I-91 Long-Term Lane Reductions, Ramp Closures and Detour Routes Began December 2015
During Stage 1B, the inner travel lanes of I-91 North and South along the median are closed for deck replacement. I-91 north and southbound traffic is shifted to the right, using the areas formerly occupied by the shoulder and outside travel lane. This lane configuration will continue through late fall 2016.
The 40 miles per hour (MPH) reduced speed limit in the construction zone (and 45 MPH limit approaching the zone) will continue to be enforced by State Police monitoring the area and fines are doubled. These limits will be in place for the duration of the project. View a map showing where the reduced speed limits are in effect.
Long-Term Ramp Closures
The following ramps were closed on December 20, 2015 for safety and operational reasons, and to expedite construction. They will remain closed through late fall 2017:
- Birnie Avenue connector (closed since October 2015)
- Union Street on-ramp to I-91 North
- State Street on-ramp to I-91 North
- Exit 7 (Hall of Fame Avenue / Downtown Springfield) off-ramp from I-91 South
- Exit 6 (Union Street) off-ramp from I-91 South
- Route 20 connector to I-91 South
The following ramp will be closed in late fall 2016 for the first part of Stage 2 when traffic is initially shifted to the center of the viaduct:
- Exit 9 off-ramp from I-91 North to Route 20 West/Route 20A East to West Springfield/Westfield
MassDOT closed the Birnie Avenue Connector in October and has built a new West Columbus Avenue/Birnie Avenue off-ramp (temporary Exit 7-6) for I-91 southbound traffic to access downtown Springfield, the Memorial Bridge, and the Basketball Hall of Fame area.
Take Temporary Exit 7-6 to Access Greater Springfield
Temporary Exit 7-6 on I-91 South is now open. MassDOT encourages drivers to use the temporary exit for easier access to West Columbus Avenue and the greater Springfield area destinations previously served by the closed exit ramps, including Boland Way/Downtown, the Springfield Parking Authority I-91 Garages, the Memorial Bridge, and the Basketball Hall of Fame area. After the I-391 merge at the Chicopee Curve, keep right. The right lane on I-91 South connects traffic to Temporary Exit 7-6. The second from the right lane provides access to I-291 East/Exit 8. For more information, view the I-91 southbound lanes diagram.
Detour Routes and Maps
Signs will be in place indicating all detour routes. Detour routes for car and truck traffic may vary and are indicated below.
Please review the detour route maps for more information:
- Through Traffic Traveling North and South on I-91: Traveling north, two lanes will remain open on the viaduct. Traveling south, I-91 will be reduced from two lanes to one lane in the area of the I-291 interchange; south of the interchange, two lanes will remain open. Heavier traffic can be expected at peak hours.
- To Downtown Springfield and Hall of Fame Avenue from I-91 South (Southbound Detours Map): After passing Exit 11 to Route 20 West/Birnie Avenue, keep right. Take the temporary Exit 7-6 from I-91 South. Merge onto West Columbus Avenue and continue south onto East Columbus Avenue through the rail underpass. Bear right onto West Columbus Avenue behind the I-91 North Garage. Continue onto Hall of Fame Avenue, or turn left onto Boland Way for downtown.
- To Memorial Bridge/West Springfield from I-91 South (Southbound Detours Map): After passing Exit 11 to Route 20 West/Birnie Avenue, keep right. Take the temporary Exit 7-6 from I-91 South. Merge onto West Columbus Avenue and continue south onto East Columbus Avenue and past the I-91 North Garage. Turn right onto Boland Way and continue onto the Memorial Bridge to reach West Springfield.
- To I-91 North or Route 20 West from Downtown Springfield (Closed State Street/Union Street On-Ramps) (Northbound Detours Map): Continue north on East Columbus Avenue for about a mile. Merge left to the ramp to I-91 North/Route 20 West/Exit 9B. Keep left to enter I-91 North, or bear right for Route 20 West/Exit 9B.
- To I-291 East from Downtown Springfield (Closed State Street/Union Street On-Ramps) (Northbound Detours Map): From East Columbus Avenue, turn right onto Liberty Street. Proceed to the third traffic light and turn left onto Chestnut Street, then turn right onto the ramp to enter I-291 East.
