Getting Answers: St. James Ave. road improvement project

The new project at the intersection at St. James Avenue and Carew Street includes making the intersection more manageable for motorists and improving sidewalks
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 6:44 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Springfield city councilors are set to move forward on a new project Monday night for a busy intersection that has been the scene of multiple accidents over the past year.

The new project at the intersection at St. James Avenue and Carew Street includes making the intersection more manageable for motorists and improving sidewalks for residents and local businesses.

In a statement sent to Western Mass News, Springfield Police Public Information Officer Ryan Walsh said, quote:

“In the past year, there were 8 crashes at that intersection. None involved any serious injury.”

Springfield Department of Public Works Director Chris Cignoli told Western Mass News how they identify needs when it comes to road improvement projects.

“We look, along with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, at crash clusters throughout the city – where are there crashes happening, are they rear-end crashes, people going through lights, are there sight-distance issues?” he explained.

One of the final steps before construction will be taken up at Monday night’s city council meeting regarding property easements for those living on the road.

Cignoli told Western Mass News that they will have to dig into people’s properties to build new sidewalks and driveways for nearby businesses.

“We’re taking square feet, 5 square feet, 8 square feet ,10 square feet type of thing to be able to round off the corner and things like that,” he said.

Cignoli added that their plan calls for impacted residents to receive payments from the city, which could total in the thousands of dollars. He said that once that step is complete, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will start the process of construction.

“It’s a MassDOT project,” Cignoli told us. “It’s about a $9 million project. It’s going out to bid in April, so we hope to be starting it this year and it’s probably a construction season and a half of work.”

Cignoli added that the new safety upgrades will help motorists have a clearer vision of the intersection and ease driver’s confusion over the lane arrangements.