Springfield DPW highlights summer projects

July 29, 2022 | Matt Conway

A blueprint of the ongoing paving and widening project on Sumner Avenue and Longhill Street.
Reminder Publishing submitted photo

SPRINGFIELD – Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Christopher Cignoli shared that his team is taking on numerous road projects during the summer season.

Addressing speeding concerns on State Street was one of the DPW’s earlier summer projects. Cignoli and the City Council Maintenance and Development Subcommittee spent multiple meetings strategizing a plan for the road, which has been cited as a pedestrian safety risk.

In response to the State Street concerns, Cignoli said he and his department settled on a plan that will narrow the roadway and create a refuge island in the middle of the street. Cignoli shared that the DPW plans to set up cones, barrels and barricades to “mimic the traffic situation” of the permanent development. The DPW installed the temporary traffic flow on June 1.

Cignoli said the speed tables have gone “very well.” The DPW Director said his team will remove the temporary work within the coming weeks and begin plans for permanent construction.

“From a traffic perspective, it went very well. Now, what the next step is going to be is we’re going to get it formally designed. We actually have two opportunities, one through a grant and one through the state Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to get it constructed,” said Cignoli in an interview with Reminder Publishing.

Cignoli shared there is not an established timeline for the permeant implementation of a refuge island, but said it is a goal that the DPW will accomplish “relatively quickly.”

Other summer projects that started in May, like milling on Dwight Street, Carew Street and Frank B. Murray Street, have already reached completion. The DPW is also operating several paving projects throughout the city as a part of a $6 million allocation from the city budget written by Mayor Domenic Sarno.
“We have a robust pavement program that has a little over $6 million with the work that we are doing. We are [also] doing sidewalks that is about $2 million in sidewalks around the city,” said Cignoli.

One of the ongoing paving projects is occurring on Longhill Street and Sumner Avenue. Along with milling the roads, the DPW will also widen the congested area due to on-street parking crowding the right-hand lane. The DPW’s construction efforts began on July 11.

“We’re actually going to be doing some widening. … When there’s cars parked on the side, it can be a little difficult there … I drive through there all the time and I know that’s kind of been a pet peeve of mine. Obviously, the road and intersection aren’t in great shape,” said Cignoli.

The DPW director expects the project to take “a two, two and a half months.”

Additionally, the DPW is investing roughly $1.5 million in paving private roadways. Cignoli expressed excitement on completing long-delayed private way projects, which have been placed on hold due to the city being unable to convert state funds toward private way projects.

“We have our public way, we’re doing arterials and residential streets. At the same time, we’re also doing a bunch of private ways around the city,” said Cignoli.

Readers interested in learning more about the Springfield DPW’s summer projects can visit https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/5b942de766ec47c79de16a08e9bd4fdc.

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