SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Big changes coming to I-91 in Springfield. On Wednesday night, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation started shifting traffic as part of Phase 2 of construction.
As of 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, MassDOT closed the left lane on the southbound side, near Exit 7-6, as drivers get ready to switch from the outer lanes over to the new center lanes.
The lane closures will allow crews to conduct barrier work and paint pavement markings to prepare for Phase 2. Southbound traffic will have access to the center lanes on I-91 southbound once the closure is complete Thursday morning.
“The traffic has just been really ridiculous, hectic, frustrating, overwhelming,” said Tynisha Brown of Hartford, Conn. “I just want it to be over. I mean it’s a good thing they’re fixing the roads; however, it’s frustrating, overwhelming. The traffic is backed up.”
Carlos Diaz of Planville, Conn. said, “With the holidays and Christmas and people going back and forth on 91 and 84; rush hour commute and everything. Everybody is trying to get out at once, it makes it a lot tougher.”
Exit 1A from I-291 westbound to I-91 southbound will be closed until 5:00 a.m. Thursday. The Bernie Avenue I-91 southbound on ramp exit, is one of several closures that happened in Phase 1. Those ramps, like this one, will remain closed during Phase 2.
The closure of Exit 9 on the northbound side of I-91 will remain in effect until the spring of 2018. The entire project is expected to be completed by January of 2019.