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I-91 Viaduct

Just my stream of consciousness today.

Back in May of this year I wrote a piece for the Agawam paper with the headline "Planned repairs of I-91 Viaduct Move Forward."

I must confess that, yes, the Agawam paper does allow the reporters to propose their own headlines and, no, I couldn't come up with a better one than that. Plans move forward? Wow.

They found space for it on the front page, though on the bottom right hand corner of the front page. As spacing goes, I actually prefer the top of page 3 to the bottom right of page one. In a tabloid-style paper, people often scan the top of page one quickly and then open that page -- the next thing they see, thus, is the top of page 3.

Anyway, I-91 (the red line on the map you see before you) is a vital transportation corridor for my neck of the woods. Part of Ike's old system, it moves diagonally across the State of Connecticut in its southernmost stretch, from New Haven into the Connecticut River Valley. It gets into the Valley south of Hartford, then provides the main north-south artery for north-central Connecticut and for western Massachusetts.

The viaduct in question is the structure that lifts the road above the heart of downtown Springfield, Mass. all the way from State Street to the intersection with I-291, an east-west route.

None of the work will take place within Agawam (which is, for you outsiders, on the other side, the western side, of the Connecticut River) but to the extent the work ties up and redirects traffic it will affect the daily life of much of Agawam's population. Indeed, Agawam's town website gave prominent placement to a notice of the Viaduct repairs planning hearing.

Where are we moving now that we are "moving forward"? Actual work will likely begin late this year.

Personally, I don't look forward to it. But, hey, a D of T's gotta do what a D of T's gotta do.


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