MassDOT releases study on options for I-91 viaduct project

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The deck replacement project on I-91 through Springfield is almost complete, but it was just a temporary fix. MassDOT said the elevated section of I-91 needs to be improved because it’s structurally deficient. 

MassDOT has been working on a study to identify the best way to improve the highway, and the final report for that study was released this week. It indicates that MassDOT will pursue a long-term rehabilitation project for the bridge deck. 

The study narrows the options down to four – one keeps the bridge deck the way it is, one elevates it about 10 feet, and two of the options put the highway underground. 

All of the options put an emphasis on access to the Connecticut River waterfront. MassDOT said this will provide new opportunities for development along the water.

“I have a toddler, a 3 year old, and he loves the water,” said Luz Gonzalez of Springfield. “So, it would be nice to eat and see the view of the water.”

There are also several other possible shorter-term projects associated with the study, like relocating the ramp from I-291 west to I-91 south; detours around construction; and improvements to Rt. 20, the Agawam rotary, and the Longmeadow curve. 

“The highway is a mess,” said Connie Keating, who lived in Springfield for many years. “You always have accidents on the curve because they don’t go with the speed limit. People are still doing 65 in a 45 mile per hour zone.”

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