Budget Funds Study Of New Western Mass. Pike Exit

Jul 19, 2017

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will study the possibility of putting a new exit on the Massachusetts Turnpike in the western part of the state.

Funding for the review is contained in the budget signed by Governor Charlie Baker Monday.

It's 30 miles between the exits in Lee and Westfield, the longest gap between ramps on the entire Mass Pike.

Lenox State Representative Smitty Pignatelli said it's a hassle for residents who live between the two exits and want to use the highway.

"I personally think this is a game-changer for the hilltowns," Pignatelli said. "I think it will provide economic activity in a very positive way."

Pignatelli said the process of adding an exit could be easier now that Massachusetts has turned to all-electronic tolling.

One location for the exit could be at the Blandford service area, where the state already owns the land.

Pignatelli said he expects the study to be completed by January.