Northampton grade crossing work will shut Damon Road at rail line July 11-15

NORTHAMPTON -- A section of Damon Road will be closed for several days from July 11 to July 15 to upgrade the street's rail crossing, a move likely to cause additional traffic delays.

The closure affects the area surrounding the railroad crossing on the road near the intersection with King Street. Drivers entering from the other end of the road via the rotary before the Calvin Coolidge Bridge will be able to access most of the road, but will not be able to cross the rail line and subsequently will be unable to turn onto King Street. Pedestrians have also been advised not to cross through the planned work zone by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

The closure takes advantage of a planned outage by the rail operator and allows MassDOT "to perform safety upgrades to the grade crossing where the street meets the railroad," The MassDOT stated in a notice announcing the planned closure. "Once the closure is in place, Damon Road will remain closed around the clock for the next five days."

Businesses located on Damon Road will remain open during this time.

Drivers are being advised by MassDOT to seek detours via Bridge Street, which also connects to the roundabout, and King Street. Larger vehicles, such as trucks, will need to use I-91 as a detour instead due to size limits on those two streets.

Damon Road has been in a constant state of construction since 2020, part of a £9.5 million state widening and rebuilding project. The construction has been a constant source of frustration for local residents and commuters, as the road serves as an important artery connecting the city to neighboring Hadley and Amherst.

Last year, the road saw an average daily traffic volume of more than 11,000 vehicles, according to the MassDOT.

The closure begins at 6 a.m. the morning of July 11.

MassDOT also noted that the scheduled work was weather dependent, meaning the closure could last longer in the event of inclement weather or an emergency.