It’s turned Chicopee turned into detour city.
Now Indian Orchard is about to get its own dose of construction.
On Monday afternoon, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno announced the plan to install a traffic light and reshape a busy Main St. intersection. They’ll also cut off the entrance from Ludlow. “With casino development going on, it seems to suck the air out of the room. We have many other projects going on throughout other neighborhoods in the city,” Mayor Sarno.
The plan has been in the works for 10 years, and finally coming into fruition after Mayor Sarno found the money in the city’s budget to foot the $900,000 bill. “When the project started, we were hopeful that either state or federal funding was going to be available for the project. Then, as the economy got worse, money became very, very tight for construction projects like this. So this project got put on hold,” said Al Chwalek, the city’s DPW Director. The construction will take place along Myrtle and Main streets. While one business owner recognizes the long term benefits, he says the in the short term effects from the construction could really hurt his pockets. “Probably it’s going to hurt my business because all the traffic that comes from Worcester St. going down towards Indian Orchard and Ludlow, also, the traffic from the Ludlow bridge they have to take a detour, so we definitely going to lose some business because it’s going to be slow in here.”
However, some folks from Ludlow who frequent Main St. won’t mind the detour. “I’m not a person that stands in the way of progress. We usually figure out ways to get around things,” smiled Antonio Salvador. “I think it’s a great idea because we have traffic coming over the bridge from Ludlow, from Chicopee, from Indian Orchard, so there’s a lot of traffic all at once, so with a stoplight it think it’s going to avoid all the accidents,” John Amarao said.
Construction starts tomorrow.
Chwalek says work will halt during the winter, but is expected to finish up in summer, 2013.