There’s a plan to replace a crucial bridge connecting West Springfield and Agawam.
The Eastern States Exposition said the project will have a significant impact on area businesses and residents for years, and they will allow MassDOT to use their property to move construction along as quickly and as safely as possible.
The Eastern States Exposition grounds that were once filled with tens of thousands of people are now empty following the 17-day run of The Big E.
Though Big E traffic may be over, West Springfield and Agawam residents are worried they’re in for even bigger backups next year after MassDOT begins a nearly four-year construction project on the Morgan Sullivan Bridge that links the two towns.
Four lanes will be squeezed down to just two during the $21.5 million project expected to last until 2022.
The bridge will have five lanes by the time the project is completed.
Eastern States Exposition President Gene Cassidy said the Eastern States is also making sure local businesses aren’t negatively impacted by the construction.
“The fair is going to happen no matter what,” said Gene Cassidy, president of The Eastern States Exposition. “Our goal is to try to raise as much public awareness as possible so that we can feel comfortable here in greater Springfield that DOT is paying the same attention to residents and business owners and public safety.”
MassDOT also said they will meet with The Big E next summer to prepare for 2019 traffic.
Cassidy said The Big E will again offer shuttle service from Springfields Union Station during next year’s fair.
Construction of the bridge will begin next summer.