Lane closures on the Morgan-Sullivan Bridge between Agawam and West Springfield will begin Thursday, and will last for the next couple years.
The first series of lane closures will limit travel to one lane in each direction, during the first phase of construction to replace the bridge. The bridge normally accommodates two lanes of travel in each direction, but one half of the bridge will be demolished at a time, limiting travel to a single lane each way.
The first half of the bridge to be demolished is expected to be rebuilt by the fall of 2020, which will allow traffic to shift to the new half of the bridge. Completion of both sides of the bridge is not expected until 2022. By then, the bridge will again accommodate four lanes of traffic, in addition to a left turn lane.
To ease traffic issues in the meantime, traffic lights at both ends of the bridge will have vehicle detection to make the lights as efficient as possible. MassDOT also says that they have widened the Route 5 offramp to Route 57 westbound with an additional lane.
The bridge is commonly known as “The Bridge to the Big E,” and due to its proximity to the busy fairgrounds, MassDOT has been meeting regularly with Big E officials to make plans for that busy travel period in the fall.