Improvement project to I-91 bridge deck to start by end of 2014

Chunks of falling concrete reminded drivers of the need for improvements to elevated portion of I-91.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– Drivers in Springfield were reminded on Tuesday that the elevated section of Interstate 91 is in need of improvements, when sections of that bridge deck came falling down. Drivers saw chunks of concrete fall right into the road below Tuesday afternoon. Fortunately, no one was hurt and no cars were hit by that concrete. Massachusetts Department of Transportation crews have since put collection shields up in case anymore concrete falls down.

That same elevated portion of I-91 is set for a major $260 million reconstruction, which 22News found out following Tuesday’s incident, is expected to start by the end of this year.

An estimated 75,000 cars travel this section of I-91 every day, and to get the project done, there may be lane closures and exits and entrance ramps to the highway will close periodically.

Here are some examples of what will change:

  • Drivers will be detoured to temporary ramps to access East and West Columbus Avenues.
  • The Exit 6 and 7 on-ramps to I-91 North will be closed; you’ll stay on East Columbus Avenue up to the Route 20 on-ramp.
  • To get on 291 from East Columbus Ave., you’ll be detoured toward Liberty Street.
  • Exits 6 and 7 will likewise be closed coming South. You’ll have to exit the highway before downtown Springfield, using a temporary off-ramp that will be built near Birnie Avenue.
  • MassDOT will install a temporary traffic signal on Birnie Avenue to handle more cars.

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