State legislators devise plans to rebuild Worthington Street - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

State legislators devise plans to rebuild Worthington Street

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First responders and city officials toured Worthington Street with state legislators to see firsthand the destruction caused from last Friday's blast.

The day after Thanksgiving, bricks and glass were littered across the street, which transformed it into something of a war zone.

Since some of the chaos has died down, Friday was an opportune time for state legislators to hear stories from first responders and start to devise strategies to make Worthington Street what is used to be.

State Sen. Jim Welch of West Springfield already has some idea of how local lawmakers can help.

"I can't think of a better situation, when we do act as a commonwealth, to help cities, especially like Springfield, rebuild after a disaster like this," Welch said. "Sometimes we can put things in the budget or funding can be made available for communities to help them rebuild from a disaster like we did with the tornado. There were certain things we were able to do…put language in… put additional funding in."

Another piece of state legislators' strategy moving forward involves working closely with local businesses.

"We will make sure that we're working hand-in-hand with the businesses, and those state agencies, and those government agencies that have the resources are made available to those businesses so they can access them and at least have someone to talk to, to help them," Welch said.

State officials said they aren't sure how long it will take to rebuild from the blast.

Some employees of businesses on Worthington Street said they are pleased with the cleanup efforts that have already taken place.  

"They have come such a long way in these past couple of days. They've taken all of our gas meters and safely have put them outside and repaved around them. They've repaved our streets, they're doing their best to allow traffic back in, and we need the people to follow," said Lisa Guenette, an employee at The Alehouse in Springfield.

Springfield police told CBS 3 that they expect Worthington Street to be open within the next 24 hours.

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