Originally Posted by chattysusie
Need routing advice please. Traveling from Florida to Massachusetts this summer. Don't want to stay on 95. This is more or less what we have so far:
95 to 77 to 81.
We want to access the Mass turnpike but not sure if it's better to go up and out of the way to 88, or take 84 to 87. Thinking the extra mileage might be an easier drive? Anyone had experience on these roads?
Susie, I just drove north over the last couple of weeks from Asheville to the Boston area. Here's what I would say: You can take I-95 to around the Charleston, SC, area, then I-26 west to pick up I-77 at Columbia, SC. I-77 north then to I-81 in TN, and I-81 north through VA, MD, PA. Or, if all you really want to do is avoid the busy northeast urban traffic, you could stay on I-95 to near Fredericksburg, VA, and then take US17 to catch I-81 at Winchester, VA, then continue as planned.
When I came north I only drove I-81 as far as Roanoke, so I can't comment on the road north of there, but I-81 was in good shape that far. When we came north from DC we picked up I-81 again at Harrisburg, which was OK.
[[We went east on I-78. The surface of I-78 was rough in most areas in both PA and NJ, lots of patches and cracks that just hammered the suspension. We drove through some smaller areas of eastern PA on state and US highways, a good many of which were in rather bad shape.]]
We joined I-84 near Milford, PA, and found it to be in rough condition also. As soon as you transition into NY, the condition improves greatly for that stretch, but upon entering CT the road once again becomes very unpredictable until you pass Hartford. East of Hartford to the Mass line is better, but still rough at the bridge joints. I-90, Mass Pike, is in good shape eastbound until you get south of Worcester, about Exit 10, then it too is a bit rough to I-495. We exited at I-495, so I can't comment on I-90 farther east. I-495 is good in both directions.
I-84 is a pretty rough road through most of PA and CT. They like to blame the recent harsh winter, but the fact is they have been negligent in their design and maintenance for years, and now this tough (but not unheard of) winter has bitten them in the butt. If I had to make the trip again, I would consider continuing on I-81 to I-88, and thus joining I-90. But, I don't know the condition of I-81 much north of Harrisburg, nor the condition of I-88 at all. This route would add even more miles. Also, I-90 in both NY and MA, although in very good condition for the most part, is a toll road, and a moderately expensive one at that. So, you'd have to do some more checking before deciding that for yourself.