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About the Route 28 Resurfacing and Road Diet Pilot Project in Reading

MassDOT is repaving and testing a road diet on North and South Main Street.

Main Street/Route 28 provides access to local businesses, retail, restaurants, and residential areas, and connects to the historic Town center and common. This vital roadway needs to be repaved and restriped in two state-owned sections between the North Reading town line to the I-95 interchange. As part of this project, we will test and evaluate a road diet along the corridor.

Table of Contents

Project Background

We conducted several safety studies along Main Street (Route 28) and identified safety issues including high crash rates and high travel speeds. Main Street has 2.5 times more vehicle-vehicle crashes than similar roadways in the region, and excessive vehicle speeding above the speed limit. High speeds along the undivided four-lane corridor make left-turns difficult and dangerous and increase the risk of severe crashes.

In 2018, MassDOT identified that Main Street/Route 28 in Reading needed to be repaved and restriped. In 2019, we added two layers of new pavement and installed temporary paint markings on South Main Street between the MBTA railroad crossing and the I-90 interchange. That section of South Main Street needs one more layer of new pavement to complete the resurfacing process. North Main Street between the North Reading/Reading town line and Charles Street also needs to be repaired with new paving and paint striping.

As part of the resurfacing work, we will pilot a road diet with new paint markings and lane configurations to improve safety and access along the corridor.

Our project goals include:

  • Maintaining a state of good repair along Route 28 

  • Improving safety for people using Main Street 

  • Calming vehicle traffic 

  • Improving accessibility for pedestrians  

  • Meeting MassDOT Complete Streets and Healthy Transportation policies 

Project Area

The repaving and road diet pilot will take place in two sections on North and South Main Street:

  • The North Section begins at the Reading/North Reading town line and continues south to Charles Street
  • The South Section begins at the MBTA Haverhill Commuter Rail tracks and continues south to the I-95 interchange
  • This work does not include Reading Square
details explained above

Pilot Lane Configuration Changes

During the road diet pilot, pavement markings will be reconfigured to better meet the needs of all road users. The road diet pilot will reallocate space within the existing roadway and simplify turning movements for cars by creating a center turn lane. This will reduce parts of North and South Main Street from 4 lanes to 3 lanes to improve safety for people traveling along the corridor.

configurations explained above

Today, Main Street has two 10.5' travel lanes in each direction. During the road diet pilot, the lane configurations will vary along Main Street. The most typical pilot configuration will include an 11' travel lane and 5' shoulder on both sides of the road and a 12' center left-turn lane.

Learn more about road diets on our What Are Road Diets page.

Project Schedule

The project began in the project in March 2020 with traffic signal preparation. Final pavement markings will be installed in June 2021.

North Main Street

  • Road Diet Pilot Evaluation Period: January – March 2021
  • Determine Final Lane Configurations: April 2021
  • Finalize Design and Prepare for Final Paving: May 2021
  • Install Final Pavement Layer and Lane  Markings: May July 2021
  • Work Completed: July 2021

South Main Street:

  • Road Diet Pilot Evaluation Period: January – June 2021
  • Determine Final Lane Configurations: July 2021
  • Finalize Design and Prepare for Final Paving: August 2021
  • Install Final Pavement Layer and Lane  Markings: August  October 2021
  • Work Completed: October 2021
A grid showing the project schedule described above


    Public Outreach and Involvement

    In keeping with CDC and Massachusetts statewide guidelines and orders for public gatherings, in-person public meetings and site walks have been put on hold for the time being. While public meetings are on hold, we are working to continue to raise awareness and answer questions about the project through virtual methods. 

    We want to hear about your experiences traveling on Main Street. Your input and feedback during the road diet pilot will help MassDOT determine the final pavement markings. The project team will continue to gather feedback on the pilot through June 2021. MassDOT will host a public meeting in May 2021 to provide information about the final lane configurations.

    Members of the public are invited to share their comments with us:

    Additional Resources



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