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State pushes Bay Road bridge project to 2024

  • Four lanes of traffic on Russell Street (Rt. 9) in the center of Hadley, between West and Goffe streets. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 2/17/2020 3:09:21 PM

HADLEY — Worries over having simultaneous projects taking place on significant east-west traffic routes over the Connecticut River in Hampshire County are prompting the state to delay reconstruction of a Route 47 bridge.

Responding to concerns raised by Hadley officials and its legislative delegation, including state Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, and state Rep. Daniel Carey, D-Easthampton, as well as representatives from the University of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has agreed to wait on rebuilding the Bay Road bridge over Fort River until a widening project on Route 9 is complete.

“MassDOT listened to local leaders concerned about construction happening at the same time on two projects in the same area and made the decision to separate the work,” Judith Reardon Riley, a spokeswoman for the MassDOT, wrote in an email.

Based on the current timeline, the Bay Road project, at a cost of $5.71 million, will not be advertised, until at least 2024, two years after the $25.6 million Route 9 widening project is supposed to commence.

The Route 9 work, running from Hadley center to the shopping malls, will add a dedicated center turn lane for vehicles, new bicycle lanes and new sidewalks for pedestrians. It is supposed to begin after the new roundabout is complete on Route 9 at Damon Road in Northampton, just west of the Coolidge Bridge.

The widening project is already expected to create congestion on the corridor between Northampton and Interstate 91 to the west and the UMass campus, Hadley, Amherst and Belchertown to the east.

Reardon Riley said MassDOT will monitor the Route 9 work so the Bay Road bridge project can get underway as soon as the major traffic impacts have ended.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.


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