 57.14
Total 277.00 445.70


In Massachusetts, US 3's freeway portion heading from Interstate 95/Route 128 to the New Hampshire border is numbered using the original exit numbering system from the days when US 3's freeway portion was to extend south of Route 128 to Boston to connect with Massachusetts Route 2 and the never-built Inner Belt (I-695). The numbering 'begins' with Exit 25 at Route 128 and proceeds north. All other freeways which once used that system have been renumbered with more conventional exit numbers. Because of the cancellation of Route 3 as an expressway inside of 128, one travelling on Route 3 will travel along a wrong-way concurrency with MA-128/I-95 for a short while (going South on Route 3 is 128 and 95 North), as to link up the "old" Route 3 inside of the belt and the "new" Route 3 outside of it.

The "old" Route 3 runs south from I-95/Route 128 Exit 33, through portions of Burlington, Woburn, and Winchester without intersecting any other numbered routes. In Arlington, it joins with Massachusetts Routes 60 and 2A in Arlington Center. It is only briefly joined with Route 60, as that route goes south, while the joined Routes 3 and 2A go east along Massachusetts Avenue, until it intersects the Alewife Brook Parkway and Massachusetts Route 16, at which point Route 3 joins those routes heading south. At the Alewife MBTA Station, Route 3 joins Massachusetts Route 2 and the Fresh Pond Parkway bearing south and east to Memorial Drive in Cambridge. US Route 3 ends on Memorial Drive at the point where it meets Massachusetts Route 3.

New Hampshire

U.S. Route 3 is one of New Hampshire's most well-known roads, as it passes through most of the state's major cities and towns. It is the only signed/numbered route in the state to extend fully from its southern border with Massachusetts to its northern border with Quebec; thus, it is also the longest route within New Hampshire, at 241 miles (388 km).

Route 3 crosses the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border, leaving the town of Tyngsborough, Massachusetts and entering the city of Nashua, New Hampshire, and becomes known as the Everett Turnpike. Route 3 leaves the Everett Turnpike at Exit 7E in Nashua and turns northeast for approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) along a segment known as the Henri Burque Highway, before turning north onto Concord Street, which soon becomes known as the Daniel Webster Highway. Many locals will erroneously refer to the Everett Turnpike from Exit 7 through the I-293 interchange as Route 3 and refer to the actual Route 3 only as the Daniel Webster Highway. Route 3 continues north through the town of Merrimack and into Bedford, where it becomes South River Road. Route 3 parallels Interstate 293 until it turns east, crossing the Merrimack River on Queen City Avenue approximately three-quarters of a mile north of the Bedford-Manchester line. After approximately three-quarters of a mile, Route 3 then turns north onto Elm Street in downtown Manchester. After approximately 2.2 miles (3.5 km) on Elm Street, Route 3 turns east onto Webster Street, then joins NH Route 28 to proceed in a northeasterly direction on another segment of the Daniel Webster Highway.

In Suncook, New Hampshire, Route 28 leaves to the northeast, and Route 3 proceeds northwest towards Concord on Pembroke Street, becoming Manchester Street when it enters the Concord city limits. Route 3 traverses downtown Concord, where it is known as North and South Main Street, then follows North State Street to Fisherville Road to Village Street in Penacook before crossing the Contoocook River into Boscawen. Route 3 travels north through Boscawen, briefly joining U.S. Route 4. Route 3 parallels the Merrimack River north into Franklin. In Franklin, the route joins New Hampshire Route 11 and turns east, briefly coinciding with New Hampshire Route 127, and passing through Tilton, where it crosses NH 132 and passes the western end of NH 140. Continuing northeast past Winnisquam Lake, Routes 3 and 11 reach Laconia and turn onto the Laconia-Gilford Bypass, passing interchanges with New Hampshire Routes 106, 107, and 11A. At the north end of the bypass, Routes 3 and 11 diverge, with Route 3 continuing north on Lake Street to Weirs Beach and an intersection with 11B. Route 3 continues north as the Daniel Webster Highway to Meredith at the north end of Meredith Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee. In Meredith, after passing the northern terminus of NH 106, Route 3 joins NH 25 and continues north past Squam Lake into Holderness, passing the west ends of NH 25B and NH 113. Through Holderness, Routes 3 and 25 gradually turn west, then southwest, passing the southern end of NH 175, and then reaching the northern end of NH 132 in Ashland.

From Ashland to North Woodstock, Route 3 proceeds north, roughly paralleling I-93 in the Pemigewasset River valley. Along this stretch it passes through the towns of Plymouth (where NH 25 diverges to the west), West Campton (where it meets the western end of NH 49, the principal access road to Waterville Valley), Thornton, and Woodstock. In North Woodstock, Route 3 crosses NH 112 (also known as the Kancamagus Highway to the east). Continuing north, Route 3 joins with I-93 as it passes through Franconia Notch State Park, one of the more scenic drives in the White Mountains. It separates from I-93 shortly north of the northern park boundary in Franconia, about 1.5-mile (2.4 km) north of the exit with NH 18. From there, after NH 141 branches northwest, Route 3 heads north and east toward Twin Mountain and a junction with US Route 302. This portion of the road is noted for fairly frequent moose sightings, especially during sunrise and sunset when moose are particularly active.

Heading north from Twin Mountain, Route 3 passes through the village of Carroll, where NH 115 branches to the northeast, and Route 3 bears to the northwest and the town of Whitefield. In the center of Whitefield, NH 142 branches to the northwest, and NH 116 crosses, running roughly southwest to northeast. Route 3 continues north to Lancaster, where it joins US Route 2 in the town center, and where NH 135 branches left. After US 2 leaves to the west, Route 3 continues north, roughly paralleling the course of the Connecticut River (which also forms the border with Vermont), through Northumberland and Groveton, where NH 110 ends. North of Groveton, Route 3 continues to follow the river, through Stratford, North Stratford, and Columbia, until it reaches Colebrook, where New Hampshire Routes 145 and 26 begin. Still following the Connecticut River north, Route 3 passes through portions of Stewartstown and Clarksville. In Stewartstown, the road turns more directly east (still following the Connecticut River, which is no longer a boundary), before resuming a northeasterly direction through Pittsburg, where it meets the northern end of NH 145, eventually heading directly north to the Canadian border crossing at Chartierville, Quebec, where it becomes Quebec Route 257.



New England 6.svg

Prior to the U.S. Highway system, the section of US 3 from Orleans, Massachusetts to Colebrook, New Hampshire was part of New England Interstate Route 6 (NE-6). It was replaced in its entirety with the establishment of US 3 in 1926.


Route 3 in Massachusetts (from Tyngsborough to Cambridge) closely follows the route of the early 19th Century Middlesex Canal and Middlesex Turnpike.

The modern expressway was begun around Massachusetts Route 110 at Lowell before World War II. In the 1950s, it was extended south to Route 128, and by the 1960s, it was completed north from Chelmsford to New Hampshire. In the first half of the first decade of the 21st century, the chronically congested four-lane road, largely with antiquated ramps around Lowell, was widened to six lanes (as it had been in Nashua, New Hampshire a few years previously), and many interchanges were modernized in what was comically known as "The Big Wide," in reference to Massachusetts' other "Big" construction project. The $365 million 21-mile (34 km) widening project was completed in 2005 from Burlington to the New Hampshire border.


According to the AASHTO route log, the southern terminus of U.S. Route 3 is at U.S. Route 20 in Boston, Massachusetts, after crossing the Charles River at the Boston University Bridge. However, MassDOT officially places the southern terminus at the junction of Route 2A and Route 3 in Cambridge, which is where Route 2A crosses the Charles along the Harvard Bridge (also known as the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge). The original northern terminus (in 1926) was Colebrook, New Hampshire, but the highway was extended to West Stewartstown, New Hampshire in 1928, and to Pittsburg, New Hampshire in 1937. Colebrook was temporarily the northern terminus again from 1939 to 1940. Since 1940, the highway has run through Pittsburg to the New Hampshire-Quebec border.

Major intersections

Note: milepost readings in parentheses reflect the actual posted milemarkers in Massachusetts. Since US-3 and MA Route 3 are treated as one continuous route by the state, mileposts continuously increase and do not reset when the designation changes in Cambridge.

