MassDOT expects to start repairing I-91 bridge by end of the year

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The state Department of Transportation is expected to start repairing the elevated portion of Interstate 91 at the end of this year.

State transportation officials told drivers Tuesday night, their goal is to make the bridge portion of the highway safe, as quickly as possible.

The state Department of Transportation will repair and upgrade the elevated portion of Interstate 91 between Interstate 291 and State Street in Springfield.

The construction will take about two years. Two lanes in each direction will remain open throughout the construction process. But during certain phases, some on and off ramps will be closed. In that case, Columbus Avenue will be the detour.

Drivers can also expect temporary closures of certain areas of the parking garages under the highway.

Senator Gale Candaras told 22News “That is harming the courthouse. There’s no juror parking. Jurors are complaining to me they have to park very far away. My husband and I are symphony goers. That parking’s been lost to the symphony.”

President and CEO of Square One Joan Kagan said “We will all be inconvenienced, but the old adage, “no pain no gain,” I think we are going to have to go through it.”

However, this bridge repair is only the beginning.

Al Stegemann is the District Highway Director for MassDOT. He told 22News “This is only to increase the life of the deck for a period of time to allow us to perform the major planning study and allow any future alternative that may fall out of that study to be designed and implemented.”

MassDOT does not know yet what the long-term “future alternative” may be. For now, they said the focus is safety.
The “future alternative” could be an underground tunnel or a ground level highway but nothing has been decided yet.

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