NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A virtual meeting was held Wednesday night to discuss the construction of a controversial roundabout at the intersection of North King Street and Hatfield Street in Northampton.
The project has received pushback ever since 2018, when an ancient Native American burial site was discovered in the construction area.
The state was forced to delay construction in July of 2020 to consult with the federally recognized tribes. But in November, the Federal Highway Administration said the project would be allowed to move forward.
Many local groups are still calling for the project to be scrapped, due to the historical significance of the site. Wednesday night’s Zoom meeting was a chance for MassDOT and the city of Northampton to present their side of the argument.
According to one of the designers, the roundabout would improve safety, accessibility, and reduce traffic congestion.
“This intersection has a history of severe crashes, T-Bone, right-angle crashes, and I’d say that’s the primary driver motivation to do an intersection improvement at this location,” said Alex Fagnand.
People watching the Zoom meeting from home were allowed to ask questions and voice their opinions on the project.