I-91 overpass work will shut Northampton exit, Route 5 next week

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Published: 4/16/2022 7:06:32 AM

Modified: 4/16/2022 7:05:13 AM

NORTHAMPTON — A new Interstate 91 overpass continues to take shape over Route 5/Mount Tom Road and the B&M railroad tracks near Exit 23, part of a project that will eventually lead to replacing the highway bridges for the north and south lanes there, and also over Hockanum Road, a short distance to the north.

To continue the construction and associated road improvements, the exit, formerly Exit 18, is being closed overnight next week. Electronic signs on the highway state that the closure begins Monday at 7 p.m. and will continue until Tuesday at 5:30 a.m., and then remain in effect for those hours daily.

According to an online post by the city of Northampton, Route 5 needs to be closed under the interstate so a temporary bridge deck panel can be installed for the overpass, though the city information states that the closure will be only from Thursday evening at 7 p.m. through Friday morning at 5 a.m.

Much of the $56 million, four-year project is focused on rebuilding the four bridges, which date to the highway’s construction in 1965. The new bridges and travel lanes are currently being built in the median over both Route 5 and Hockanum Road.

J.F. White Contracting Inc. of Stoughton is handling the work, funded through the Transportation Improvement Program for the Pioneer Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization.

As part of the bridge work, the state be enhancing safety for bicyclists, pedestrians and vehicles along Route. For bicyclists, new bicycle lanes will be added in both directions, and for pedestrians, the project will add curbs and a 5-foot sidewalk on the west side, extending from the Connecticut River levee south to the bus stop south of Atwood Drive.

The project is scheduled to be completed in phases by 2025.

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