Expect motocross traffic delays

Sgt. Kevin Bishop, of the Southwick police department, unloads traffic control related items in preparation of the Motocross 338 Grand Nationals this weekend. Several thousand spectators are expected to attend. (Photo by chief photographer Frederick Gore)

SOUTHWICK – Southwick Police are warning residents to be prepared for traffic this weekend as the national motocross event comes to town.
The event is Saturday.  However, Police Lt. David Ricardi said participants would trickle in tonight, with the majority of pre-event vehicles coming to town early tomorrow morning.
“Friday is when the big trucks will be coming with the national riders and big vendors,” Ricardi said. “There will be 40 or 50 trucks and you’ll see them around 7 a.m.”
Ricardi said between the big trucks, road construction, and the morning commute, Southwick traffic would be “a nightmare” tomorrow morning.
“It’s going to be a bad scene,” he said.
Residents are encouraged to re-route themselves during their commute tomorrow morning. Ricardi said the trucks would be coming down College Highway, turning onto Feeding Hills Road to Powder Mill Road where the motocross track is located.
“Commuters should plan for extra time and if they can, circumvent the area,” suggested Ricardi. “If you can re-route, please do that.”
Once the initial big truck traffic is over, Ricardi said traffic would be back to normal until Saturday morning.
“People will start coming at 7 a.m. Saturday and traffic will be fairly slow until 9 a.m.,” he said. “At 9 a.m. is when it jams up.”
Traffic will be fairly steady throughout the day Saturday and usually picks up around 6 p.m. when people start to leave.
“By 7:30, 7:45 p.m. it should be back to normal,” said Ricardi.
Motocross participants will park at the schools, Recreation Center, and Whalley Park. There will be no parking on side streets where posted by police. Everyone exiting the main gate will be funneled north or south on Powder Mill.  However, there will be no southbound traffic allowed onto the road at that time to allow for better flow away from the event.
Ricardi said there will be about 20 police officers assisting with traffic on Saturday, with about 50 officers working a the event in total. He urged everyone to be aware of pedestrians and to be “patient and courteous.”
“That’s when we start having problems – when people are not patient and courteous and tempers flare,” said Ricardi, adding that he anticipates a smooth event.

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