Route 5 under I-91 in Northampton to be shut down overnight this week

  • A map shared by the city of Northampton shows detours in place for drivers on Route 5 during overnight hours this week. Overnight on Wednesday and Thursday, and possibly Friday, drivers will have to go through Easthampton to avoid the road work. STAFF PHOTO / CAROL LOLLIS

  • Work on the I-91 overpass will mean the closure of that section of Route 5 in Northampton from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., starting Wednesday evening. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Route 5 road work in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer
Published: 9/27/2021 8:42:37 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Route 5 will be closed to traffic overnight on Wednesday and Thursday near the I-91 interchange, and a detour will bring drivers through Easthampton.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation said the closure, from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., also could be necessary overnight on Friday.

Traffic from I-91 southbound will be able to use the off-ramp to access Route 5 north. Northbound traffic on Route 5 from Holyoke will be able to get to I-91 north.

Northbound traffic on I-91 trying to get to downtown Northampton will have to take Exit 25 (old Exit 19) and head south on Bridge Street.

To get around the closure, drivers on Route 5 northbound should turn down East Street, then Ferry, Lovefield and O’Neill streets in Easthampton, followed by Route 10 back into Northampton. Drivers wanting to go south on Route 5 should follow the same path in reverse.

Originally set for last week, the closure was rescheduled “due to rain in the forecast,” according to MassDOT spokeswoman Kristen Pennucci, and the work remains dependent on weather.

“Work will require the closure of Route 5 so that utility work, including line eradication, new line striping, and barrier installation can occur,” Pennucci said. “Traffic will be permitted to use Route 5 during daytime hours.”

The closure is part of a four-year, $56 million project to replace the I-91 northbound and southbound bridges over Route 5/Mount Tom Road at Exit 23 (old Exit 18), and at Hockanum Road to the north. The overpasses were built in 1965.

The project includes the complete removal and replacement of the existing bridge structures. It will create wider shoulders for vehicles approaching the highway ramps and add bicycle lanes in both directions on Route 5. A 5-foot-wide sidewalk will run south from the Connecticut River levee to the bus stop near Atwood Drive.

New safety and signal improvements are planned at the exit interchange. The project is scheduled to be completed in phases by 2025. J.F. White Inc. of Stoughton is performing the work through a contract with MassDOT.

“Work in the I-91 median is underway to accommodate a temporary bridge that will be utilized to maintain 2-lane traffic in both directions while each set of northbound and southbound bridges are replaced in sequence,” according to Northampton’s weekly construction update.

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