County Location Mile[3] Exit Destinations Notes
Cambridge 0.00[4]
  Route 3 (Memorial Drive)
Route 2A
Southern terminus of US 3; northern terminus of Route 3
  Route 2 east (Boston University Bridge) Southern end of Route 2 concurrency
  Route 16 west Southern terminus of Route 16 concurrency
  Route 2 west (Concord Turnpike) Northern end of Route 26 concurrency
  Route 16 east
Route 2A east
Northern end of Route 16 concurrency; southern end of Route 2A concurrency
Arlington   Route 60 Brief concurrency with Route 60
  Route 2A west Northern end of Route 2A concurrency
Burlington 16.3
25 I-95 / Route 128
Route 3A
Southbound exit and northbound entrance; southern end of I-95/Route 128 concurrency; exit signed as 25A (north) and 25B (south)
Bedford 16.9
26 Route 62 – Burlington, Bedford
Billerica 20.4
27 Concord Road – Billerica, Bedford
28 Treble Cove Road – North Billerica, Carlisle
North Billerica 24.0
29 Route 129 – Billerica, Chelmsford
Chelmsford 25.5
30 Lowell Connector
I-495 – Lawrence, Marlborough
Signed northbound as exits 30A (Lowell Connector), 30B (I-495 north, via Lowell Connector) and 30C (I-495 south);Northbound; exits 30A and 30BB share collector ramp northbound
Signed southbound as exits 30A (I-495 north) and 30B (I-495 south) and shares a collector ramp with exit 31; no access to Lowell Connector southbound
31 Route 110 – Chelmsford Exits 30C and 31 share collector ramps northbound; exits 31, 30B and 30A share collector ramp southbound
North Chelmsford 28.0
32 Route 4 – North Chelmsford, Chelmsford
33 Route 40 – Westford, North Chelmsford
Tyngsboro 32.3
34 Westford Road – Tyngsborough, Westford
35 Route 113 – Dunstable, Tyngsborough
36 Middlesex Road – South Nashua, NH No southbound exit; entrance ramp to northbound US 3 crosses the state line and merges with the highway in New Hampshire
Massachusetts – New Hampshire state line
Nashua 0.50 1 Spit Brook Road – South Nashua
1.49 2 To NH 3A (Daniel Webster Highway) – Hudson, (Circumferential Highway Ramp from exit 1 northbound collector-distributor lane numbered exit 1A
2.59 3 Daniel Webster Highway – South Nashua Southbound exit and northbound entrance
3.18 4 East Dunstable Road Formerly signed with FAA Center as destination; signage was removed at the request of the Federal Aviation Administration shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks
4.69 5 NH 111 to NH 111A – Nashua, Hudson, Pepperell, MA Signed as exits 5E and 5W
5.13 5A Simon Street Northbound exit only
6.22 6 NH 130 (Broad Street) – Hollis
6.74 7 Everett Tpke. north
NH 101A – Nashua, Amherst, Milford
Northern end of the Everett Turnpike concurrency; signed as exits 7E (US 3 north / NH 101A east) and 7W (NH 101A west; brief concurrency with NH 101A west
Merrimack   Everett Tpke. Exit 10 on the Everett Turnpike via Industrial Drive
  Everett Tpke. Exit 11 on the Everett Turnpike via Greeley Street)
  Everett Tpke. south Exit 12 on the Everett Turnpike via Bedford Road; no access to Everett Turnpike north
Bedford   NH 101 to I-293 / Everett Tpke. Access to the I-293/Everett Tpke. via Route 101 east
Manchester   I-293 / Everett Tpke.
NH 3A north
NH 114A
Exit 4 on I-293; eastern terminus of NH 114A; western end of NH 3A concurrency
  NH 3A south Eastern end of NH 3A concurrency
  NH 28 south Southern end of NH 28 concurrency
Hooksett   I-93 Exit 9 on I-93
  NH 28A Northern terminus of NH 28A
  NH 27 Western terminus of NH 27
  NH 28 Bypass Northern terminus of NH 28 Bypass
Allenstown   NH 28 north Northern end of NH 28 concurrency in village of Suncook
Concord   I-93 Exit 13 on I-93
  NH 3A Northern terminus of the southern segment of NH 3A
  US 202 west / NH 9 west to NH 13 Southern end of US 202/NH 9 concurrency
  NH 9 east to I-93 Northern end of NH 9 concurrency
  I-393 east / US 202 east Northern end of US 202 concurrency; western terminus of I-393
Boscawen   US 4 east Southern end of US 4 concurrency near village of Penacook
  US 4 west Northern end of US 4 concurrency
Franklin   NH 127 south Southern end of NH 127 concurrency
  NH 3A / NH 11 west Southern end of NH 11/NH 127 concurrency
  NH 127 north Northern end of NH 127 concurrency
Tilton   NH 132 south Western end of NH 132 concurrency
NH 140 east
Exit 20 on I-93; western terminus of NH Route 140
  NH 132 north Eastern end of NH 132 concurrency
Belmont   NH 11A Western terminus of NH 11A
Laconia   NH 106 Interchange; to NH 107, via NH 106 north
  NH 107 Partial interchange; southbound exit and northbound entrance
Gilford   NH 11A Interchange
  NH 11 east Northern end of NH 11 concurrency; to] NH 11C
Laconia   NH 107 south Northern terminus of NH 107
  NH 11B Western terminus of NH 11B in village of Weirs Beach
Meredith     NH 106 Northern terminus of NH 106
    NH 104 Eastern terminus of NH 104
  NH 25 east Southern end of NH 25 concurrency
Center Harbor   NH 25B Western terminus of NH 25B
Holderness   NH 113 Southern terminus of NH 113
  NH 175 Southern terminus of NH 175
Ashland   NH 132 Northern terminus of NH 132
  I-93 Exit 24 on I-93
Plymouth   NH 175A Western terminus of NH 175A
  NH 3A
NH 25 west
Interchange; northern end of NH 25 concurrency; to I-93 via NH 3A north
Campton   I-93 Exit 27 on I-93 via Blair Road
  NH 49 Western terminus of NH 49
Thornton   I-93 Exit 29 on I-93
Woodstock   I-93 Exit 30 on I-93
  NH 175 Northern terminus of NH 175
  NH 112
Lincoln   I-93 Exit 33 on I-93
34A I-93 north Partial interchange for exit 34A on I-93 interchange; southern end of I-93 concurrency and the Franconia Notch Parkway
Franconia 34B Cannon Mountain Tramway – Old Man Historic Site
34C NH 18 – Echo Lake Beach, Peabody Slopes, Cannon Mountain Southern terminus of NH 18
35 I-93 north Northbound exit and southbound entrance; northern end of I-93 concurrency and Franconia Notch Parkway
  NH 141 Eastern terminus of NH 141; to I-93 north
Carroll   US 302 In village of Twin Mountain
  NH 115 Southern terminus of NH 115
Whitefield   NH 116 / NH 142 Brief concurrency with NH 116/NH 142
Lancaster   US 2 east Southern end of US 2 concurrency
  NH 135 Northern terminus of NH 135
  US 2 west Northern end of US 2 concurrency; to Vermont Route 102
Northumberland   NH 110 Western terminus of NH 110 in village of Groveton
Colebrook   NH 26 south Southern end of NH 26 concurrency
  NH 26 north Northern end of NH 26 concurrency; to Vermont Route 26/Route 102
  NH 145 Southern terminus of NH 145
Pittsburg   NH 145 Northern terminus of NH 145
241.49   Route 257 Northern terminus of US 3, roadway continues into Quebec as Route 257
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
     Concurrency terminus     Closed/Former     Incomplete access     Unopened

