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Route 9 Bridge Project Will Mean Traffic Backups

The proposed eight-year project will make crossing Lake Quinsigamond difficult for travelers to Worcester.

Final plans are being worked on for the Route 9 construction project.

The project could take up to three years to complete, and that will mean backups on the bridge that links Route 9 to Shrewsbury and Worcester.

has expressed concerns over emergency vehicles using the bridge during the construction phase because the fastest route to UMass Memorial Medical Center from most areas of town is Route 9.

"The bridge construction on Route 9 that will start this upcoming year will also make it more difficult for the ambulance and fire trucks to get to UMASS and Worcester to help out," he said.

Lawmakers have debated the proposed bridge project, but the final plans have not been completed at this time, according to the Telegram & Gazette.

Earlier this month, some measurements were taken for the project and traffic was limited to one lane, causing delays across the bridge. During the project, Town Planner Kristen Wilson said two lanes each way will be open during the construction.

Let us know what you think of the proposed bridge project. Are you concerned about the traffic during the construction stage? Are you excited to see the bridge improved? What other routes would you take to Worcester?

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CORRECTION: It was incorrectly reported that the bridge project will take eight years. The project will be completed in 2015, according to the state. The funding will be paid in eight years.

Jan Bryan March 20, 2012 at 11:11 AM
I don't understand the 8 year timetable! They should be disgusted with themselves over that timeline. Totally unacceptable. It will hurt all the businesses down in that area. The state has to do better than that.
Jennifer Lucarelli March 20, 2012 at 01:33 PM
The project will be done in phases, but it will most likely only have one lane of traffic each way on Route 9 during the construction. Like the construction at White City, I'll avoid that area completely. But I will love using the bridge when it's done.
People will need to learn the other routes to get into and out of Shrewsbury. How about asking residents what are the alternate routes. Causing back-ups and having emergency vehicles not able to get through will be a disaster.
Stephen Pohl March 20, 2012 at 07:07 PM
I agree with Jan!! It took just 4 years to build the Golden Gate in San Francisco in 1933-1937, AND with old technology. Something is DEFINITELY wrong here.
Jennifer Lucarelli March 21, 2012 at 12:07 AM
I don't know much about construction, but didn't the Big Dig take years longer than expected. Hopefully they can get the main part done quickly and then work on the finishing touches that won't disrupt traffic flow. But it sounds like a big undertaking.
Stephen Pohl March 21, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Yes Jen, you hit the nail on the head about the Big Dig... it was completed 9 years after the scheduled finish and 275% over budget. If the Big Dig was done by workers from 1937, it would have been completed on time and under budget, and without modern building technics. The Golden Gate was under budget by $200 million (in todays dollars). My point is, this bridge should not take 8 years to be completed, and history proves that a project in Massachusetts will take longer and cost more.
Jennifer Lucarelli March 21, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Stephen - I completely agree. I hope they can get it done before that, but at the moment, it seems like the last hurdle is agreeing on the final plans. Hopefully the budget schedule will be under budget and under time like the Sherwood Middle School project and the Golden Gate Bridge!
Stephen Pohl March 22, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Seems there is a discrepancy about the construction schedule. According to Rep. Matt Beaton, the consistent quote for completion at the planning meetings is 2015, 3 years, not 8.
Jennifer Lucarelli March 22, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Thanks Stephen for pointing that out. The state website said the funding will take eight years to be paid, but the project itself will be completed in 2015. I appreciate you bringing that to my attention and it has been corrected in the story.
Frank Emfbo March 23, 2012 at 12:03 AM
Sweet Jennifer: where are you getting your facts, and, what exactly is your level of expertise in these matters?? You completely mis-reported the 8 year vs. 3 year duration, and now you state that the project will "most likely have only one lane of traffic each direction. . . " Do you know that to be a fact or did you just make that up? If you haven't confirmed that they plan on squeezing traffic down to one lane, why would you print it? Rather than a wild guess, was there any research done? The Mass DOT office is two blocks away from the bridge, were they asked what the lane restrictions are going to be?? Just seems kinda easy to confirm, is all.

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