WE ARE HOMETOWN NEWS.

AGAWAM — Agawam will be very busy this summer with road, sidewalk and sewer work, some of it on the major thoroughfares through town.

“I expect it to be a busy summer,” said Public Works Superintendent Mario Mazza.

For starters, the town is spending several millions on paving this year, Mazza said. That includes approximately $1 million in state Chapter 90 funds and $500,000 to $600,000 in town general fund money.

Parts of Springfield Street will be milled and paved in late summer or early fall, he said, after Eversource finishes its gas main work. The town has already worked on the sections between O’Brien’s Corner and the Morgan-Sullivan Bridge, and between Sacred Heart Parish and Agawam Junior High School. The new pavement will be in the middle of those two sections, he said.

Milling and paving will happen on Simpson Circle and Meadow Brook Road, starting in early June, Mazza said. Paving should also happen on Maple Street next year to finish off the Maple Street Safe Routes to School project, he said.

Springfield Street will also receive new sidewalks in highly trafficked areas, such as around shopping centers and schools, he said. No date has been set for construction, but it will probably start mid-summer. The sidewalks will cost $250,000 and will be paid for by the town.

Also happening this summer is the May Hollow Brook culvert replacement. Work to replace the deteriorated concrete culvert under North Westfield Street will start in mid-June, after the end of the school year, so as not to interfere with bus traffic, Mazza said. It will close down the road for an estimated 90 days.

Work will take place next to the May Hollow Pump Station between Parkedge Drive and Provin Mountain Drive, approximately a minute’s drive from the Westfield line. It is estimated to cost $2.5 million and will be paid for with American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Water work ready

The Meadow Street project will finish soon. The street received a new water main and storm drains, the latter of which is expected to stop it from flooding during rainstorms.

“They are in the last few weeks of that project,” said Mazza. “Then, Meadow Street is on the paving list this year, so that is part of what we’ll be doing in the fall.”

The cost has come out to around $4 million, which Mazza said is close to on-budget. In November 2023, he told Reminder Publishing it would cost $3.5 million. All costs will be covered with ARPA funds.

Also finishing this year are improvements to the intersection of Suffield and Silver streets. That involves paving; stripping; and installing Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant pedestrian ramps, pedestrian crossing poles with buttons to stop traffic, and a “video detection” system that uses cameras to change the traffic lights.

“If cars are stacking up to go down on Suffield, then the camera will pick it up and give that [more] green time,” Mazza said.

It will replace a “loop detection” system, where magnetic loops in the ground changed the lights when they detected cars on the roadway above.

All construction is already complete, Mazza said. The next few months will be spent on striping lanes and installing the cameras and pedestrian crossing poles. The total cost of the project is $400,000, and will be paid fully by the town, he said.

As well, the installation of a new water main on Valentine Terrance should be complete in the spring, Mazza said. Following that, new water mains will be installed on Maple Street and Thalia Drive. Maple Street’s will happen before the Safe Routes to School project starts in the fall, he said.

Mazza did not have a cost estimate for the three new water mains.

‘As much as we can’

Also in the works is a project to fix the drainage problems at South Park Terrace, Mazza said. As well, water and sewer work is slated for Main Street next summer, he said. The town is also looking into improvements at the intersection of Pine and Barry streets, and is hoping to get the project on the state list for funding.

Asked if more roadwork could be done in town, Mayor Christopher Johnson said the town is doing as much as possible.

“The town appropriates a significant sum every year, and coupled with our Chapter 90 funding with the state, we do as much roadwork and sidewalk work as we can,” he said.

He noted the funding for street and infrastructure improvements increased by 20% in the proposed fiscal year town 2025 budget. The City Council will host a public hearing and vote on that budget at its June 3 meeting.

He also said the town keeps a pavement management plan, which analyzes and prioritizes roads. How much of a priority a road is depends on its location, whether it’s a main road or not, and if any other work needs to be done there.

The pavement management plan and a schedule of paving projects can be found at agawam.ma.us/492/Pavement-Management.

Mazza just asks that residents be patient.

“I know it’s going to create some traffic issues and delays,” he said. “I just want to ask for folks’ patience and I appreciate them being mindful of that as we work through the summer.”

tlederer@thereminder.com | + posts