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FlyORH: Before Worcester Airport Access Road, Let’s Fix The Signs

Thursday, October 17, 2013


More and better airport signs would surely be a better investment than access roads, believes Bill Randell.

This past Thursday I attended the weekly Rotary Luncheon at Coral Seafood on Shrewsbury Street. The speaker was Tim Murray, the new President of the Chamber of Commerce. Before I get into what the Chamber Presiden saidt, let me invite anyone to send me an e-mail, if they would like to check it out. The new President of the Rotary, Satya Mitra, has the organization going in the right direction.

Tim did a great job explaining exactly what he would like to do with the Chamber and as a business that only joined the Chamber last year, I am excited that we have an effective voice for businesses in Worcester. After he was done speaking, during a Q & A there was the usual “When will we get an access road to the ORH?” question.

I am so sick of this and very disappointed that the Worcester Municipal Research Bureau actually made this a question of candidates this year.

A realistic approach

Tim, more or less, said that the airport has seen 400,000 passengers at its peak without an access road, and that was before all the work was done with the 146 extension. Think about it how difficult it was to get into Worcester from the South without this extension, and we still had 400,000 passengers. We need to focus on supporting JetBlue now to ensure more service will come to ORH.

Now, let me answer the question. First of all, let’s just say that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts had the money and all the approvals in hand and started an access road to ORH tomorrow. In a best case scenario it would take 3-5 years to get done. Since we have no money and there no approvals, this simply is not a situation that is going to happen in the next ten to twenty years. Why ask the question?

People will find the airport without an access road if we have good competitive airlines. The end! Who doesn’t have some type of GPS in their car, into which they cannot enter 375 Airport Drive Worcester MA? 

In the meantime 

What we do need, however, clear routes to ORH for people:

    •    Traveling East on Route 290
    •    Traveling West of Route 290
    •    Traveling North on Route 146
    •    Traveling on Mass Pike

These are our four access roads. Right now when I travel on these roads I really do not see very good signage. Can we add some type of JetBlue logo to the sign? The green airport signs really get lost with all the other traffic at intersections.

We have one month to get this right, let’s get this done. Spend the FAA grant on better signage to make sure people do not get lost traveling to ORH.


Bill Randell is the President of Advantage Benefits, an insurance brokerage house specializing in employee benefits with an emphasis on health insurance, based in Worcester since 1992. He can be contacted at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter (@FlyORH).


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