The long-anticipated final link of Boston’s outer beltway, I-495, was opened in southeastern Massachusetts in November of 1982. South Shore residents who watched enviously as Rt. 128 and the North Shore experienced rapid economic growth and all the benefits (and possible drawbacks) of “high-tech” development, can now anticipate some of those changes in the area between Brockton and New Bedford. The catalyst, according to a wide range of indicators, is the completion of Rt. I-495.

It is generally accepted that access to a major highway provides the impetus for economic development and population growth. The full impact of circumferential beltways, however, due to their relative infancy, has yet to be felt. Only a few studies of the impact of circumferential beltways have been published to date, and they have focused on some of the earliest completed beltways.

Note on the Author

Glenn Miller is the chairperson of the Earth Sciences & Geography Department at Bridgewater State College.