City leaders, MassDOT to discuss long-term solutions for elevated portion of I-91

Long-term solution for highway could include tunnel

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Drivers on Interstate 91 are dealing with lane and ramp closures as well as reduced speed limits through Springfield as a part of the I-91 Rehabilitation Project. The intent of this project, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, is to make emergency safety repairs to the crumbling, elevated section of the highway.

While that work goes on, Mass DOT is also conducting a study to evaluate what options are available for the elevated section of highway long term.  Now, city leaders are scheduled to have a “working group” meeting with MassDOT Thursday to discuss this separate study. MassDOT says its upkeep has been costly, and the meeting will focus on alternative solutions.

Thursday’s meeting is just one of a series of meetings held about this study. Notes from a previous meeting in December show that one alternative already discussed is changing the elevated section to one that is, “below grade,” and could involve a tunnel. The meeting’s notes also clearly state that these are still very preliminary discussions, leaving a lot of research still to be done.

In the meantime, work continues on I-91 to make short-term repairs. Thursday night, the left lane on I-91 South from the I-291 Interchange to Union Street will be closed from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Friday morning. Construction crews are scheduled to install barriers along that section of I-91 during the closure.




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