Route 9 is an old two-lane highway that cuts across Massachusetts from Boston in the east to Pittsfield in the west. Near the small city of Northampton, the highway crosses the wide Connecticut River. The Calvin Coolidge Memorial Bridge, named after the president who once served as Northamptonís mayor, is a major regional traffic link. When the state began a long-delayed and still-ongoing reconstruction of the bridge in the summer of 2001, traffic jams stretched for kilometers into the bucolic New England countryside.
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