Route 5/Conz Street Intersection

Northampton, MA
Key Elements
  • MassDOT project with municipal coordination 
  • Single-lane roundabout 
  • Public outreach and participation 

As an assignment under an on-call contract with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), Nitsch provided transportation and traffic engineering services for the reconstruction of the Route 5 (Pleasant Street)/Conz Street intersection. MassDOT selected Nitsch to analyze the existing conditions and design improvements that would reduce the crash rate and improve safety for all modes of travel. 

We performed a Road Safety Audit prior to initiating design development and prepared a Functional Design Report that analyzed existing traffic data and compared a future “No-Build” traffic scenario with five different proposed alternatives. We concluded that a single-lane roundabout would be the most cost-effective solution that balances safety, pedestrian and bicycle accommodation, impact to abutter property, vehicle level of service, and cost.  

Given the specific design constraints at this location, Nitsch created a “fourth” entrance onto the roundabout by combining the driveway of a carwash and gas station into one single access point to access the roundabout directly. Working closely with District 2 staff, we developed a roundabout configuration that significantly reduced vehicle speeds, maintained access to commercial abutters, and minimized the amount or right-of-way acquisitions. Nitsch coordinated design efforts between MassDOT, the City of Northampton, and local citizens by presenting the proposed findings at various meetings and hearings. We moved the project through each design phase, provided environmental coordination, designed pavement improvements, and prepared construction plans, specifications, cost estimate, and right-of-way documents. 

Key Collaborators 

Owner: City of Northampton 
Environmental Engineer: LEC Environmental Consultants