WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Hard Rock International made its case on how to handle the increased traffic if a proposed casino is built at the Big E.
Hard Rock representatives met with West Springfield and Agawam residents at West Springfield Town Hall Wednesday afternoon.
They are releasing more details of their traffic study and how they plan on dealing with traffic if they were to build a casino at the Big E .
Hard Rock released a new diagram. Their traffic improvement proposal includes:
- Improving the bridge between Agawam and West Springfield with the help of the Massachusetts dept of transportation
- Building a secondary access road from route 5 to the Big E
- Building a new interchange on route 5, coming out of that secondary access
According to their latest traffic study, Hard Rock expects nearly 4 million people to visit their casino each year, and they expect just over 2 million cars to come through West Springfield.
Linda Williams of West Springfield said "A project like this certainly will have some benefits, and on the other hand, it certainly will have some drawbacks. I want to make sure they do have a sound plan for traffic."
Hard Rock also wants to expand Memorial Avenue to five lanes between the Memorial Bridge and Circuit Avenue and build a new entrance to the Big E fairgrounds.
With these improvements, Hard Rock's Jim Allen said residents' commute will not be affected.
He said "Obviously nothing in life is guaranteed, but what we can tell you is that our peak hours are completely opposite of when people are utilizing the infrastructure going to work between 7:30 and 9:30 in the morning then coming home between 5:30, 6 o'clock at night."
However, on the other side of Memorial Avenue, Agawam residents are still worried about the bridge that connects Agawam and West Springfield by the Big E.
Paul Cavallo, Agawam Town Councilor, said "The project has been under consideration for 10, 12 years? And there hasn't been any funding. Nothing's been done. That has to be widened. You need a couple more lanes, and then when you drive into Agawam, what are you going to do about the infrastructure there?"
Allen said there will be a community event on April 24.
No other details are available at the moment.
Residents said that's why they are still worried because they see that kind of traffic during the Big E, and that's only 3 weeks out of the year.
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