To the delight of Bridge Street residents, the engineers working on potential changes to I-91 Exit 19 have abandoned the more elaborate concepts that called for building a full-access interchange. Those concepts would have cost the most and had the greatest impact on abutters. The engineers have concluded they aren’t worth it. Download the engineers’ July 20 presentation (PDF, 5MB).
Here is a complete blip.tv video of the July 20 Exit 19 Project Advisory Committee meeting showing the presentation. This video is 1 hour 20 minutes long and was recorded by Lachlan Ziegler.
Here is a 4-minute YouTube highlight showing residents reacting positively to the news that the full-access interchange concepts have been dropped.
Besides no-build, three concepts will proceed for more study:
- Concept 13: Intersection & Ramp Improvements
- Concept 13A: Intersection & Ramp Improvements with Roundabout
- Concept 13B: Intersection & Ramp Improvements with Double Roundabout
Interchange 19: Mass DOT Website
Exit 19: Summary of June 14 Meeting and Comments Posted Online
Video: Exit 19 Public Meeting, 6/14/10; $10 Million to Save Two Minutes
The presenters estimate that the full-access interchange concepts (C15, C15A, C18) have the potential to shave two minutes off the time it takes to exit the highway and reach the center of downtown Northampton (see video starting at 1:17:00). These concepts are estimated to cost from $12.8 million to $35.0 million. The concepts preferred by the Project Advisory Committee (C12-C13C), are estimated to cost $3 million or less. The PAC includes local citizens.
Exit 19 Presentation for June 14 Meeting: Comparing the Concepts
In preparation for the June 14 public meeting on Exit 19 (6pm, Bridge Street School Cafeteria), the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has made available its presentation (PDF, 34MB) and Summer 2010 Fact Sheet (PDF) for download…
These slides from the presentation appear to show that Concepts 13A, 13B and 13C reduce delays to a similar extent as Concepts 15, 15A, 16, 17 and 18, but with a much lower impact on the surrounding neighborhood and a much lower cost.
Gazette: “Consultants air designs for Exit 19 improvements” (6/14/10)