WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has plans to replace the bridge decks on the Memorial Avenue rotary in West Springfield.
MassDOT promises to minimize impacts on drivers while they replace two sections of the Memorial Ave. rotary that go over Route 5. You can expect the work to be done on two long weekends, some time late spring and early summer. It will be a major improvement project for the Memorial Ave rotary in West Springfield that was built about 60 years ago.
Project Manager Alex Murray told 22News, “We plan on replacing these bridges in 79-hour weekend shutdowns. So 2 bridges, 2 79-hour weekend shutdowns.” As part of the “Accelerated Bridge Program” funded entirely by the state, the Department of Transportation will replace the bridge overpasses of the rotary.
Gary Roux from the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission said, “From what I understand, it’s a technique that’s been used in other parts of the state, and it’s been successful, so trying something a little more innovative I think is a good approach.” The bridge parts will be built elsewhere and brought in to be installed over two non-consecutive weekends.
The first 3-day shutdown, expected some time after the Memorial Day weekend, will close this bridge on the south side of the rotary. That’s the eastbound bridge that takes you from West Springfield to Springfield. During that weekend, Route 5 eastbound under the rotary will be closed.
The westbound bridge replacement will take place in June. The Memorial Bridge will close during that weekend. The exact dates will be announced once the DOT completes the design of the project. Right now, the design is 75% complete.
Some drivers told 22News while the rotary could use some improvements; they hope other parts of Route 5 will get some attention as well. Crystal Garneau of Pittsfield told 22News, “I think Riverdale is the worst road in the state. Coming from Pittsfield it’s the worst road I see. There are a lot of areas with a lot of potholes.”
22News spoke with drivers who admit, construction projects cause major inconvenience, but they are willing to put up with delays for better roads. “It needs repair, substantial repair, and I’m glad that they are doing it. It’s an inconvenience in the short run. In the long run it’s going to beneficial for all of us,” said Paul Jordan of West Springfield.