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Massachusetts Route 31: Map

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Route 31 is a state highway in the US State of Massachusettsmarker.

Route description

It begins at the Connecticutmarker border in Dudleymarker, where a short (less than long) unnumbered local road changes to MA-31. Through Dudley and Charltonmarker, 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 Spencermarker, 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 Paxtonmarker; this stretch is scenic and hilly. Several warning signs are seen here for sharp corners warning of a maximum safe speed of .

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 Holdenmarker, 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 Princetonmarker 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 Mt. 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 Leominster State Forest 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 Fitchburgmarker. As it leaves Fitchburg it is called Ashby State Road. In Ashbymarker, it connects with Route 119 before reaching the New Hampshiremarker state border, where it becomes NH-31.

The stretch of MA-31 from the intersection of Route 122 and Route 56 to the Center of Holden 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. He was shot twice by Michael Souza while he was in pursuit of him and two other criminals who were in the Holden area robbing houses. There is a sign on the side of the road near the Kendall Reservoir that commemorates the officer's life, and his importance to the community. Another memorial was erected on Paxton's town common that commemorates the officer's life.

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