Tunnel closure causing problems for people who live nearby

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – West Springfield residents on Riverdale Street or Route 5, near the Route 20 rotary, had to wait a little longer than usual Wednesday night, just to get out of their own driveway.

Dusty Harrison lives just about 100 ft. from the rotary and told 22News, “People just don’t care. They don’t care. They just come at you at 50 miles an hour plus. And then you just have to take your chances. As you can see, you know, I’ll come out of my driveway, and it’ll take me another 15 minutes to get down to the rotary.”

To repair potholes, the state Department of Transportation shut down the tunnel that lets drivers bypass the rotary.

The Route 5 tunnel will remain closed for about six weeks. That means drivers, during rush hour, may have to wait on this ramp to take the detour, which is the Route 20 rotary. However, drivers admit the potholes near the tunnel must be fixed.

Emmanuel Avgoustakis is a business manager at Balise Toyota. He told 22News he sees a lot of customers who come in with pothole damage. “A replacement wheel will go anywhere from $250 to as high as over $1,000, depending on a vehicle.”

Many people told 22News they hope Route 5 will be a smoother ride in the long run, if they deal with the delays for the next six weeks.

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