What’s the status of the Route 5 Tunnel?

Northbound traffic being detoured, southbound side fully open

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Drivers on Route 5 northbound in West Springfield have been dealing with delays Tuesday, as the tunnel under the North End Bridge Rotary has been closed to all traffic. Drivers are being detoured onto the ramp into the rotary.

22News drove through the tunnel and found both lanes of the southbound side, headed from the Riverdale Shops to the Memorial Ave rotary, were completely open. However, as we drove back, officers blocked off the Northbound side, detouring traffic around the North End Bridge Rotary.

MassDOT’s Michael Verseckes told 22News the northbound side still needs a few steel plates. Those will be installed Wednesday. Drivers said they’re aggravated with how long this 5 million dollar project has taken.

Jason Coons, who often drives on Route 5, told 22News, “Route 5 has always been a disaster whether it’s the tunnel or up at the rotary in West Springfield and I think they’re just dragging heels trying to fix it and it’s going nowhere. I mean they take too long doing it when they had the opportunity in the past 15 years to do it.”

Verseckes said we can expect both lanes of both sides of Route 5 open by the end of the day Thursday. That won’t be the end though: they’ll need to replace the steel plates with permanent trench grates in the near future.

You can check on traffic conditions in real time using our Live Traffic Map.

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