Revitalization Brings Complete Streets to Route 147

Awards, Projects | June 30, 2022


Photo aerial view of Route 147 Complete Streets revitalization in Agawam, Massachusetts

AGAWAM & WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA — Large vehicle, pedestrian and cyclist volumes on Springfield Street/Memorial Avenue created capacity and safety issues for Agawam and West Springfield, MA, leading the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to engage with Benesch to transform Route 147 and replace the Memorial Avenue Bridge. The award-winning design widened the roadway to increase vehicle capacity while providing ADA compliant pedestrian accommodations.

This revitalization of Route 147 called for Complete Streets implementation that would better accommodate bicycles and pedestrians. At the time of design, two-way bicycle lanes, two-stage queue boxes and bicycle signals were not widely implemented in the state.

Photo of widened roadways at Route 147 in Agawam, Massachusetts
Widened roadways and new ADA compliant pedestrian accommodations increase capacity and safety along the project corridor.

“Since the standards for Massachusetts Complete Streets hadn’t been set yet by MassDOT, we had to coordinate extensively with the state, Agawam and West Springfield to ensure we could meet their needs while balancing costs.” said Project Manager Michael Ohrenberger.

Adding to the challenge, West Springfield hosts the Eastern States Exposition (the Big “E”), the country’s only multi-state fair, requiring special accommodations.

“At the start of the project, the city stipulated that no construction was to be done during the expo for fear of disturbing the nearly 1.5 million expected attendees. We had to follow a pretty strict schedule to ensure the project would remain on track while accommodating the three-week fair,” said Project Manager Fred Cassellius, who led the bridge design.

The project received the Silver Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies-Massachusetts and was honored at their 2022 Engineering Excellence Awards at the end of June.

“It’s great to have our work recognized and be a part of improvements to the area,” said Project Engineer Ashley Bomely. Bomely was also recognized at the award ceremony for her recent completion of the organization’s Emerging Leaders program.

Photo of Benesch team with ACEC award for Route 147 in Agawam, Massachusetts
Several Benesch Team members and other project partners accepted the Silver Award during the ACEC-MA Engineering Excellence Awards event.