Last year at about this time I wrote about the prospect of disruptive repairs to a stretch of the highway I-91 as it passes through Springfield, MA, just a short ways north of the border of the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut. This is a vital piece of infrastructure in my neck of the woods, so I'd like to keep readers of this blog up to date on it.
On June 25th, the Mass. Department of Transportation hosted a hearing on the project updating the community of those who drive there regularly, warning said community that preliminary construction work will begin any day now. J.F. White Contracting Co., of Framingham, won the bid and will serve as general contractor for the expected three year duration of the work.
The MassDOT is funding 20% of this work, the Federal Highway Administration will pick up the rest of the tab.
Finally, the project has become enmeshed over the last year with another timetable: that of casino construction. In the fullness of time, it has been decreed by the decreers of such matters, there will be an MGM Casino in downtown Springfield, so that Pioneer Valley gamblers won't have to undertake the long voyage to the coast of Long Island Sound and lose their wampum to Indian tribes gathered there. But the casino can hardly be expected to prove the engine of revitalization that MGM ensures us it can be unless people can get from the highway to their parking lots without too much aggravation and discomfort.