SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – State Department of Transportation officials blame this month’s severe weather for accelerating the deterioration of the bridge deck.
Emergency patch work on Interstate 91 in Springfield brought Wednesday night’s commute to a standstill.
A massive pothole opened up in the middle of the Southbound side of the highway, near Exit 6. Several drivers hit the pothole and had to pull over.
“We hit it and we got a flat tire.” Anne Mittelholzer of South Hadley said.
MassDOT Spokesman Mike Verseckes told 22News the Transportation Department had some repairs scheduled for later this week, but all the thunderstorms that moved through this area recently created a problem that has now led to lane closures and a major traffic back up.
A rush hour headache and an expensive problem for drivers who dealt with potholes all winter long.
Sandra Marshall of Springfield said “It costs taxpayers a lot of money because the cars are getting messed up, and you have to have front end alignments all the time, and it’s really bad. I don’t see it improving.”
Rodney Marshall said “That’s still not solving the problem because it’s just backing up the highway. Now the traffic is coming into the city with bad roads so you’re going to have to more damage on your vehicle still.”
As we’ve been reporting on 22News, MassDOT has plans to upgrade the elevated portion of I-91 from the 291 interchange to State Street. Verseckes told 22News this pothole “reinforces the need” for that improvement.
Once that improvement project begins, 91 will be reduced to two lanes on each side.
Some ramps will close as well.