On this day in 1951, the first segment of Route 128 was opened. By 1956, the expressway stretched 65 miles from Gloucester to Braintree. While officials were confident the road would relieve traffic in Boston and help ease travel between the region's growing suburbs, they did not foresee that Route 128 would become a destination — and an economic engine — in its own right. But it did. Real estate developers came up with their own innovation — the first modern industrial parks — that were ideal locations for the growing number of technology companies in the state. The proximity to university labs and to expanding suburban communities drew so many high tech companies to the area that Route 128 was dubbed "America's Technology Highway."