Getting Answers: mangled guardrail repair delayed due to supply chain issues

A Western Mass News viewer alerted us to a situation in Springfield, where a guardrail has been repeatedly mangled due to a number of crashes.
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 5:33 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - A Western Mass News viewer alerted us to a situation in Springfield, where a guardrail has been repeatedly mangled due to a number of crashes.

We went to the scene to check out the damage for ourselves, and spoke with Springfield Department of Public Works Director Anthony Cignoli to find out when this guardrail is getting fixed.

Motorists heading down Bicentennial Highway near Allen Street in Springfield may have noticed pieces of guard rail scattered across the road. One nearby resident told Western Mass News that people are speeding as they go into the turn, causing them to run off the road.

“Really fast, a competition I guess, you know, you’re driving fast, I’m driving faster than you,” Springfield resident Santiago Canosa said. “It don’t make any sense, and that’s what happens is, you see the rail but it’s too close, you don’t have any time.”

Western Mass News viewers and residents in the area told us that the guardrail has not been repaired in months. We’re getting answers from Cignoli, who said that, over the past year, there have been multiple crashes involving the guardrail, prompting them to rebuild it over and over again.

“They’ve probably repaired that 2 or 3 times, so a lot of people may have seen it once before and said, ‘Oh, it never got fixed.’ Well, it did, then it gets hit again,” Cignoli said.

He told Western Mass News about the process of repairing the guardrail. First, the DPW looks to secure the money to pay for repairs. They have a vendor who handles insurance claims with the driver at fault’s insurance paying for the damages.

Next, there is the matter of gathering guardrail materials, which Cignoli said has been slowed down due to nationwide supply chain issues.

“Even traffic control boxes and traffic materials we’re getting. Rather than, ‘Hey they’re on the shelf, we’ll ship them to you today,’ it’s, ‘Hey, we have to put in an order, we don’t know if it’s going to take 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks,’” he explained.

Cignoli said that once the materials are gathered, it should be a quick fix to replace it.

“Once they get all the materials, they’ll get it,” he said. “It will take them a day to do it once they get it.”

He added that crews should be on site to fix the guard rail within the next month.