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Drivers frustrated over Route 20 construction project

Drivers frustrated over Route 20 construction project
Updated: Jun. 17, 2022 at 6:00 PM EDT
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WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - If you’re traveling through West Springfield, from Westfield or Springfield, you may be experiencing some delays. The state is currently reducing the number of traffic lanes on Route 20 from four lanes to two lanes.

“It’s a nightmare, honestly,” said Alasha Giles of West Springfield.

The state recently started construction on the road and reduced it from four lanes to two lanes. West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt told Western Mass News that the state didn’t give the community much of a heads up, which is why there may be some backlash.

“My frustration and the mayor of Westfield’s frustration too is that this kind of came too late. We would have loved to have more public conversations earlier on because they do a good job of explaining what they are going to do and why, but that was just to us and as construction was starting,” Reichelt explained.

Reichelt said the project is supposed to reduce the number of traffic accidents and reduce speeding, which he said is strongly needed since there have been a number of serious crashes on that road.

“There have been a number of fatalities on this section of Route 20, especially as the curve comes towards Westfield from West Side,” Reichelt noted.

The state reports between the years of 2015 and 2018, there have been 212 accidents total.

“I can’t tell you how many accidents I know have happened on that road, how many people I know have been hurt or killed on that road,” said Patricia Blankenburg of Springfield.

The state’s website outlines that there will be two bike lanes on either side. Some residents believe that decision could be dangerous.

“People fly up and down this street, so I feel putting a bike lane is only going to cause more traffic and it’s only going to cause more accidents, so what are we going to do to prevent that?” Giles added.

Reichelt said the construction is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

You can CLICK HERE for more information on the project.