By Anna Skinner
Construction season creates lots of road closures and detours that affect the daily commuter. But the City of Westfield has a solution that many residents don’t know about.
“We have lots of interactive maps on our website, and one of them gives all the details of road closures,” Communications Director Erin Murphy said.
The road closure map has been open for some time, but many residents weren’t using it and didn’t know it existed. To solve the problem, the city sent out a survey through various social media avenues.
“It was to find out if there was a learning curve, if we needed to address it, and what we learned was a lot of people don’t know we have that road closure map on our website. so we need to find a way to educate everybody on how to use it so they can take control on being informed,” Murphy said.
The map shows when the closure began and the expected duration, whether it is city or county doing the work, the location where the construction starts and ends and what is being done.
“The great thing about the road closure map is they can get on it at any time in case they have missed a notice sometime (from the city),” Public Works Administrative Manager Angela Smitherman said.
“During construction season, it’s always a hassle for drivers and residents,” Murphy said. “It’s necessary improvements to sustain and improve the quality of life. These are expectations residents have for us to maintain and keep up with sustaining what the city already has. However, we are obviously aware of traffic headaches it can cause. It’s really in everyone’s best interest to stay updated on these road closures so they know if they need to take a different route. We try to update everyone in a timely manner, but with the road closure map, you can do it yourself.”
The map shows red or blue overlapping lines on the roads. Red lines show current work being done, and blue lines show upcoming work.
The city completed a video to educate residents, and it can be viewed at https://youtu.be/ojIirP0LCNU.