Route 116 resurfacing in Amherst will include eliminating on-ramp to Route 9

GEOFF FORESTER

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Staff Writer

Published: 01-11-2024 11:48 AM

AMHERST — A project to resurface a 3.2-mile stretch of the Route 116 bypass, running from Meadow Street in Amherst south to Route 9 in Hadley, will prompt a realignment of the off-ramp from Route 116 where the state highways meet as a way of improving safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The $6.2 million project, expected to begin over the summer, is being funded through the 2024 Transportation Improvement Program for the Pioneer Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization.

A similar resurfacing of the road, which has four lanes from Route 9 north to the exits for the University of Massachusetts campus and which continues as a two-lane road north of UMass, was last done in 2005. That repaving, though, extended 5 miles, continuing north past Meadow Street in Amherst and over the Sunderland town line to Cliffside Apartments.

The Amherst Conservation Commission is holding a request for determination hearing on Jan. 10 at 7:30 p.m., which is needed for the project to proceed. The work that includes milling and resurfacing, rebuilding and cleaning drainage structures, upgrades to guardrails and various shoulder repairs.

Meanwhile, the realignment of the off-ramp in Hadley from Route 116 for vehicles traveling west on Route 9 includes eliminating the so-called high-speed acceleration lane and replacing it with a more perpendicular intersection that will require vehicles to either stop or yield to traffic at much lower speeds. Vehicles coming to the end of the expressway heading east on Route 9 already come to a traffic signal for the four-way intersection of routes 116 and 9 and Westgate Center Drive.

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