A major project in West Springfield that was put on hold through winter just started up this morning and its impact is being felt by many.
On the corner of Old Westfield Road and Dewey Streets are some large concrete barriers. They were just put in place today, closing down a popular cut-thru for traffic off of Route 20.
For drivers coming from Westfield into West Springfield or vice versa, Old Westfield Road has been the go to path around congestion, but all that has changed now.
The roughly tenth of a mile stretch is now blocked to all traffic from Sikes Avenue to Dewey Street. The detour is up and around Skies Avenue.
Police made sure no one crossed into the construction zone as workers began the project this morning.
Construction Observer, Roger Ward told ABC40, “We’re beginning to put in some steel I-beams for a jacking pit on Old Westfield Road for installing a sleeve underneath the Pawcatuck Brook.”
Crews are upgrading the current 16″ water mains under the road to bigger 24″ mains.
The job is part of a much larger $6.7 million dollar project that began last summer to replace an aging municipal water system.
But while the work continues, the problem for residents are just beginning. The closure isn’t just an inconvenience for drivers who now have to take the long way around. It’s also a headache for folks who live along the detour route.
“Now instead of being just a little road for the residence it’s become a road for traffic. A way to get from one way to the other,” explains resident, Cecile Roy.
She has lived on Sikes Avenue for 8 years, moving there when it was just a back road. But as of this morning, that’s not the case anymore.
Still, Cecile is Philosophical.
“There’s nothing we can do about it. The little man never can do anything about it. It’s all in the great plan of whatever city you live and they’re going to do it and you really don’t have a choice,” she says.
This Old Westfield Road project is scheduled to be completed in about 2 months by June 1.
The entire overhaul of the aging westside water system, of which this construction is a part, will continue until the end of the year.