Toll booth demolition causing traffic troubles in Palmer

Only one lane open each for entry and exit

PALMER, Mass. (WWLP) – The demolition of toll booths along the Massachusetts Turnpike has generally been going smoothly statewide, but it is causing traffic troubles at one interchange.

At Exit 8 in Palmer, there is only one lane of traffic being allowed through going in each direction. During the Tuesday evening commute, some people waited about an hour to get off the Pike at the exit.

Diane Abare, manager of the nearby Shell gas station, told 22News that things are okay getting on and off the exit during the day, but it has become difficult during the morning and evening rush hour.

“They’re all trying to find an alternative route, nobody wants to get on, nobody wants to get off. There’s only one lane so in the afternoon, it takes them an hour. Traffic’s backed up over a mile, they said,” Abare said.

Some drivers have come into the Thorndike Street station saying that they need to find a new way to work, for the time being.

Governor Charlie Baker says that he wants to see the demolition work largely complete before the big holiday travel season, which is coming up in just a matter of weeks.

A MassDOT engineer supervising the demolition told 22News that he could not say when a second lane could be opened to provide relief for drivers.