Drivers can expect a smoother ride through downtown Springfield

The ramp has been closed since October 20th

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Northbound drivers using Interstate 91 can expect a smoother ride through downtown Springfield, and that’s because the on-ramp near the South End Bridge has re-opened.

The on-ramp from Route 5, that runs along the South End Bridge to Interstate 91 northbound in Springfield has reopened. The ramp has been closed since October 20th for bridge resurfacing work. On Saturday crews removed the barriers.

Well it has to be done.

Construction crews worked on the left and center lanes of the elevated section of I-91 north, forcing traffic onto East Columbus Avenue.

Drivers told 22News infrastructure is aging and in need of repair, so, they were being patient, but being re-routed was a big inconvenience.

Continuing Coverage: I-91 Reconstruction 

“It was a nightmare. You sometimes had a lot of traffic, it was backed up and it took a little bit more time to get to the downtown or get to the downtown are and I tell you its been a big relief since the on-ramp has reopened again,” said Mark Ellis of Springfield.

The closure of the on-ramp near the South End Bridge was a headache for many drivers.

“It was very bad. A lot of congestion,” said Ellis. While others were more patient.

Ben Lester of Springfield told 22News, “Take your time and don’t be in a hurry and leave a little early sometimes.”

After more than two years of closed ramps and lanes on I-91 in downtown, the project is almost complete, and drivers are now enjoying an additional lane on I-91 South, which use to slow drivers down and force them to merge into one lane. Construction has been expedited on several occasions.

Mass DOT’s expects the highway to be in full use by February. with the entire project complete by next fall.