MassDOT secretary checks on toll booth demolitions in Westfield

Work continues at 23 locations

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – State Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack came to Westfield on Thursday, to check on the progress of toll booth demolition at Exit 3 on I-90.

Massachusetts launched open road tolling in October of 2016. They’ve been demolishing the old toll booths. Work continues at 23 locations and will be complete by the end of the year.

“By the end of this year, you will be able to drive the MassPike from the New York border to Logan Airport and basically you’ll never know there used to be tolls there,” Stephanie Pollack, Secretary and CEO of MassDOT.

The toll booths have been the gateway to the MassPike since the 50’s.

“A lot has changed since then,” said Patrick Paul, MassDOT’s Highway Director, of District 2. “Our traffic volume is a lot higher here. This is going to provide a lot wider interchange. A more vast opening. There won’t be any stop to pay the tolls anymore and it should help the traffic flow here a lot.”

Meanwhile, work continues on the raised positron of I-91 in Springfield. Secretary Pollack said they are months ahead of schedule and it will be done before the casino opens, but the bottlenecking is the price we pay.

“We are using a very innovative system on part of I-91 that tells people whether or not they are better off merging early or late and that actually has helped reduce the amount of the backup,” Pollack said.

Once viaduct construction is finished, work on the highway should be done for decades. But secretary Pollack told 22News a long-term planning study was commissioned to put the highway underground, connecting the city to the riverfront.

Pollack also said they’ll be looking at a possible redesign of the Longmeadow curve as an infrastructure investment for the future.

On Thursday, Secretary Pollack was in Northampton for a project to increase pedestrian and bicycle traffic.