Project Status

December 2012 The PAC met for the 11th time this December. The study team presented some preliminary thoughts in response to roundabout concerns and bicyclists and pedestrian safety.  Notably, the team began assessing how to accommodate Route 9 eastbound bicyclists that want to access the rail trail or travel northbound on Damon Road.  A few members of the PAC met independently the day before this meeting about the alternatives.  They stated that many feel that Alternative 13 A makes the most sense.  In addition, they would like to see some additional traffic calming measures along Route 9. 
September 2012 The study team hosted a public meeting on September 18, 2012.   Thirty-eight people came to the meeting, there were 21 comments and questions at the meeting, and 11 written comments came in via comment forms and email.    Generally, Alternative 13 A had a good deal of support while some members of the community expressed concerns regarding construction of a roundabout at this location.
Summer 2012 The team prepared for the public meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 6 PM at the Bridge Street School Cafeteria.
June 2012 The PAC met for the 10th time this month. The study team presented information and incorporated their comments into the new alternatives analysis.  The team plan to then take the revised information to the public at an upcoming public meeting.
January 2012 The study team met with the PAC to review the concepts previously under construction and discuss the new traffic projections and how they differed from the previous projections. The team also discussed traffic operations for each of the concepts.
Summer / Fall 2011 The team worked on revising the future alternatives.
May 2011 The study team met with the PAC to discuss the two recent changes to the study results.  The team noted that work completed on the existing conditions would not be affected, but the future analysis needed to be revisited. The team stated that it would revise the future analysis, and would present the revised information to the PAC, and then schedule a public meeting.
Winter 2010 / 2011 Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) issued new population growth projections based upon the 2010 Census and updated statewide estimates. Previously, the study team based the traffic projections on a 28 percent population growth rate. PVPC now estimates only a three 3 percent population growth rate for Northampton over the same time period.  In addition, the study team decided that the parameters in roundabout traffic analysis models should be modified to be more conservative.
December 2010 The study team met with the PAC to review the refined three roadway alternatives and the traffic analysis for these alternatives.  Based upon comments received at the previous PAC meeting, all three concepts were modified. Lane widths were reduced from 12 to 11 feet to provide a six-foot right shoulder. The Damon Road-Route 9 roundabout was adjusted to minimize impacts to parkland and reduce speeds coming off of the Coolidge Bridge. In concept 13A, the westbound lane, where Route 9 westbound left turn lane goes from one lane to two lanes, was shifted eastward as compared to the previous drawings presented. In concept 13B, the curvature to the approaches to the western (I-91 on-ramp) roundabout was increased to reduce speeds. In addition, the team presented the evaluation criteria that had been applied to the three alternatives.  After considerable discussion, the PAC decided not to make a recommendation on a preferred alternative until after it had received feedback at the next public meeting.
October 2010 The study team met with the PAC to discuss the refined roadway alternatives, providing more detail on the alternatives selected to move forward in the analysis. The build concepts, 13, 13 A, 13 B, were recommended to move forward for further study. In addition, the No Build and the transportation demand management (TDM) package were recommended to move forward in the analysis. The project team recommended that no full-build alternatives (new ramps or new direct connections such as flyovers) be advanced for additional study. The PAC supported the study team’s recommendations.
Summer / Fall 2010 Work continued on the Alternatives Analysis.
June 2010
The study team held a public meeting in June to present the complete set of alternatives to the public for comment.  One No Build option, 10 build options, and one Transportation Demand Management (TDM) package were presented to the public at the meeting.  The team presented the benefits and impacts of each of the alternatives on traffic, safety, multimodal transportation, environmental and community resources, and construction impacts.  In addition, some members of the PAC voiced support for a number of alternatives, informing the members of the public of their perspective.  The discussion was lively and there were many comments that are posted to the public meeting page.
May 2010 The study team presented the complete set of alternatives to the PAC at the May 2010 meeting.  This list included the No Build option, 10 build options, and one Transportation Demand Management (TDM) package.  The team reviewed the benefits and impacts of each of the alternatives on traffic, safety, multimodal transportation, environmental and community resources, and construction impacts.  The meeting was an opportunity for the PAC to make suggestions to the ranking and evaluation before all of the alternatives were presented to the public.
March 2010 After receiving input from the PAC, the study team is busy moving forward with refinement and analysis of alternatives. The team is continuing the development of the alternatives so that the team can begin the process of assessing the alternatives. This involves identifying impacts, developing conceptual level construction costs, and assessing the travel flow improvements that would occur in future years from each build, and the no build, alternative. The study team expects to present this information to the PAC in May 2010 and to the public in June 2010.
February 2010 The PAC met for the third time. The study team presented concepts from the Connecticut River Crossing Study (and the study team’s modifications to them) as well as new concepts for improvement to the study area. The purpose of the meeting was to get input from the PAC on all concepts.
December 2009 The PAC met for the second time to review the origin-destination traffic date in more detail. The study team also presented future year traffic forecasts for year 2034 and a recap of the neighborhood walk for those who could not attend. The study team wrapped up the year by beginning the preliminary alternative analysis, which is expected to be presented to the PAC at the February 2010 meeting.
November 2009 The Project Advisory Committee met for the first time this month. The study team presented the public involvement efforts that will occur during the study as well as the traffic collection data that has occurred to date. The Project Advisory Committee requested that another meeting be scheduled in early December to review the origin-destination traffic data in more depth. In addition, a neighborhood walk was conducted at the end of the month. Here, the residents led the study team on a tour of the neighborhood, pointing out special features and issue areas as they see them.
Sept/Oct 2009 The project team continues to collect and analyze transit and traffic data and has begun the process of developing future year conditions. In addition, the team spent time preparing for the November Project Advisory Committee meeting.
June 2009 The project has begun! The project team began collecting traffic data on the intersection and surrounding roadway network, transit data from the surrounding area, and environmental conditions.