Main Street in Agawam experiences very heavy summertime traffic congestion due to the Six Flags Amusement Park, located at the southern end of Town. In 2001, the Town of Agawam was awarded a PWED Grant to alleviate some of the congestion problems on Main Street from the Route 57 interchange to the main park entrance and to improve the construction streetscape. The team of C&C Consulting Engineers/Pat Loheed Landscape Architects was engaged to prepare plans for the corridor improvements.
The original design, which conformed to the Massachusetts Highway Department (MHD) design standards, would have provided a five-lane travel pattern throughout the area; however, the project ran into significant opposition during a review of plans with the Historical Commission. Over 200 residents expressed opposition to the proposal. To address the impasse, the design team conducted a Design Charrette. Members of the Historical Commission, the MHD, the Town of Agawam Engineering and Planning Staff, and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission came together to seek a compromise that would be acceptable to all parties. Through this one-day exercise, a ten-point “plan” was established that included a reduction of project width to three lanes in exchange for a commitment to build a second entrance to the amusement park from another State Highway, and the inclusion of additional streetscape funding to restore the historic “Grand Allee”, a half-mile linear park through which Main Street passes. The project also updated and improved sidewalks and crosswalks throughout the area, including decorative lighting constructed along the roadway.