This video takes us from the Auburn Pike ramp area onto Route 20 / Southwest Cutoff into Worcester Massachusetts. It ends in the 99 Restaurant Mall.
Google Maps would tell you that the Southwest Cutoff is the portion of Route 20 starts at the Price Chopper plaza with the Wendy’s in Auburn and ends at the 99 Restaurant plaza in Worcester. However, historically, the Southwest Cutoff was the name for a much longer swath of road.
Did you know that Route 20 is the longest highway in the entire United States? It starts in Washington State on the West Coast and meanders its way all the way to Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, they repurposed much of the existing Boston Post Road which went from Springfield to Boston. However, being a Post Road, that road went right through the centers of Worcester, Shrewsbury, etc. They didn’t want Route 20 dealing with big town/city centers, so they rerouted Route 20 off the Boston Post Road to take a lower (more southerly) route. That was done in the early 1900s.
So the name of Southwest Cutoff dates back over 100 years to a time when we were still dealing with horses carrying mail from Springfield to Boston. A tiny remnant of the name still remains for this one small stretch of road.
In this video, you can see just before Route 122 on the right a location labelled 155 Southwest Cutoff Park. So that facility still calls Route 20 the Southwest Cutoff there, despite what Google Maps indicates.
I’ll also note that I still miss the KasBar bar / club which is now a shed-selling location on the left, just before you get to two of Worcester’s only strip clubs.
Ask with any questions!