WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – I-91 construction on the elevated portion of I-91 in Springfield is ahead of schedule and will not stop for the Big E, where tens of thousands of drivers who don’t normally use the highway will be added to the flow of traffic.
Kevin Swart of Enfield told 22News, “It’s already backed up in afternoons, you can hardly get down the highway having construction going on during the Big E, I thought about it last week, it’s going to be gridlocked.”
Two years ago MassDOT did actually halt construction on the elevated portion of I-91 through Springfield during the Big E, now the director of operations for the fair told 22News, it’s not necessary.
“That project is well ahead of schedule and we believe that construction can continue during the 17 day period of the fair,” said Gerard Kiernan, Director of Operations.
Construction did continue on I-91 through Springfield during last year’s fair, which set attendance records on five different days.
Fernando Garcia of Springfield said to 22News, “Ride it out, it is what it is, they do it in New York all time, NJ and Connecticut, it gives my local brothers work and I want to see them keep working.”
MassDOT and the Big E are touting their emergency operations center and message boards on the roads and highways leading into the fair, giving drivers real time traffic updates.
“They’ll be able to coordinate in real time face to face helping to find the best routes to the exposition,” said Kiernan.
Kiernan’s best advice, which is likely both true and self-serving, Arrive early and stay late.
The Big E begins in 10 days, running from next Friday September 15 through Sunday October 1.