Building Route 128 in Wakefield and Reading

Before we get to the photos, wanted to alert you to a new page on the efforts to improve one of the worst highway interchanges in America, the infamous Route 128/93 interchange.

Okay, now on to photographs that are exclusive to this web site (having not been included in Building Route 128 due to production issues.)

According to the Reading Historical Commission’s book on their town,
At Wood’s End, for twenty years beginning in 1898 the Quannapowitt
Agricultural Association held a fair near the Wakefield town line,
on a 19-acre site just off Salem Street.  One of the highlight’s of the
fair were the horse races, held on an oval track that straddled
the neighboring towns of Reading and Wakefield.

In the early 1920s, a developer advertised a new housing
development that planned to create on the site of the old
fairgrounds.  Precisely over the location of the oval race
track would be a road named, appropriately enough,
Track Road.  According to At Wood End, ten years later
only a third of the 100 lots were sold, and eventually
the Wakefield half the development (which runs along
the center of Track Road) would be razed, anyway, to
make way for Route 128 near the Route 129 interchange.

Lowell Street looking northwest from Quannapowitt in the winter of 1950,
just before the construction of Route 128 through Wakefield. (Courtesy of the
Wakefield Item)

A view of the future site of Route 128 as we look north on North Main
Street to Bay State Road in Wakefield, just before construction began that
would change this view forever.  (Courtesy of the Wakefield Item)

Shortly after the completion of Route 128 in Wakefield in 1951,
this photo was taken looking up North Avenue towards the highway
overpass.  Quannaopowitt Road can be seen merging from the right.
(Courtesy of the Wakefield Item)

"Dub" Englund drives his tractor on the family's Reading farm, which would eventually be taken for an interchange between Route 128 and Main Street (Route 28) in Reading.

Across from the Englund farm was King's Vegetable stand on Main Street
(Route 28).  It would be taken, as well, for the construction of Route 128.