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Road, bridge work season starts in Northampton area

  • Construction on route 9 by Beaver Creek Golf Course Wednesday afternoon.
  • Construction on route 9 entering Haydenville  Wednesday afternoon.

Motorists can expect continued traffic delays along Route 9 from Northampton to Goshen into June as the state Department of Transportation works on a $2.8 million infrastructure project. The work entails drainage improvements, sidewalk repairs and upgrades, sealing cracks, the milling of the pavement and the resurfacing of Route 9.

The job is approximately 9 miles in length from the Northampton line to Goshen and is part of a district-wide maintenance contract, according to MassDOT.

Michael Verseckes, a MassDOT spokesman, said such projects increase in frequency in the spring to repair damage to roads caused by plows and the freezing and thawing of water, which leads to cracks and potholes.

On Wednesday, road crews were seen replacing sections of sidewalk in Haydenville.

On Wednesday a stretch of Route 9, or Haydenville Road, was down to one lane between the Beaver Brook Golf Course and the Brassworks Building, where a crew of seven was replacing sidewalks with the help of a cement truck and civilian flaggers.

Verseckes said new drainage equipment is being delivered to the area and road crews plan to start milling the road surface the week of May 6, work that is expected to take approximately five days.

For another three weeks, crews will install new drainage equipment, sealing asphalt cracks underneath the surface and making sidewalk repairs. No work is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend. During the week of June 1, final paving is expected to start, work that will take another five days.

“Much of this work is weather-dependent,” Verseckes said. “Especially for the final resurfacing. The atmosphere has to be dry and temperatures have to be above freezing. Those are the two criteria that successful paving is contingent upon.”

Easthampton work

Next week, motorists can expect an all-day Route 10 shutdown at the Manhan Bridge near Easthampton’s downtown rotary on Wednesday, May 1, from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The state is replacing the 61-year-old downtown bridge, which the DOT has deemed “structurally deficient.”

The $3.75 million project involves installing a pedestrian bridge over the river as well as improvements to the Route 10 intersections with O’Neill and West streets. MassDOT estimates the bridge will be shut down for about six months during construction later this year and that long-term closing is slated to begin in June.

Motorists are advised to take alternate routes during the one-day closure next week.

Farther afield, road resurfacing has been under way this month at the Mount Tom State Reservation where the state Department of Conservation and Recreation is repaving the park’s roads during the month of April.

Periodic road closings are expected from the Route 141 entrance along Christopher Clark Road and Reservation Road, according to DCR.

The state agency is posting notification of the closings through portable message boards at the Route 141 entrance near the Holyoke line and the Route 5 entrance. Visitors can also call the park at 534-1186 to get information.

The portion of Reservation Road from the Route 5 entrance to the Bray Lake parking area will be open through most of the construction period, according to the agency.

Dan Crowley can be reached at dcrowley@gazettenet.com.

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