Skip to main content

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.


Popular posts from this blog

A Story About Coleridge

This is a quote from a memoir by Dorothy Wordsworth, reflecting on a trip she took with two famous poets, her brother, William Wordsworth, and their similarly gifted companion, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

We sat upon a bench, placed for the sake of one of these views, whence we looked down upon the waterfall, and over the open country ... A lady and gentleman, more expeditious tourists than ourselves, came to the spot; they left us at the seat, and we found them again at another station above the Falls. Coleridge, who is always good-natured enough to enter into conversation with anybody whom he meets in his way, began to talk with the gentleman, who observed that it was a majestic waterfall. Coleridge was delighted with the accuracy of the epithet, particularly as he had been settling in his own mind the precise meaning of the words grand, majestic, sublime, etc., and had discussed the subject with William at some length the day before. “Yes, sir,” says Coleridge, “it is a majestic wate…

England as a Raft?

In a lecture delivered in 1880, William James asked rhetorically, "Would England ... be the drifting raft she is now in European affairs if a Frederic the Great had inherited her throne instead of a Victoria, and if Messrs Bentham, Mill, Cobden, and Bright had all been born in Prussia?"

Beneath that, in a collection of such lectures later published under James' direction, was placed the footnote, "The reader will remember when this was written."

The suggestion of the bit about Bentham, Mill, etc. is that the utilitarians as a school helped render England ineffective as a European power, a drifting raft.

The footnote was added in 1897. So either James is suggesting that the baleful influence of Bentham, Mill etc wore off in the meantime or that he had over-estimated it.

Let's unpack this a bit.  What was happening in the period before 1880 that made England seem a drifting raft in European affairs, to a friendly though foreign observer (to the older brother…

Cancer Breakthrough

Hopeful news in recent days about an old and dear desideratum: a cure for cancer. Or at least for a cancer, and a nasty one at that.

The news comes about because investors in GlaxoSmithKline are greedy for profits, and has already inspired a bit of deregulation to boot. 

The FDA has paved the road for a speedy review of a new BCMA drug for multiple myeloma, essentially cancer of the bone marrow. This means that the US govt has removed some of the hurdles that would otherwise (by decision of the same govt) face a company trying to proceed with these trials expeditiously. 

This has been done because the Phase I clinical trial results have been very promising. The report I've seen indicates that details of these results will be shared with the world on Dec. 11 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. 

The European Medicines Agency has also given priority treatment to the drug in question. 

GSK's website identifies the drug at issue as "GSK2857916," althou…