CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Tuesday’s big-rig rollover on I-391 on-ramp in Chicopee is raising questions about the ramp’s safety.
Guardrails are there to direct vehicles and contain them if they leave the travel lane. There’s no guardrail in the median of that 391 on-ramp. Tuesday’s rollover closed both the on and off-ramps for I-391 South at Exit 3 for at least five hours.
MassDOT classifies guardrails as “roadside safety devices.” Most Massachusetts guardrails are designed to reduce the crash severity for passenger vehicles. But they are not designed to stop a rollover of a tractor-trailer or a box truck.
MassDOT told 22News the I-391 on-ramp does need a guardrail because of the curve, and the design speed of the ramp which is posted at 25 miles per hour. One Springfield resident believes guardrails should be installed on all ramps.
“Yes, actually it does prevent it a lot. I see it when there’s no guard rail you kind of go into the other lane so I think it’s safe with them,” Mildred Simmons told 22News.
The decision to install guardrails takes place during the design stages of a construction project or a renovation.