- To Downtown Springfield from I-291 West (Additional Detours Map):
Cars: From I-291 West, take Exit 2B and turn left onto Dwight Street. Turn right onto Liberty Street. Turn left on Main Street to access Downtown Springfield.
Trucks: From I-291 West, take Exit 2B and turn left onto Dwight Street. Turn right onto Liberty Street and turn right onto East Columbus Avenue. Turn left onto Emery Street and left again onto West Columbus Avenue. Continue to East Columbus Avenue through the rail underpass. Bear right onto West Columbus Avenue behind the I-91 North Garage. Continue onto Hall of Fame Avenue, or turn left onto Boland Way for downtown.
- To Downtown Springfield from Birnie Avenue (Additional Detours Map):
Cars: From Birnie Avenue, turn left onto Arch Street. Turn right onto Main Street.
Trucks: From Birnie Avenue, turn left onto Arch Street. Turn right onto Main Street and turn right onto Liberty Street. Turn right onto East Columbus Avenue, then turn left onto Emery Street and left again onto West Columbus Avenue. Continue to East Columbus Avenue through the rail underpass. Bear right onto West Columbus Avenue behind the I-91 North Garage. Continue onto Hall of Fame Avenue, or turn left onto Boland Way for downtown.
- To I-91 South from Route 20/Plainfield Street in Springfield (Additional Detours Map): Head east on Plainfield Street (Route 20) and take the exit toward I-91 South/I-291 East/Route 20 East. Keep right to follow signs for Hall of Fame Avenue. Merge onto West Columbus Avenue and continue onto East Columbus Avenue. Bear right onto West Columbus Avenue and continue onto Hall of Fame Avenue. At the traffic signal at Union Street, use the second lane from the left. After crossing Union Street, bear left onto the on-ramp to I-91 South.
- Alternative Detour to I-91 South from Birnie Avenue (Birnie Avenue Alternative Detours Map): Head north on Birnie Avenue and turn right onto Wason Avenue. Turn left onto Main Street (State Route 116), which becomes Center Street in Chicopee. Take a right at the ramp signed “To I-91 Springfield Greenfield.” Merge left onto I-391 South. Take Exit 1A on I-391 to enter I-91 South
During construction, the north entrance to the North Parking Garage below the Viaduct will be closed. The north exit will remain open, but only right turns will be permitted out of the garage, providing access onto East Columbus Avenue.
The contractor has restored a right turn only lane at the intersection of Boland Way and East Columbus Avenue, which was previously removed.
Vehicular Width Restrictions on I-91 and I-291 in Springfield
Due to construction, MassDOT has set maximum vehicle widths in the following locations:
- I-91 South in the vicinity of the I-91/I-291 Interchange - 11 feet maximum width
- Exit 8 from I-91 North to I-291 East/Route 20 East - 14 feet maximum width
- Exit 1A from I-291 West to I-91 South - 11 feet maximum width
MassDOT has undertaken significant planning to improve traffic flow during the ramp and lane closures. Working with the City of Springfield, MassDOT has developed detour plans and local improvements, as well as a comprehensive monitoring program of key corridors and intersections. Signs will direct drivers to many Springfield destinations. The traffic plan will be updated based on ongoing monitoring. In addition, traffic mitigation includes:
- Police details at critical intersections during peak periods
- Monitoring cameras tied into the City of Springfield's system
- Real Time Traffic Management System signage, known as RTTM
- Incident Response Operations in case of a breakdown on the viaduct
- Aid provided to emergency responders for efficient responses
- Highway advisory radio
- Want to learn more about travel options in your area? MassRIDES is here to improve your commute, which can help you to be healthier, save money, and reduce your carbon footprint. Pick a day and try something different - even a few days a month can make a big difference! MassRIDES also provides reward opportunities for green commuters through our NuRide program. To learn more about MassRIDES, visit www.commute.com, call 1.888.4COMMUTE, or visit MassRIDES on Facebook or Twitter.
- Visit the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority website to learn about public transit options.
- View a map of Park & Ride Lots throughout the Commonwealth.
- Check out other MassDOT Traffic and Travel Resources.