Route 5 Tunnel to close for 6 weeks

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – State officials are planning to close the Route 5 Tunnel in West Springfield for six weeks starting on Wednesday morning for pothole repairs.

Massachusetts Department of Transportation spokesperson Michael Verseckes told 22News that the closure will effect both sides of Route 5, just in the immediate area of the tunnel. Traffic will be diverted to the offramps and onto the North End Bridge Rotary, before exiting back onto Route 5.

The tunnel, which runs over the rotary and Route 20, has been briefly closed several times since the start of the new year, due to pothole problems. Drivers told 22News once they close the tunnel for repairs, they might avoid this area altogether.

Eric Mason, who works in West Springfield, told 22News, “It definitely needs to be fixed. I mean I think winter’s a bad time. But I don’t know. I don’t know when’s a good time to repair the bridge. I’m going to take 91 probably and going around that way.”

Verseckes said that the roadway surface in the tunnel is in great need of repair, and that though work in the tunnel has been done from time to time, a more extensive fix is needed.

He told 22News that crews will mill-down the existing roadway surface, and replace it with fast-setting concrete. The whole process will take about six weeks.

The tunnel will close at 9:00 Wednesday morning.

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