Slowly but surely, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is moving forward with a proposed additional exit off the Massachusetts Turnpike between Westfield and Lee.

The possible new exit could not only take up to ten years to complete, but could cost up to $37 million.  The proposal would close the 30 mile gap between Exits 2 and 3, which according to The Republican, is seventh largest gap in the entire interstate highway system. In addition to making that stretch of Western Massachusetts more accessible for drivers, some Westfield business owners are calling for the exit to help relieve traffic congestion near Exit 3 and heading out Western Avenue and Franklin Street.

Three locations are being discussed for the new exit with three different price tags, the first being Algerie Road in Otis with a cost of $37.8 million, the second at the MassDOT Maintenance Facility in Blandford at $29.5 million, and the third at the Blandford Service Plaza costing $34 million.

The MassDOT has completed an analysis of the possible exit and will share those findings with a working group of lawmakers and local officials.  That meeting will take place at MassDOT District 1 offices in Lenox this Monday and will include State Rep. Smitty Pignatelli.

After that official meeting, the group will host a public open house on Thursday, Oct. 10 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Blandford Town Hall on 1 Russell Stage Road, where the findings and plans moving forward will be presented to the public.