SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The headache along Interstate 91 through Springfield may be over sooner than you think. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation predicts the highway will be ready for “full beneficial use” by May of next year.
Jackhammers, detour signs and traffic cones are the frustrating reality that 75,000 drivers face every day.
“If you work down here you can get around it. Some days it’s inconvenient but the road needed to be fixed anyway,” said Theresa Lynch of Chicopee.
“The construction of the casino has not been a problem. I don’t understand why the viaduct is taking so long,” said Grace Bodskill of Enfield, CT.
However, MassDOT said they are three full months ahead of schedule. Right now the construction on the viaduct is in stage two. Stage two began in late 2016 and will end in Spring of 2018. The main project they are working on is replacing the concrete decking along I-91 North.
MassDOT spokesman Patrick Marvin told 22News they expect all the lanes and ramps to be open by May of 2018, with construction fully ending by January of 2019.
“It’s a pain driving. But hopefully the pain will ease and it will be less congested when driving. Because once that casino opens there will be hell to pay if it isn’t,” said Leo Petrossi of Enfield, CT.
MassDOT said the contractor is working weekends to finish as quickly as possible with minimal impact to travelers.
The new viaduct will be wider and structurally sound, and have new lighting and drainage.