Wrong-way traffic lights, detour signs causing confusion around I-91

SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) – If you’ve seen detour signs on 1-91 North, but no closures, or traffic lights facing the wrong direction on East Columbus Ave. in Springfield, you might think your eyes are playing tricks on you.

Drivers traveling Northbound on I-91 may have seen a detour sign pointing to an exit ramp. 22News discovered there’s no need to detour because the ramp is still open.

South Hadley resident Louis Lopez told 22News if he was driving by, he might follow the detour out of habit. “I follow the rules so if I see a sign or light, I definitely will follow the rules so they better fix that,” he said.

MassDOT admitted the signs might be a bit misleading. Workers removed the sign covers Sunday night when the ramps were closed for construction. Crews forgot to re-cover the detour signs Monday morning, causing the confusion.

The uncovered traffic signs aren’t the only things confusing drivers.

There’s also new lights at the intersection of East Columbus Avenue and Liberty Street to help control the flow of traffic. But some drivers, like Tim Morey of Chicago, have noticed the lights are facing the wrong direction. “If I didn’t know any better, if I wasn’t familiar with the area I’d be looking around thinking maybe I was breaking the law or doing something like that. I follow a GPS and sometimes they’re wrong. Traffic signs should face the direction that would be most informative to the driver,” he said.

We asked MassDOT about the wrong way traffic lights. MassDOT Deputy Press Secretary Amanda Skahan told 22News the new lights won’t be completely installed for a little while.

Once they are, the problem won’t entirely disappear. The signals will be in “flash” mode for two weeks before they’re functioning normally.

MassDOT didn’t have an estimate on when the lights would be finished yet.

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