Everett Turnpike

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Everett Turnpike Shield

The Everett Turnpike, officially the Frederick E. Everett Memorial Turnpike is a tolled expressway that connects the Northwest Expressway (US-3) in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts with the Central New Hampshire Tollway in Manchester, New Hampshire. The Central New Hampshire Tollway is sometimes considered an extension of the Everett Turnpike, however this is technically incorrect. The Everett Turnpike was built as a bypass of the Daniel Webster Highway, which still runs parallel and in some areas concurrent with the turnpike today. The turnpike uses an open-barrier tolling system, with one mainline plaza in Bedford, New Hampshire.

Route Description[edit]

Everett Turnpike highlighted in blue

The Everett Turnpike starts at the New Hampshire - Massachusetts state line, where it continues south into Massachusetts as the Northwest Expressway, which is not tolled. From the MA-NH state line, the Everett Turnpike interchanges with Spit Brook Road and its only spur route, the Circumferential Parkway. Additionally, about 1/4 mile north of the Spit Brook Road exit, the turnpike interchanges with the Daniel Webster Highway, which was the original method of traversing the western side of the Merrimack River before the turnpike was built. Although these are technically three separate exits, they are often referred to as one interchange since all three roads do intersect at a four-level stack, and collector/distributor lanes are present along the highway through all three exits.

North of Nashua, the Everett Turnpike passes through Merrimack, Litchfield, and Bedford. In Merrimack, ramp tolls are present at interchanges 10, 11, and 12, as these are the last three interchanges prior to the Bedford Toll Plaza and all three provide access to the Daniel Webster Highway, which is a toll-free road that parallels the turnpike. Therefore, traffic exiting or entering at these interchanges must pay a toll, albeit a reduced toll, in order to prevent “Shunpiking” - the act of deliberately avoiding mainline toll plazas.

North of interchange 12, the turnpike interchanges with the Raymond Wieczorek Memorial Bridge and Parkway, which connects the turnpike to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport over the Merrimack River. This is also the northernmost exit on the turnpike proper, since north of the Parkway and Bridge, the turnpike encounters the Bedford Toll Plaza, and then ends at an interchange with Interstate 293, NH-101, and the Central New Hampshire Tollway.

Circumferential Parkway[edit]

Existing section of the Circumferential Parkway highlighted in blue

The Circumferential Parkway is a short 2-mile spur of the Everett Turnpike that connects the turnpike at the Spit Brook Road/Daniel Webster Highway interchange to NH-3A on the east side of the Merrimack River. The beltway was originally designed to be a tolled beltway around the east side of Nashua, and reconnect with the Everett Turnpike at either exit 6 or 7. However, the beltway remains largely unbuilt, mostly due to public opposition. Many business owners in East Nashua feared that construction of the beltway would either result in the demolition of their businesses, or at least result in a significant drop in customers due to the fact that many people would not want to live or shop next to a busy and noisy freeway.

The 2-mile stub of the beltway that exists today remains toll-free, although there have been various plans to add an electronic toll collection gantry along the parkway, that would either read a vehicle’s EZ-PASS transponder or photograph their license plate and send a bill in the mail, which is often referred to as “Pay-by-Plate” tolling. However, this proposal has been rejected multiple times by both the general public and the state DOT.

Tolls[edit]

Due to the fact that the Everett Turnpike is only 20 miles long, only one mainline toll barrier exists in Bedford, New Hampshire. This means that the southernmost portion of the Tunrpike is toll-free, although there have been various proposals, all of which have been rejected, to construct another toll barrier in Nashua.

At the Bedford mainline toll plaza, 2-axle vehicles who are paying cash are charged a toll of $1.50, while vehicles with EZ-PASS or another compatible equivalent are charged a reduced toll of $0.75. The toll discount for EZ-PASS and other electronic transponder users is increasingly being used by many turnpikes across the country as an incentive for more drivers to purchase transponders.

Ramp tolls exist in Merrimack to prevent drivers from exiting or entering the turnpike immediately before or after the Bedford Toll Plaza, and therefore traveling on the turnpike toll-free. However, these ramp tolls charge a discounted toll rate for both cash and EZ-PASS users ($0.50) instead of the standard $1.50 and $0.75 tolls.

Toll Plaza Location Cash Toll EZ-PASS Toll Notes
Nashua Toll TBD TBD TBD Repeatedly proposed and rejected
Interchange 10 Mile marker 9.7 $0.50 $0.50 One of 3 ramp tolls in Merrimack
Interchange 11 Mile marker 11.1 $0.50 $0.50 One of 3 ramp tolls in Merrimack
Interchange 12 Mile marker 15 $0.50 $0.50 One of 3 ramp tolls in Merrimack
Bedford Toll Mile marker 17 $1.50 $0.75 Only mainline toll barrier on the turnpike