CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – One week down with the new transponder system on the Mass Pike. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation wasted no time with the demolition of the existing toll booths.
One driver told 22News that the transition to all-electronic tolling has been easy. “Everything is going very smoothly. It was my first time using the transponder and I just sailed right through. Lots of cars as well as a lot of large trucks, but there was no backup at all. It was very smooth,” Susan Lehrer of Lenox said.
MassDOT says that work is on time for the demolition of the Pike’s toll booths and they said that at 23 of those locations, work is actually ahead of schedule.
There has been backup for some drivers, especially at the Palmer exit when the tolls were initially torn down.
“I came through earlier, probably about 8:30, 9 o’clock and you’ve got commuter traffic. It was slowed down a little bit, but once they get the construction done at the toll booths so there’s no barriers, it’ll flow real nice,” said Robert Gaylor of New York.
MassDOT said weather permitting, Phase 1 work is set to be completed ahead of the November 22 deadline at Interchange 3 in Westfield and at Interchange 2 in Lee. Phase 2 will focus on demolishing toll plaza infrastructure to the right and to the left of center areas.
During Phase 2, drivers will travel through the newly paved middle lane of plazas. All toll plaza and road reconstruction is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2017.