SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – You’re driving on deficient roadways and bridges. An ever bigger problem? You’re not always being warned about it.
Western Massachusetts is in for a bumpy ride. The state is in desperate need of road repairs, many right here in western Mass. Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Mike Verseckes told 22News 36% of the state’s bridges are in poor condition.
“Highways and bridges locally are being repaired now because of the concerns for the incoming casino and not for the residents of Springfield,” says Jennifer Philips from Springfield.
And just as major roadwork, like the I-91 viaduct project is set to begin, federal funding could run out. The national Highway Transportation Fund expires in three weeks.
Over the last 6 years, Congress has passed 33 short-term measures rather than funding transportation for the long term. Now, the United States Department of Transportation is saying that bridges across the country are in disrepair because of it.
Meanwhile, your tax dollars are being used to fund “other projects.” You pay for the electronic highway signs meant to warn you of traffic or construction. Instead, Thursday night 22News saw one of those signs asking drivers to vote Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts into the All-Star Game. But we didn’t see warning signs about upcoming lane closures on I-91 that night, something drivers need to know about.
John Scott from Simsbury, CT, told 22News, “I know that our infrastructure across the country is in real need of help. And I know that our economy is in real need of help. And somehow, I believe those 2 things should go together.”
In 2013, the American Society of Civil Engineers found 42-percent of Massachusetts’s roads are in poor condition.