Interstate 91 traffic spills onto alternate routes

Traffic complaints continue despite roll-out of new dynamic lane merge system.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Many drivers have been trying to take detours and side roads to get around the elevated portion of Interstate 91. Despite their efforts, however, they still end up in traffic.

If you’re headed South, the temporary exit 7-6 offers an alternate route to avoid the merge through the construction zone. But when going underneath the construction through Springfield, drivers also have to merge there.

The lane to cross over to the Memorial Bridge has also been closed this week for construction work. During peak commuting hours, the traffic is unavoidable going downtown.

Continuing Coverage: I-91 Reconstruction

“It’s horrible,” Pat Vitkus told 22News. “I try to avoid it as much as I can, because you start down 91 and it goes to the left lane and everybody just keeps coming in the left lane. So that’s what causes the backup, so I just avoid it like the plague.”

This past month the MassDOT implemented a new “Dynamic Lane Merge” system with message boards to tell drivers when to merge. But during heavy traffic hours or three-day weekends, like this past President’s Day, the complaints continue.

If you’re headed South, you can get off even earlier at exit 11, and take Route 5 in West Springfield. But even there, you could still run into some traffic.