Heavy traffic and road closures in Amherst for UMass Commencement

Hampshire County

AMHERST, Mass (WWLP) – Heavy traffic, some road closures and delays are expected in Amherst Thursday through Saturday due to commencement activities.

The Amherst Police Department and Amherst University Police say to expect heavy traffic on Massachusetts Avenue, Commonwealth Avenue and Route 116 throughout the day on Friday. They advise early preparation and route planning if traveling by car to the affected areas and to follow posted signage and directions from the officers.

Police say road closures will begin at noon on Friday and most of the traffic congestion will be from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Road closures:

  • North Pleasant Street from Eastman Lane to Massachusetts Avenue will be closed to all traffic
  • University Drive from Massachusetts Avenue to Amity Street will be closed to all traffic.

According to police, access to campus will be from the north on North Pleasant Street in North Amherst, from the south on Route 116 and from Amherst center on North Pleasant Street.

Thousands of students were seen moving out of residence halls Thursday afternoon, causing quite a bit of traffic across campus.

“The streets get really backed up around here, so that’ll be interesting to see how that’ll work out,” said Erin Laprise, a graduating senior. “My parents actually got a hotel in Hadley to avoid the commute.”

There will be multiple ceremonies on Friday, but the 149th Undergraduate Commencement will be the last from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Mcguirk Alumni Stadium where Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker will be the featured speaker.

In a news release sent to 22News from the university, more than 7,400 degrees will be awarded at the Undergraduate, Graduate and Stockbridge School of Agriculture commencements on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11.

The Stockbridge School of Agriculture’s Commencement will be Saturday at 1 p.m. in Bowker Auditorium, Stockbridge Hall.

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