Traffic flows smoothly over 2 new bridges

WESTFIELD – After years of disruptions and temporary traffic patterns which were necessary during the construction of the twin spans of the Great River Bridge, the permanent pattern is in effect and “traffic flow has been fantastic,” according to Police Lt. Jerome Pitoniak, the commander to the department’s Traffic and Safety Bureau.
He said that not all motorists have become accustomed to the new plan and old habits are not yet completely changed but he said, “overall, the traffic flow is really good.”
He said that, for example, drivers on Meadow Street are not yet accustomed to having a dedicated lane as they drive on to the bridge.
“People coming off Meadow Street, they stop,” he said because they’re used to stopping before moving on to the bridge but that will change as they get used to the new pattern.
Pitoniak said that the recently opened turn-around lanes at Prospect Street and immediately before the bridge allow operators heading toward Union Street to turn around without crossing the bridge but pointed out that tractor trailer units are barred from that lane.
Pitoniak said that there are still a few wrinkles to be ironed out in terms of signage and the timing of lights but he said that would wait until after the bridge is dedicated and the project is turned over to the city.
He explained that, while the state is in control of the bridge, making any change is complicated by the layers of bureaucracy involved.
“When the city takes it over … it’s much easier,” he said.
“The light timings are going to be changed a little bit” but Pitoniak said there will be no major changes to the traffic pattern.

Click here for the new traffic flow.

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