SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Progress is being made on the elevated portion of I-91, but it’s still causing anxiety for drivers. 22News takes us along the highway with an update on construction.
Drivers are frustrated: Not about the necessary I-91 reconstruction project in Springfield, but about drivers in construction zones. 22News tested out your complaints about drivers ignoring signs to merge to one lane. We purposefully left room for cars to merge, but instead, they sped all the way until the lane ended.\ Viewers said they want these drivers to get in trouble.
22News spoke with State Police Sergeant Tom Ryan who said ultimately, it’s up to the state trooper. He said if a lane still exists, a driver can go on it until the very end and then merge, but if that driver is going at excessive speeds, just to get ahead at the last second, a state trooper can pull that driver over and write a citation.
Behind the fences that line I-91, construction on Phase 1B is on schedule, if not ahead of schedule, due to a mild winter, dry summer, and $50,000 reward for each day the contractor finishes ahead of schedule.
Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Executive Director Tim Brennan told 22News this phase will be complete by the end of the year. Then, in 2017, traffic will shift to the new middle lanes as the outer lanes are replaced. If you’re driving in Springfield, you may notice water gushing from the 91 overpass on State Street. Brennan explained this is a very complex project and much is being done to replace the deck, He said, “They’re basically going down to the superstructure and laying down new concrete lanes, there’s drainage improvements that go in with that, there will be lighting improvements.”
Contractors expect all lanes to be open by the fall of 2017, with all construction done by 2018.