WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The Massachusetts Department of Transportation estimates a proposal to build a new Massachusetts Turnpike exit will cost between $29.5 million and $37.8 million.
The proposal to build an exit between Exit 2 in Lee and Exit 3 in Westfield is supported by Republican state Sen. Donald Humason who says an additional exit could bring new people to western Massachusetts and solve a nagging rush-hour traffic problem at Exit 3.
MassDOT has listed three possible locations of where the new exit could be built. One of them includes the Blandford Service Plaza. A MassDOT spokesperson said they expect to have the study done in May.
Other possible locations include the MassDOT facility in Blandford and Algerie Road in Otis. Westfield State Senator Don Humason said a new exit could bring new people to western Massachusetts and solve chronic rush-hour traffic problems at Exit 3.
People who travel to western Massachusetts for business agree that traffic can be an issue, but some residents don't see the need.
"I don't know where I'd go between Berkshire County and Westfield, not a lot out here," said Tim Barret of Blandford. "I understand why some people would like it but I don't think it's that necessary."
"If you happen to miss that exit, then having to do the 60-mile trip to get back on track is a huge waste of time," said Chuck Trott, who travels to Westfield for business. "Especially if you have to travel for a job, appointment or anything like that."
According to MassDOT spokesperson Judith Riley, MassDOT expects the study to be done in May.
Opponents have said that community members don't see a need for a new exit. MassDOT said that if an interchange were to be built, the project wouldn't start for another 10-years or so.
- MassDOT discusses possibilities of new Mass Pike exit between Lee and Westfield
- Westfield residents complaining of backups at Exit 3 on Mass Pike
- MassDOT study could create Mass Pike exit in Blandford
- MassDOT considering new exit on MassPike
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