Route 2 eastbound access in Gill to be restored by month’s end

By JULIAN MENDOZA

Staff Writer

Published: 08-17-2023 5:00 PM

GILL — Full access to Route 2 near the Greenfield town line will likely be restored by the end of the month, following a July landslide that necessitated road repairs, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

Selectboard Chair Randy Crochier commended MassDOT and Northern Construction Service for having completed “an amazing amount of work” since July 21, when heavy rains caused the embankment supporting the Route 2 eastbound shoulder to collapse into the Connecticut River. According to MassDOT Communications Analyst John Goggin, the $3.6 million state-funded project is on schedule. The eastbound lane, which is closed for repairs, is set to be open by late August.

The repair work involves implementation of a “temporary earth support system,” Goggin explained. This entails excavation through drilling piles and the installation of lagging walls, which contain loose soil.

Montague Town Administrator Steve Ellis expressed that he is “very thankful” MassDOT acted quickly to remediate the issue, which “certainly has caused a degree of inconvenience and confusion” in Montague. Closure of Route 2 eastbound has resulted in more traffic coming into Montague via Turners Falls Road’s Green and White bridges, as well as Montague City Road’s General Pierce Bridge.

“Thankfully, the General Pierce Bridge is open at this point in time, so we feel that generally, people have adapted fairly fluidly to the change in traffic pattern,” Ellis said. “With all that said, there’s no question that from public safety, from village access and all other standpoints, having Route 2 eastbound established is something the town views as very beneficial and really critical.”

Goggin noted that MassDOT will continue to work on the road beyond August once the embankment is stabilized.

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Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-930-4231 or jmendoza@recorder.com.

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