Bannered routes

Laconia business loop

U.S. Route 3 Business
Location: Laconia, New Hampshire

U.S. Route 3 Business is a 4.20-mile (6.76 km)[5] long business route running north–south through downtown Laconia, New Hampshire. It runs from US 3 in Laconia south to US 3 and NH 11 in Belmont, New Hampshire along New Hampshire Route 107 and New Hampshire Route 11A.


  1. ^ a b US Highways From US 1 to US 830 Robert V. Droz.
  2. ^ The official end according to AASHTO is at US 20 across the Charles River in Boston, though current signs indicate a terminus in Cambridge at Route 2A/3.
  3. ^ Complex Systems Research Center, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space. "NH GRANIT". University of New Hampshire. http://www.granit.sr.unh.edu/. Retrieved June 30, 2011. 
  4. ^ Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation. 2007. Interchange Lists (US 3). Downloaded from: http://www.eot.state.ma.us/default.asp?pgid=planning/disc/interchanges&sid=dtable , August 7, 2011. Mileage is for US 3 Only, Total Route 3 Mileage in (). MassDOT only recognizes combined mileage.
  5. ^ New Hampshire Routes 1-25

External links

Main U.S. Routes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38
40 41 42 43 44 45 46 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59
60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79
80 81 82 83 84 85 87 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99
101 163 400 412 425
Lists  U.S. Routes • Bannered • Divided • Bypassed
Browse numbered routes
Route 2A MA Route 3
Route 5 N.E. Route 7

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • route — [ rut ] n. f. • XIIe; lat. médiév. rupta, ellipse de via rupta, lat. class. rumpere viam « ouvrir un passage » 1 ♦ Voie de communication terrestre aménagée, plus importante que le chemin, située hors d une agglomération ou reliant une… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Route du bord de mer (Alpes-Maritimes) — Route départementale 6098  D 6098  Côte d Azur est Caractéristiques Longueur 98 km …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Route du bord de mer (Alpes Maritimes) — La route du bord de mer des Alpes Maritimes (citée ci après : la Route) est une route touristique de la Côte d Azur qui longe la Méditerranée depuis Le Trayas (dans le département du Var) jusqu à Menton et la frontière Italienne, sur une… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Route du bord de mer (alpes maritimes) — La route du bord de mer des Alpes Maritimes (citée ci après : la Route) est une route touristique de la Côte d Azur qui longe la Méditerranée depuis Le Trayas (dans le département du Var) jusqu à Menton et la frontière Italienne, sur une… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Route 66 — Schild Die Route 66 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Route 11 (NB) — Route 11 (Nouveau Brunswick) Route 11 Longueur 429,9 Km Ouverture Années 1920 Direction …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Route 11 (nb) — Route 11 (Nouveau Brunswick) Route 11 Longueur 429,9 Km Ouverture Années 1920 Direction …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Route 175 — (Québec) Route 175 Longueur 243,0 km [1] …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Route 175 (Quebec) — Route 175 (Québec) Route 175 Longueur 243,0 km [1] …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Route 175 (québec) — Route 175 Longueur 243,0 km [1] …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Route Transcanadienne — Longueur 7821km (4869 mi) Ouverture 1962 Direction Ouest/Est Extrémité Ouest …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.