AGAWAM, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - It's a story we first brought to you in June.
A number of new flashing lights have popped up in West Springfield and Agawam.
The mayors in both communities worked with the state to get them installed to help with traffic build up at the railroad tracks along Bridge Street.
Trains traveling through the West Springfield-Agawam town line has become a familiar sight to many, but Western Mass News has found the amount of time some drivers find themselves being stopped has become a familiar problem.
"When you have the rail train going through there, it moves pretty quickly. The passenger train, it’s a minor inconvenience, but, when you have the freight train, sometimes, you’re there twenty minutes, half hour, forty-five minutes, sometimes up to a hour while it’s hooking up different cars, so that’s an issue, because they don’t know what the schedule is. They couldn’t give us a schedule. It happens sporadically. They don’t know the length of time, so we’re trying to do as much as we can to make it somewhat easier," Agawam Mayor Bill Sapelli tells us.
Agawam Mayor Bill Sapelli has been working with West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt to help with the traffic problems across the train tracks while the Morgan Sullivan Bridge is under construction.
MassDOT agreed to a nearly-$314,000 project to install nine light signs at intersections in West Springfield and Agawam, alerting drivers when a train is crossing to seek an alternate route.
"So, therefore, if they’re a half mile out where these different signals are located, they could decide, at that point, 'Okay, if there’s a train there, I’m going to go a different route', before they get down there and want to turn around," continued Sapelli.
On top of the flashing lights, MassDOT rolled out a new live feed about a month ago for drivers to watch the train tracks on their phone or computer.
"So you can see in live time what’s going on at that train crossing right now on your phone," added Sapelli.
Officials say they are finishing up some software tests on the lights, and should be up and running by next week.