SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – For two years now, drivers have been squeezing into that one southbound lane on I-91 through the downtown highway renovation work zone.
However, with repair work running ahead of schedule, MassDOT plans to open the second southbound lane at 5 a.m. Saturday morning.
It will ease the congestion and reduce commute times.
“Totally brutal. It’s adding at least 15-20 minutes to my trip every day,” Bob Cavicchioli of Springfield told 22News. “I came from Chicopee, heading towards Forest Park. It’s a backup here every day.”
Cavicchioli’s frown turned into a big smile when 22News informed him that as of Saturday morning two lanes of traffic will likely move more quickly.
On Saturday, the Exit 7 off-ramp to I-91 South will reopen at 5 a.m., as well as the West Columbus Avenue on-ramp to I-91 South also at 5 a.m.
An additional lane on I-91 South will also reopen at 5 a.m. on Saturday.
“This is the best news I could have heard all day, absolutely! Fantastic news, I’ve been waiting for this for a couple of years now, It’s going to be epic,” said Cavicchioli.
This news that travel times will likely be shorter than the current one lane bottleneck, had other drivers feeling it’s about time.
Todd Guertin of Springfield told 22News, “They’re going to open these lanes up coming up, it’s going to be way better for me, the city flow is going to be quicker, it’s going to be good for Springfield.”
So far this week, the Birnie Avenue On-Ramp to I-91 has re-opened, and the temporary Exit 7/6 was closed.