A decades-old bridge at a busy local intersection is set to get a makeover.
MassDOT announced Monday that a $21.5 million contract has been awarded to replace the Morgan-Sullivan Bridge, which brings Memorial Avenue (Route 147) over the Westfield River between Agawam and West Springfield.
The bridge was built in 1945 and state officials noted that it is structurally deficient, meaning that while it's safe to drive on, it needs further attention.
Other elements of the project include bike lanes, designated bike crossings, new sidewalks, vehicle turn lanes, traffic controls, and drainage system modifications.
"It's a great corner, lot of traffic right now, a lot of congestion. I'm looking forward to it being done," said Randy Rindels, owner of Dean Auto Sales.
Dean Auto Sales is directly next to the bridge.
"In the interim, it will be tough," Rindels noted.
Rindels said that yes, it will be a bit of pain, but he'll remain open throughout and doesn't want the construction to slow him down.
"All of our cars are online too, so it will make it easier for our customers to shop," Rindels added.
MassDOT said that most of that area will have separated bike lanes and sidewalks, including Main Street, which will allow bicyclists and pedestrians to travel from Doering Middle School in Agawam and Agawam Town Hall across the bridge and into West Springfield
“We have appreciated the input and support from our municipal partners and are pleased to move forward with this project which will replace this structurally deficient bridge and add many new accommodations including dedicated vehicle turning lanes, separated bicycle lanes, and increased capacity on both sides of the bridge to improve travel,” Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said in a statement.
Work is set to begin this summer with completion expect by summer 2022.
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