AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – A local railroad crossing has, for years now, been causing major traffic issues, prompting safety concerns among residents.
The CSX railroad crossing on Front Street, located between West Springfield and Agawam has not only become an inconvenience for drivers but a potential hazard. Idling trains sometimes block the road for up to 90 minutes causing traffic congestion, delays and hindering emergency response.
Residents in West Springfield and Agawam are all too familiar with the headache that the Front Street rail crossing has become. “We’re kinda stuck with it,” says Dennis from West Springfield.
But maybe not for long. There are steps being taken to find a solution. The towns of West Springfield and Agawam are applying for federal grant funding to install a flyover structure over the crossing. Agawam Mayor William Sapelli telling 22News it’s an expensive, but necessary project.
“It’s going to take some time, it’s certainly going to take some money, but it’s going to take the awarding of that grant, otherwise we have no option.” Agawam Mayor, William Sapelli
This has been an ongoing issue. In March of 2021, city leaders had to come together and host a public forum to reach some kind of resolution with CSX. Other assistance from state agencies, senators, Congressman Neal and the governor’s office have been sought out.
While there have been some mitigation efforts, like signs signaling when a train is at the crossing, nothing permanent is currently in place. Nearby drivers say they’re hopeful an overpass could work.
“I’ll tell you, when you get to a train crossing and there’s a train there, we have a couple of them in Westfield, there’s nothing more irritating than that when you got to get somewhere and a train’s taking its time going by. You gotta wait for the arms to go up. So a train overpass is certainly a way to go.” Dennis Bolduc, Westfield
If West Springfield and Agawam are awarded this grant, the flyover could take 5-10 years to complete.