Mohegan Sun still awaiting word from MassDOT on traffic plans - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Mohegan Sun still awaiting word from MassDOT on traffic plans

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PALMER, MA (WSHM) -

No one likes sitting in traffic, and that includes the people and town councilors in Palmer.

"This is the issue in town right now is the traffic, how to get people onto the site and off of the site safely, what will be the impacts to our local traffic," said Town Councilor Donald Blais.

Monday night, casino Mohegan Sun and their engineering team revealed changes and improvements to multiple intersections around town, changes that would enhance signaling and crosswalks to busy streets like the intersection on Thorndike and North Main streets.

"It's good to get some more specifics, but there are still some more concerns that I have," Blais said.

Councilors and residents have concerns like how to actually get onto the casino grounds.

"We await further instructions from the DOT," said Paul Brody of Mohegan Sun.

Mohegan is in talks with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation about the best way for visitors to get off exit 8 off the Mass Pike and onto their proposed site.

Two of their ideas include flyovers off the pike, but those may be struck down by the MassDOT.

"They have some concerns about a federal regulation that might eliminate those possibilities," Brody said.  

MassDOT has also asked for a 20-year traffic projection from the casino company, sending engineers back to the drawing board.

"We need to go back and run some numbers. These are all projections. They'll look at growth in the region, and then the engineers look at how that growth will affect movement on and off the main line," Brody said.

Councilors and residents say next time they want even more detail on traffic.

"The presentation of the intersections is kind of neat, but they did miss a couple that are in town that are big hot buttons like Four Corners, so hopefully they'll address that," said Robert Young of the group Palmer Businesses for a Palmer Casino.

MassDOT also says toll booths may be long gone by 2017 and instead could be replaced by an automated system. Both Mohegan reps and town councilors say that would relieve some of the congestion at the intersection off the Mass Pike.

Mohegan Sun faces off against MGM in Springfield and Hard Rock in West Springfield for the sole Western Mass casino license.

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