Parking concerns rise before I-91 repairs begin

Construction on the I-91 overpass starts this summer

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Hundreds of parking spaces will be closed in the north and south garages under the highway, where we are now, and they’ll be gone starting this fall.

Construction will start this summer to rebuild the I-91 viaduct, the elevated section of the highway through Springfield. That means hundreds of parking spaces in the North and South parking garages beneath the viaduct will be closed

22News spoke with Mary McNally, the Exeutive Director of the Springfield Parking Authority. She said she’s hopeful they won’t. “I don’t expect any interference with the capacity; I think there will be some inconvenience but that’s to be expected with a project of this size.”

However, that could change as construction moves along. Currently, there are 950 spaces on the upper decks of the north and south garages combined.

McNally said 450 of those spaces must remain open, but the problem is 250 of the spaces in the south garage, also on the upper level, have been closed since October. So out of those 450 spaces that are supposed to stay available, probably only 200 of them will.

That means this fall, 700 people will no longer have parking in these garages, which could hurt business downtown.

“Having less parking is really going to impact us not only for economy-wise, making sure our shops have really good traffic, but there are even places that have graduations close to that area and it’s going to make it definitely going to make it difficult,” says Taylor Walker of Holyoke.

Drivers will have to look for parking in the other  public lots.

The contractor of the project will be awarded on Friday, April 3rd, and pre-construction meetings will start shortly after the announcement.

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