Massachusetts Route 31
Route information Length: 58.80 mi (94.63 km) Major junctions South end: Connecticut border in Dudley US 20 in Charlton
Route 9 in Spencer
Route 2 in Fitchburg
North end: NH Route 31 in Mason, NH Highway system ← Route 30 Route 32 →
It begins at the Connecticut border in Dudley, where a short (less than 50 yards (46 m) long) unnumbered local road changes to MA-31. Through Dudley and Charlton, it is known as Dresser Hill Road. Dresser Hill road winds over Dresser Hill, with several moderately steep grades and some tight corners.
In Charlton, it intersects U.S. Route 20 a few miles east of the US-20/Massachusetts Turnpike & I-84 interchange. This provides its only connection with an interstate highway. In Charlton, it is known as Masonic Home Road and Brookfield Road. It then passes Lambs Pond.
Route 31 then enters Spencer, where it parallels the Podunk Pike (Route 49) for several miles. As Charlton Road, it passes the Spencer State Forest. In the center of Spencer, it crosses Route 9. It then turns north towards Paxton; this stretch is scenic and hilly. Several warning signs are seen here for sharp corners warning of a maximum safe speed of 30 miles per hour (48 km/h).
After a couple long, sweeping corners through a forest of pine trees, Route 31 enters Paxton. Paxton Center School comes after a treed-in section. Before it enters the center of Paxton, it passes by the police station.
The intersections of MA-31, Route 122, and Route 56 comprise Paxton Center. MA-31 is variously known as West Street and Holden Street in Paxton; it runs east–west in this section. It passes over a hill past Richards Memorial Library, then uses Grove Street for approximately 1/4 mile.
In Holden, Route 31 passes Asnebumskit Pond and is bridged over Kendall Reservoir. After the intersection with Route 122A it passes Gale Free Public Library and heads north once again. The road heads into an increasingly rural area as the hills get steeper and longer.
31 then enters Princeton and begins climbing very steeply; it gains about three hundred feet in approximately half a mile. Entering the center of Princeton, it joins Rte. 62 and turns east to avoid going over Mount Wachusett. The mountain is instead connected by Mountain Road. After separating from Route 62, Rte. 31 joins Route 140 and becomes Fitchburg Road near Paradise Pond.
It passes through a portion of Leominster State Forest in Westminster before an interchange with a freeway segment of Route 2. After this interchange, Rte. 31 becomes a city street, having shared roadway with Route 2A and a wrong-way concurrency with Route 12. It then passes through downtown Fitchburg. As it leaves Fitchburg it is called Ashby State Road. In Ashby, it connects with Route 119 before reaching the New Hampshire state border, where it becomes NH-31.
The stretch of MA-31 from Paxton Center to Holden Center was named after the late Chief Robert John Mortell of the Paxton Police Department who was murdered in the line of duty in 1994 in the deeply wooded area bordering Route 31.
County Location Milepost Roads intersected Notes Worcester Dudley 0.0 Dresser Hill Rd. Route 31 begins at Connecticut state line. Charlton 9.3 U.S. Route 20 Westbound US 20 to I-90/I-84.
Eastbound US 20 to I-90/I-395/I-290.
I-90/Mass Pike No access between I-90 and Route 31. Spencer 16.8 Route 9 East Begin concurrency with Route 9. 16.9 Route 9 West End concurrency with Route 9. Paxton 25.3 Route 122
Route 56 South
Concurrency between Rtes. 56 & 122 ends.
Begin concurrency with Rtes. 31 & 56.
25.4 Route 56 North End concurrency with Route 56. Holden 30.1 Route 122A Princeton 37.7 Route 62 West Begin concurrency with Route 62. 38.0 Route 62 East End concurrency with Route 62. 40.5 Route 140 South Begin concurrency with Route 140. 42.1 Route 140 North End concurrency with Route 140. Fitchburg 45.8 Route 2 Route 2 Exit 28 47.0 Route 2A West Begin concurrency with Route 2A. 48.1 Route 12 West Begin triple concurrency with Routes 31/2A/12. 48.9 Route 12 East End triple concurrency with Routes 31/2A/12.
Concurrency with Route 2A continues.
47.0 Route 2A East End concurrency with Route 2A. Middlesex Ashby 55.4 Route 119 West Begin concurrency with Route 119. 55.5 Route 119 East End concurrency with Route 119. 55.8 New Hampshire Route 31 Massachusetts Route 31 ends at state line.
New Hampshire Route 31 begins at state line.
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