Georgetown, Massachusetts

Learn more about the Abandoned Interstate 95 Overpass that connects the two sections of the Georgetown-Rowley State Forest in Georgetown, Massachusetts.

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About This Location

This article is all about the Abandoned Interstate 95 Overpass connecting Georgetown and Rowley, Massachusetts. Tens of thousands of people drive under this bridge every single day and hardly anyone realizes just how obscure it is. This graffiti covered bridge is located in the present-day Georgetown-Rowley State Forest and it has a fasinating history.

In Massachusetts, Interstate 95 (I-95) stands out as one of the most frequented highways. This highway is a segment of the Interstate Highway System, stretching along the eastern United States coastline from Miami, Florida, to Houlton, Maine. Within the boundaries of Massachusetts, I-95 extends for 92 miles on a north-south trajectory. It ranks as the third longest Interstate Highway in the state, surpassed only by I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike) and I-495. Overall, I-95 holds the title of being the longest north-south Interstate and the sixth longest Interstate Highway across the United States.

Towards the northern end of Massachusetts I-95 is where this abandoned old overpass can be found. When you drive under it, you wouldn’t think it is much different than any other overpass. But if you truly take the time to inspect the overpass, you will see much of it is rusted, some vegetation is growing, and there is a fair amount of graffiti. Oh yeah, the biggest red flag regarding the overpass is the fact that you will never see a car passing over it. Put all these factors together and you have a pretty obscure structure just waiting to be explored. 

So getting back to the bridge and how it came to be. Before the highways and roads, this land was once farmland. It’s believed to have been home to Pingree Farm and others too. Over the years, as both Georgetown and Rowley grew, roads were developed. Pingree Farm Road was built to connect the two towns. It was the original public way between Georgetown and Rowley. Sometime in the early 1970s, Pingree Farm Road was cut in half when I-95 was expanded. So was this overpass built to connect Pingree Farm Road again or for some other purpose?

There are a few interesting theories as too why the overpass was built. One of the first theories is that it was built for the owner of Pingree Farm so that he or she could move cattle from one section of their farm to the other. This sounds like a pretty good rumor considering the name of the road in Pingree Farm Road and that suggests a farm was once on these grounds. While farms were once on the ground here, they were gone many years before I-95’s expansion to become a major roadway. Ultimately, this theory is wrong as the crossing was not originally built for cattle.

Another interesting theory about this overpass is that it was built to service a potential residential community which may have been planned in the area. This is a wise theory considering Rowley and Georgetown offer pretty good commutes into Boston and this overpass could have given residents easy access to I-95. But, no community of this kind was ever built. There were also no on or off ramp built with this overpass. This theory was also incorrect.

So what is the true reason for this obscure overpass? Well, over the years, both Georgetown and Rowley were able to acquire land with conservation and public recreation in mind. They acquired the most land in the area of Pingree Farm Road. Eventually, the Georgetown-Rowley State Forest was formed. The forest spans 1,112-acres. 815 acres are in Georgetown while 297 are in Rowley. When the forest was formed, the towns closed down Pingree Farm Road to the public and turned it into a fire road for emergency vehicles only.

When I-95 was expanded in the early 1970s, it caused some serious issues with the state forest’s functionality. Essentially it cut the forest in half. This lead to a few big issues. When the highway cut the forest, the only available entrance could be found at the western edge of the forest on the Georgetown half of the forest. This lead to people creating illegal entrances into the forest from the Rowley side. Also, if an emergency occurred on the Rowley side, there would be no real way for an emergency vehicle to access that land. Ultimately, it was decided by the towns to create an 1-95 passing. 

In August of 1971, an article in the Georgetown Weekly newspaper wrote that a crossing was going to be created to connect the sections of the town forests and it would be an underpass. After more deliberation by the towns and the state, it was decided that an overpass would be best. The Rowley Conservation Committee released a note in 1972 stating that it was imperative to build an overpass to connect the two portions of forrest and that this overpass could be designed in an imaginative and beautiful way.

The overpass was completed in 1974 and was opened to the public. It made it so the state forest functioned far more efficiently. The overpass was complete with guard rails, drainage, sidewalks, fencing, and a paved roadway. It operated perfectly to carry hikers and bikers. The overpass could also handle any emergency vehicles or forest ranger vehicles. A connection was definitely needed and the overpass was a success.

When visiting as of the year 2024, it very interesting how the overpass seems to have become abandoned. The overpass is covered in graffiti, rust, and vegetation. There are many cracks too which lead many to question its structural integrity. The overpass often just carries pedestrains over the highway, but any bridge is bound to collapse if it is not properly cared for. It is not known whether the state forest department or any townspeople are looking into the bridge and focusing on keeping it in working condition. For now, the abandoned overpass over I-95 in Massachusetts seems like it will continue to decay and fall into disrepair. Time will tell how this story ends. 

Today, visitors are welcome to visit the bridge and walk across. The bridge can be seen from driving along Route 95, but to get a closer look, head to the Georgetown-Rowley State Forest parking area. The parking area can be found at the end of Pingree Farm Road, which is a narrow one-lane road with a few homes on it. After reaching the gates and the park signs, you will know you are there. Parking is free and after you park, you can start walking down the main trail. The main trail is actually the continuation of Pingree Farm Road, but the road has been stripped away and it is now all dirt. Pingree Farm Road was named after a farm that was on this land many decades ago. Nowadays, the road is solely used for hiking and as a fire road by emergency vehicles. After walking along the road for about 1km or just over a half-mile, you will reach the abandoned overpass. It only takes about 10 minutes to reach. Visitors are welcome to bike too. 

Location Features

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Pingree Farm Road, Georgetown, Massachusetts

GPS Coordinates:
42.702833, -70.966556
Directions to location:
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Directions to parking area:
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Parking Notes:
Parking can be found at the end of Pingree Farm Road in Georgetown, Massachusetts. A small parking lot is available right at the gates to the Georgetown-Rowley State Forest.


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