UPDATE: This article has been updated to include additional information on recent work to improve safety at the I-495/I-90 interchange close to the major crash reported on Friday morning.
WESTBOROUGH – A crash on I-495 on Friday morning sent multiple vehicles careening off the road, drawing an emergency response and snarling traffic near the Westborough/Hopkinton town line.
Traffic continued to pile up through the morning, with a backup stretching for roughly four miles along I-495 southbound as of 10:30 a.m., according to the state Department of Transportation (MassDOT).
Traffic stretched for seven miles on I-90 eastbound.
“Expect heavy delays,” Westborough firefighters wrote of the situation earlier on Friday morning.
The Hopkinton Fire Department first reported the crash around 7:30 a.m. Emergency crews from Hopkinton, Westborough and Southborough were then on scene as of 8 a.m., with a photo showing at least two large vehicles with damage.
Firefighters reported injuries associated with this crash, but did not provide additional information
The Massachusetts State Police separately called for EMS crews related to a second incident in traffic behind the crash on I-495 just after 8 a.m., according to the Westborough Fire Department.
This all took place in the southbound lanes of I-495 near the I-495/I-90 interchange.
This is close to the site of another crash back on March 19 where a pickup truck and a sedan collided before crashing into a guardrail on the ramp connecting I-495 south to I-90 eastbound.
Beyond recent incidents, the entire area has also been a topic of discussion in recent years as the state considers an estimated $466 million project to reconstruct the interchange, which services roughly 75,000 vehicles per day, according to state esitmates.
At one listening session in Hudson in 2019, held as the project took shape, officials specifically identified 460 traffic accidents within the interchange area between 2011 and 2015.
There were two fatal accidents in that span.
Years later, MassDOT’s capital programs committee recently approved an agreement with a trio of contractors to pay for work at the interchange.
Part of their work will involve updating highway infrastructure and adding a new lane for drivers to speed up and slow down. The project will also reshape exit ramps themselves.
“Anything you’ve become accustomed to going through, in the course of the next five years, will change significantly,” project manager Michael O’Dowd said in a committee meeting, as noted by State House News.
“It may take a little bit more of a timeframe to get reacclimated,” O’Dowd added.
Past timelines for the interchange project have predicted that work would begin in 2022 to then be completed in either 2026 or 2027.