By Carley Dangona
AGAWAM – The town selected a consultant and has begun the preliminary stages of assessing a Feeding Hills intersection to determine the best way to make access and egress easier for all travelers.
Milone & MacBroom Inc. will conduct a roadway assessment of the intersection where Springfield, South Westfield, North Westfield (Route 187) and Southwick Streets meet. Once complete, the information will be presented to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to assist with the state’s re-construction of that area.
According to Mayor Richard Cohen’s office, the work is slated to take place in fiscal year 2017 as part of the Pioneer Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization Transportation Improvement Program. The work will be fully funded by the MassDOT.
“Our hope is to improve the geometry of the intersection and the functionality of it not only for vehicles, but for pedestrians and cyclists as well,” Town Engineer Michelle Chase said. “It’s a high priority project for the region, so it shouldn't be delayed. If anything, it could be moved up.”
Chase said public hearings will be conducted for residents of Agawam and the surrounding communities to provide input regarding the needs of the site. The dates are will be announced in the coming weeks.
The goal of the analysis is to map out how to best improve the corridor in its entirety Chase stated. Consideration will be made to alleviate the congestion that occurs when the Clifford M. Granger Elementary School and the Agawam Junior High start and end the school days.
“It’s extremely important for the town to make the intersection easier and nicer for people to use,” Chase stated.
She said town officials from the Police Department, Fire Department, Department of Public Works and the Public School District as well as representatives from Milone & MacBroom will meet on May 27 to “get everything out on paper.” The group will also physically walk the site to see the needs first hand.