Long-awaited I-91 construction project begins

The project will cost $185-million in total

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – This is the project many Springfield area drivers have been bracing for: prep work for I-91 viaduct reconstruction officially begins Sunday night.

If you’ve driven down I-91 in Springfield recently it’s clear to there are many patches on the raised portion of the highway.

In three years it will look a lot different; Sunday is the first day of a three year project to rebuild the viaduct that 75,000 cars and trucks drive over each day.

The raised section of the highway is nearly half a century old, once the project is complete the state hope it will give that section of the highway another 20 to 25 years of use.

Recently the MassDOT has been making repairs regularly.

From April of 2014 to April of this year the state spent $363,000 on these fixes and that doesn’t even include any of the most recent repairs, let alone the cost of the project.

The project will cost $185-million in total, 80 percent will be paid by the FHA and the other 20 percent will be paid by the state.

“Yeah it’s worth it, put local people to work, but the freeway here is just a mess so I’m glad it’s finally getting some attention,” said Michael Smith of Stafford, Connecticut.

This project has been a long time coming, Tim Brennan of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission told 22News big pieces of the deck have fallen out causing safety issues.

The construction should not affect rush hour commutes because the work will be done at night but again this is a three year project so you can expect to see construction until September of 2018.

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