‘Wicked bumpy’: Drivers complain about Chesterfield Road

  • Cars make their way down the upper portion of Chesterfield Rd where people have complained about the many pot holes and condition of the pavement. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • A vehicle makes its way down Chesterfield Road in Northampton, Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Cars make their way down the upper portion of Chesterfield Rd where people have complained about the many pot holes and condition of the pavement. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Cars make their way down the upper portion of Chesterfield Road in Northampton, Wednesday, where people have complained about the many pot holes and condition of the pavement. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer
Published: 12/19/2018 9:57:45 PM

NORTHAMPTON – The state of upper Chesterfield Road drew significant complaint earlier this year. Now, as the City Council is set approve Mayor David Narkewicz’s request for $2.5 million for paving in fiscal year 2020. that same stretch of road has drawn another plea for attention.

“I’m hoping to get it repaved,” said Lee Douchkoff. “It’s in abominable shape.”

In a letter published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette Douchkoff, of Westhampton, complained about the upper section of Chesterfield Road, which he said has deteriorated so much this year that it has become “a safety hazard.”

Speaking with the Gazette, Douchkoff said that there’s a feeling that there isn’t much attention paid to it because it’s mostly used by people out of town.

“It doesn’t feel like it’s a priority,” he said. “If this was a main road downtown it would never be acceptable.”

One of the Northampton people who lives off upper Chesterfield Road, John Clapp, also believes that the lack of Northampton people traveling Chesterfield Road contributes to its state.

“That’s my assumption,” he said. “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

Clapp, who owns the Starlight Llama Bed & Breakfast with wife Dee Boyle-Clapp at their residence off Chesterfield Road, said that the road does need attention.

“It’s a pain,” he said.

He said that some of their guests have complained about the road, although not as many as he would expect, and that he doesn’t believe he’s lost any guests because of it.

Mary-Clare Phillips is a Westhampton resident who initially complained to the Gazette about the state of roads earlier this year, that included Chesterfield Road,

“It’s better than it was,” said Phillips, although she still characterized Chesterfield Road as “wicked bumpy.”

Not so the section of road from Route 66 to Drury Lane, which she said remains terrible.

For Douchkoff, the last straw was the taking down of the Upper Roberts Meadow Dam this year for safety purposes, which the city contributed nearly $200,000 toward. He contends that the dam was not a safety hazard and was a good place to watch animals, although he noted that he’s not an engineer.

Douchkoff said that the money used to take down the dam would have been better spent for safety purposes on Chesterfield Road, and he said that he has experienced damage to a vehicle as a result of the road.

In asking for the authorization to borrow $2.5 million for paving in fiscal year 2020, Narkewicz announced that paving work would be done on Spring Street, Glendale Road and Bridge Road and Burts Pit Road.

“We are continuing to develop a full paving plan,” he said.

The mayor said that the shape of other road projects will depend on how much the announced projects costs and how much money Northampton receives from the state this year.

The mayor has repeatedly noted that the City’s Chapter 90 money has stayed flat over the last few years.

Narkewicz said that the city has heard from some of those raising concerns about Chesterfield Road.

“We’ll take a look at those concerns,” he said.

Nevertheless, he did note that the city does have limited resources and that it works to “deploy those resources in the most strategic way.”

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.


Jobs



Support Local Journalism


Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.


Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

Copyright © 2021 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy