Road projects slow traffic in Northampton, Hadley

  • Employees from Gomes Construction work at the intersection of Pleasant and Conz Tuesday in Northampton. For The Recorder/Andrew Whitaker

  • Employees from Gomes Construction work at the intersection of Pleasant and Conz Tuesday, August 2, 2016 in Northampton.

For The Recorder
Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Road construction in Northampton and Hadley is creating a bumpy mess and traffic delays, though many commuters say they see the work as a necessary and temporary inconvenience.

Two projects — a $2.2 million roundabout at Conz and Pleasant streets in Northampton and a $3 million road widening on Route 9 in Hadley — are being managed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

The state agency did not respond to requests for updated information on the projects Tuesday, but earlier estimates said work on both will continue through late 2017.

For now, commuters, workers and surrounding business owners struggle with the inconveniences of the work, some of which have been heightened after a stretch of rainy days.

“Rain over the past few days has really deteriorated conditions,” said Sgt. Mitchell Kuc of the Hadley Police Department. “We’ve been asking people to try to seek alternate routes.”

The project will widen Russell Street and replace 100-year-old water pipes beneath the asphalt. 

There are many ways to circumvent the construction, including using Bay Road and Railroad Street, which could allow citizens to avoid the rougher patches and save their cars wear and tear, according to police.

The work between Whalley and Middle streets is messy because the gravel and dirt beneath the road are being replaced in addition to the asphalt, Kuc said. However, the bulk of the mess should be cleared in time for the back-to-school rush.

This is one of many projects set to revamp Route 9 in the next few years, said David Nixon, the town administrator.