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Springfield I-91 Viaduct BannerMassDOT expects to implement a series of lane reductions, ramp closures and detours to begin the major work for the I-91 Viaduct Rehabilitation Project in Springfield on Sunday, December 20, 5:30pm.

Generally, the number of lanes on I-91 will be reduced by one in each direction; two travel lanes will remain open in each direction for the duration of the project south of the I-291 Interchange.

During the upcoming construction stage, the inner travel lanes of I-91 North and South along the median will be closed for deck replacement. I-91 northbound and southbound traffic will be shifted to the right, using the areas currently occupied by the shoulder and outside travel lane. This lane configuration will continue through late fall 2016. The 40 mph reduced speed limit in the construction zone and 45 mph limit approaching the zone will continue to be enforced by State Police and fines for speeding are doubled. These limits will be in place for the duration of the project.

The work to transition to this next construction stage is weather-dependent and the start may be adjusted if necessary. The implementation allows work to continue on an aggressive schedule and current weather conditions allow for nighttime lane marking operations, which will be less disruptive to traffic than the originally planned daytime lane marking operations. A reminder advisory will be sent later this week confirming the actual start date.

Lane and Ramp Closures for Marking Operations

To prepare for the shift of I-91 north and southbound traffic to the outer lanes of the viaduct, MassDOT will implement a series of lane and ramp closures on Sunday, December 20, beginning at 5:30 PM. During the following closures, the contractor will grind asphalt and paint new lane markings:

• Closure of two lanes on I-91 North: A single lane of traffic will be directed around the marking removal and application operations, to the left or right as required, from about Union Street to the Route 20/Plainfield Street overpass. Ramp closures on the northbound side of I-91 will include the on-ramps from Union Street and State Street, which will remain closed for the duration of the deck replacement work. Off-ramps at Exit 8 to I-291 East and Exit 9 to Route 20 will be closed temporarily as operations require in those ramp areas, with traffic detoured to the off-ramp at Exit 10.

• Closure of lanes on I-91 South: A single lane of traffic will be directed around the marking removal and application operations, to the left or right as required, from about the Route 20/Plainfield Street overpass to Union Street. Ramp closures on the southbound side of I-91 will include the off-ramps at Exit 7 to Memorial Bridge and downtown, and Exit 6 to Union Street and Hall of Fame Avenue, and the on-ramp from the Route 20/Birnie Avenue Connector, all of which will remain closed for the duration of the deck replacement work.

• Closure of Exits 1A and 2A from I-291 West to I-91 South. During the marking operations, traffic will follow the signed detour routes. These ramps will re-open upon completion of the marking operations:

o To access I-91 South: From I-291 West, take Exit 2B and follow signs for Dwight Street. Turn left on Dwight Street, then turn right on State Street. Turn left on Main, then turn right on Bliss. Turn right onto East Columbus Avenue. Turn left on State Street, left on West Columbus Avenue/Hall of Fame Avenue, and bear left to merge onto I-91 South.

o To access Chestnut Street: From I-291 West, take Exit 2B and follow signs for Dwight Street. Turn right on Dwight Street, then turn right on Bond Street to access Chestnut Street.

Long-Term Ramp Closures

The following on- and off-ramps will be closed beginning on Sunday, December 20, for safety and operational reasons, and to expedite construction. They will remain closed through late fall 2017:

• Birnie Avenue connector (closed since October 2015)
• Union Street on-ramp to I-91 North
• State Street on-ramp to I-91 North
• Exit 7 off-ramp from I-91 South
• Exit 6 off-ramp from I-91 South
• Route 20 connector to I-91 South

MassDOT has built a new West Columbus Avenue/Birnie Avenue off-ramp signed as temporary Exit 7-6 for I-91 southbound traffic to access downtown Springfield, the Memorial Bridge, and the Basketball Hall of Fame area.

Detour Routes and Maps

MassDOT has undertaken significant planning to improve traffic flow during the ramp and lane closures. Working with the City of Springfield, MassDOT has developed detour plans and local improvements, as well as a comprehensive monitoring program of key corridors and intersections. Signs will direct drivers to many Springfield destinations. The traffic plan will be updated based on ongoing monitoring. MassDOT expects a website with real-time traffic conditions to be available to the public prior to the start of the work on Sunday, December 20. A 530 AM Highway Advisory Radio broadcast of project conditions is expected to be running by the end of December.

Detour routes and maps, available in English and Spanish, are posted on the Traffic page of the project website.

Other Restrictions

During construction, the north entrance to the North Parking Garage below the Viaduct will be closed. The north exit will remain open, but only right turns will be permitted out of the garage, providing access onto East Columbus Avenue.

Those traveling through the area should expect delays, follow the reduced speed, and use caution. MassDOT encourages drivers to avoid the area and seek alternate routes to minimize delays.

For more information, visit the project website. To report issues or concerns, or for questions related to construction, email: I91viaduct@state.ma.us or call 617-454-1839.

 

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