1. Articles from Patrick Johnson | pjohnson@repub.com

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    1. MassDOT installing traffic lights to downtown Springfield traffic flow from I-91 project detour

      MassDOT installing traffic lights to downtown Springfield traffic flow from I-91 project detour

      The state Department of Transportation is shoring up sections of East and West Columbus avenues that run under Interstate 91 in anticipation of increased traffic once the planned reconstruction of the highway begins. Amanda Skahan, spokeswoman for MassDOT, said workers have installed traffic signals where East and West Columbus meet Liberty Street. There will also be crosswalks installed and handicap accessible sidewalks installed at Liberty and East Columbus and Emery Street and East Columbus. The signals are installed, but the controlling system has not yet been put in place to make them function. That should happen shortly, she said. Once ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    2. 'That peanut shop' in Springfield (Hampton Farms) gives former jail inmates opportunities for employment success

      'That peanut shop' in Springfield (Hampton Farms) gives former jail inmates opportunities for employment success

      Out of jail, out of work and out of options, Roberto Morales thought he'd give "that peanut shop" a try. Eighteen months ago, he went to what he knew as the peanut shop, the Hampton Farms packaging plant on Avocado Street, to see if see if they were hiring. And if they were hiring, he was interested to know if they would hire an ex-convict who spent five years in prison for selling crack cocaine.

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    3. Route 5 project may 'overlap' with start of I-91 replacement in Springfield, traffic impact to be minimal: Mass DOT official

      Route 5 project may 'overlap' with start of I-91 replacement in Springfield, traffic impact to be minimal: Mass DOT official

      The viaduct project will replace the mile-long elevated highway that runs between State Street and Interstate 291. It is estimated it will cost $230 million and take between three to six years. The section of the highway through Springfield is heavily traveled. Surveys have put the number of daily vehicles at an average of 72,000 on weekdays and 54,000 on weekends. During the peak commuting times on weekday mornings and evenings, it sees between 4,500 and 5,700 vehicles per hour. During construction, the state has plans to keep two of three lanes in each direction open ...

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    4. Officials celebrate groundbreaking for Western Massachusett firefighting training center in Springfield

      Officials celebrate groundbreaking for Western Massachusett firefighting training center in Springfield

      Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said the new facility represents “a unique collaboration between the state and the City of Springfield. It will make sure our firefighters are trained properly.” Better training for firefighters can only benefit area residents as firefighters will use that training to save buildings and save lives, he said. Conant, the current president of the Western Massachusetts Fire Chief’s Association, praised the work of all those who had a hand in the project dating back to when it was just an idea.

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    5. UMass rated among top 100 universities in world by international survey

      UMass rated among top 100 universities in world by international survey

      One of the most prominent higher-education surveys has listed the five-campus University of Massachusetts system as one of the top 100 universities in the world. The 2014 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, published by the Times of London, ranks the UMass system 91st, which is tied with the University of Pittsburgh. The ranking represents a jump of 41 places from the 2013 ranking when UMass was listed as the 132nd best university in the world.

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    6. Mass DOT survey details I-91 usage heading into $230 million Springfield viaduct replacement

      Mass DOT survey details I-91 usage heading into $230 million Springfield viaduct replacement

      The results of the survey were released in advance of the start of construction on the Interstate 91 viaduct replacement project, a massive undertaking that is expected to cost $230 million and take 3 to 6 years. Once construction begins, it is almost certainly going to affect the numbers for usage and commute times. With travel reduced from three to two lanes in each direction and planners saying congestion is all but unavoidable, people who ordinarily would take I-91 will likely look for alternative routes, and the disruption will likely add minutes to commuting times. The survey was conducted online ...

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    7. Western Massachusetts communities to see $1.3 million in federal EPA funding for cleanup at 'brownfield' sites

      Western Massachusetts communities to see $1.3 million in federal EPA funding for cleanup at 'brownfield' sites

      Western Massachusetts communities are due to see roughly a third of $4 million in federal funding being allocated to Massachusetts for environmental cleanup at former industrial sites throughout the state, officials said. Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, and the Franklin County Regional Council of Governments will see a total of $1.3 million under an Environmental Protection Agency brownfields cleanup program. Chicopee and Springfield each received $400,000, while the Franklin County council received $300,000 and Holyoke $200,000.

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    8. Mass DOT announces emergency repair to I-91 in Northampton

      Mass DOT announces emergency repair to I-91 in Northampton

      The state Department of Transportation announced Thursday that the left lane of Interstate 91 northbound is being closed for emergency repairs of a bridge over Route 5 just north of the Oxbow. As part of the work, the northbound on-ramp at exit 18 from Route 5 will also have to be closed. The closure will be effective immediately and is expected to last for four weeks, according to officials. Work at the site is not expected to begin until sometime next week because it will take time for the delivery of materials.

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      Mentions: Northampton Holyoke
    9. MassDOT officials: disruption to Springfield from I-91 viaduct project inevitable; only question is how much and for how long

      MassDOT officials: disruption to Springfield from I-91 viaduct project inevitable; only question is how much and for how long

      As the start of the $230 million project to rebuild the I-91 viaduct draws nearer, project officials admit there will likely be some disruption to traffic, but the two lingering questions at this point are how much and for how long? In a public hearing Tuesday night at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, officials with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the design firms contracted by the state acknowledged the answers to each will become apparent in time, but not right now.

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    10. Springfield's Union Station, Western Massachusetts projects included in state Senate's $13 billion transportation spending plan

      Springfield's Union Station, Western Massachusetts projects included in state Senate's $13 billion transportation spending plan

      Memorial Avenue in West Springfield would get a much-needed overhaul and the Union Station project in downtown Springfield would get an additional $10 million in funding according the transportation bill approved by the Massachusetts State Senate. The bill, which passed through the Senate late Thursday, proposes a massive $13 billion in capital spending over the next five years to pay for upgrades to the state’s transportation system.

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    1-10 of 10
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    Springfield's Union Station, Western Massachusetts projects included in state Senate's $13 billion transportation spending plan MassDOT officials: disruption to Springfield from I-91 viaduct project inevitable; only question is how much and for how long Mass DOT announces emergency repair to I-91 in Northampton Western Massachusetts communities to see $1.3 million in federal EPA funding for cleanup at 'brownfield' sites Mass DOT survey details I-91 usage heading into $230 million Springfield viaduct replacement UMass rated among top 100 universities in world by international survey Officials celebrate groundbreaking for Western Massachusett firefighting training center in Springfield Route 5 project may 'overlap' with start of I-91 replacement in Springfield, traffic impact to be minimal: Mass DOT official 'That peanut shop' in Springfield (Hampton Farms) gives former jail inmates opportunities for employment success MassDOT installing traffic lights to downtown Springfield traffic flow from I-91 project detour Way Finders Awards Two Congressman John W. Olver Scholarships Four Western Mass., 2 Boston hospitals get ‘A’ grades for patient safety