Governor Deval Patrick in Springfield today announced a $200 million investment in Phase 1 of the I-91 Springfield Viaduct project and additional funding to create a permanent home for Camp STAR Angelina at Forest Park. These investments in Greater Springfield will help unlock potential for additional economic and community development opportunities in the region.
“Growth requires investment, and moving forward on the I-91 viaduct project and upgrading our urban parks will create growth and opportunity in Springfield and beyond,” said Governor Patrick. “If we want to expand opportunity in our Commonwealth, this is what government must do and do well.”
Once completed, the I-91 Springfield viaduct deck replacement project will increase safety and accessibility on the busy interstate. The bridge decks are currently in poor condition and in need of replacement. The elevated viaduct carries I-91 through Springfield with the I-291 Interchange to the north and State Street to the south. I-91 has an Average Daily Traffic volume of approximately 75,000 vehicles per day and 90,000 vehicles on the I-91/291 Interchange. The viaduct is the primary North-South route between Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont, leading to extensive vacation traffic during the weekends in the summer and winter. Construction is slated to begin in November 2014 and the preliminary cost estimate for the project is $200 million.
MassDOT previously announced Phase 2 of the project, which allows MassDOT’s Office of Transportation Planning to begin a planning study that will identify existing issues and evaluate alternative alignments of I-91, including at-grade and below-grade alternatives, which may be less disruptive to the urban environment and could provide a regional highway connection that is more environmentally and financially sustainable in the long-term than the existing configuration. The I-91 viaduct currently is currently a barrier between downtown Springfield and the Connecticut River Riverwalk. The study’s developed alternatives will identify ways to strengthen both the multi-modal accommodations within Springfield and the connections between downtown Springfield and the waterfront.
“The viaduct is a critical artery for residents of the Greater Springfield area,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. “We have a responsibility to make investments in projects like these in order to assure continued economic growth in the region and a safe commute for all who travel.”