Design work begins on I-91 Exit 19 project; construction years away
NORTHAMPTON — Design work for the I-91 exit ramp at the Damon Road-Route 9 intersection in Northampton has begun — now it’s only six years or so until construction begins.
But for a project of this scale, it is not unusual for the development of design plans, permitting, public hearings and bidding to take a long time.
Improvements the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is working on include a roundabout at the I-91 northbound exit ramp and ramp widening, signal modifications and adding an additional left-turn lane on Route 9 onto I-91 southbound, the department said Friday.
On Route 9, the additional left-turn lane will extend under the I-91 overpass and the sidewalk on the north side of the road will be relocated behind the piers.
Opportunities for additional “traffic calming” will be considered in the final design, the transportation department said in a release Friday morning.
Study of the intersection began in 2009.
Work will extend beyond the busy intersection. The entire project includes traffic analysis, road design, environmental analysis and community input.
The schedule for the project calls for a complete design plan and permits by the end of 2016.
Depending on the availability of funding, construction would be finished by 2019, the department said.
MassDOT will continue to work with the local Project Advisory Committee on the project’s development.
The committee is composed of neighborhood, city and regional representatives.
Additional information on the I-91 Interchange 19 studies can be obtained on the project website.