Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Creative Writing

Independent project

Route 128 or formally known as the Yankee Highway has years of history behind the roads on which many Massachusetts residence drive daily. The highway is a beltway around Boston. It is 69.1 miles long and was constructed between the years of 1936 to 1959. It was once called the “high way to nowhere” and passes through many towns and cities and connects drivers from Hull on the south shore to Gloucester on the north shore.

The concept of the route 128 was to pass through local streets of towns and not through the downtown areas. Many then called it the “highway to nowhere” but in its defense it would help connect people from Boston to urban areas. This highway was the first Circumferential Highway built during this time period.

During the time period of 1936 to 1942 parts of the new four-lane route 128 was built. Although with the start of World War II the high was put to a complete halt. In 1948 the construction of the highway resumed. Under the newly established Federal Highway Act (1944) the Federal government paid for half of 128.

Although the commissioner Callahan called for a six-lane highway with 12-inch lanes they highway was built with four lanes. This was thought to be useful for the next 20 years estimating that only 15,000 vehicles per day would travel on this road by 1970 but by 1955 the average already reached 30,000 vehicles a day.

In 1951 a 22.5-mile stretch was formed from EXIT 20 in Wellesley to EXIT 44 in Lynnfield. This stretch was built on hills on the outskirts of Boston. Different designs for bridges were used to accommodate the lands used. In 1953 the Danvers rotary at Exit 11 was built under difficulties due to swamplands. Lands on the outer parts of Boston slowed down the construction and forced a need to construct new and different roads and bridges. Even though it slowed down construction in some areas it was also a good location. This was because it did not affect homeowners in the area because it was in rural areas. Also the land was at a low cost and became very covenant to build on. It connected the city to the suburbs and helped the movement from the city to the suburbs by making this area of suburbs very covenant to the working class.

The overall cost of the highway was estimated around 63 million dollars.

The new highway attracted business along the highway that offered restaurant and automotive services. In the 1960’s the highway attracted many new businesses. It became home to new industrial parks that housed high-tech companies. The area was a good place for these offices because they had room to expand but they where still in a reasonable distance to places like MIT. It was then noted as “America’s Technology Highway”. The population in towns around 128 quadrupled in the 1950s and doubled again in the 1960s.

In my visual I represented the road signs and pictures of the highway in 1950 and the highway today. I represent the name “Yankee highway” in the visual because it is the original name. Also the word “rural” is used because the highway was built in rural areas outside of Boston. The picture that the word in placed over is a picture signifying this word. The picture in from the 1950s and the highway are shown surrounded by a dense layer of trees. The other chose of words that I used was “highway to nowhere” and it is placed over a recent picture of the highway. The highway is empty in the picture and looks ongoing possibly to “nowhere”. The other two pictures are road signs representing the Highway going to Gloucester, which was the starting point of Route 128. The middle picture has a sign that read “end 128”. This picture takes place in Gloucester and represents that the highways end, the other end to the highway is located on the South shore.

My research of this project consisted of finding the origin of route 128. I looked up how and when the high was formed and received information on why the highway was built. Through my research of route 128 I learned interesting facts about the formation of the highway. Although collecting information was hard at first I was able to find reliable sources online though search engines.

1 comment:

Emily T 6 said...

This assignment was probably one of the easier assignments I had all year. I liked it because I was able to research something that interested me.