Agawam officials meet with Hard Rock reps - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Agawam officials meet with Hard Rock reps

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Agawam is surrounded by proposed casino sites - MGM in Springfield's South End and Hard Rock's West Springfield proposal, which is also just steps away from the town.

"If this comes out to play for MGM or Hard Rock, by law, we have a part to play," said Agawam Town Clerk Richard Theroux.

The mayor's appointed Agawam Casino Committee heard from Hard Rock Chief Executive Officer Jim Allen at a meeting Wednesday night, outlining the company's track record.

But Agawam city councilors have one concern in mind.

"I'm a prisoner in my town of Agawam, I really can't get out, so I'm really concerned about the traffic impact," said City Councilor Paul Cavallo.

The Big E may be in West Springfield, but Agawam city councilors say that for those 2 1/2 weeks a year, they also get hit with heavy traffic.

Hard Rock's Jim Allen says that they recognize that.

They are currently in the process of completing their traffic study.

"I think we recognize No. 1, if we don't have the appropriate accessibility to this site, it won't be good for Hard Rock, it won't be good for West Springfield, it won't be good for Agawam," Allen said.

The main entrance for Hard Rock's proposal is at the current gate 9 of the Eastern States Exposition.

But Allen says they are also planning to add additional entrances and exits including one off the Route 5 rotary near the Memorial Bridge.

"Creating an internal road system, so when people come over the bridge, they immediately access the site, we get rid of that backup that's been known I guess for many, many years," Allen said.

Casino committee members say that they will continue to meet to make sure Agawam's interests remain a top priority.

"We're going to protect the town of Agawam as far as traffic, revenue sharing and possible jobs," Theroux said.

Hard Rock reps say they will be releasing their full traffic plans next Wednesday to West Springfield officials.

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