‘Highway West’ may get another exit

  • Motorists drive past a toll gantry constructed over the Massachusetts Turnpike in Westfield.  

Published: 7/19/2017 9:14:11 AM

Anyone driving west on the Mass Turnpike who mistakenly misses the Westfield exit knows what a nightmare it is to realize that it’s 30 miles to the next exit.

But that might soon change.

Funding was included in the budget Gov. Charlie Baker signed on Monday to study the possibility of adding an exit in that 30-mile stretch, between Westfield and Lee.

The amendment, titled "Highway West," calls for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to complete the feasibility study no later than July 1, 2018:

“The study shall examine and evaluate the costs and economic opportunities related to establishing the interchange  between the city of Westfield and the town of Lee including, but not limited to: (i) the projected capital costs; (ii) the projected operating costs; (iii) the projected use levels; (iv) the environmental and community impact estimates; (v) the availability of federal, state, local and private sector funding sources; and (vi) the resulting economic, social and cultural benefits to the surrounding region and the commonwealth.”

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