MassDOT also announced that the two left lanes of I-95 northbound and southbound at the bridge will be closed to accommodate the work. Lane closures will begin at 8 p.m. and continue through the night. Work is subject to cancellation without notice due to inclement weather, meaning that closures could extend well into March should stormy weather continue to pummel the region.
The work is part of the $292 million design and build project to replace the iconic six-lane Whittier Memorial Bridge and replace it with a new bridge containing eight vehicle lanes and a shared-use path for bicycle and pedestrian use. The project also includes refurbishing and replacing nearby bridges. It is one of five “mega” projects in the state’s Accelerated Bridge Program to repair or replace structurally deficient bridges.
The northbound section of the new bridge spanning the Merrimack River is due to be completed by November. Once completed, both directions of traffic will be re-routed on the northbound side while work begins on the southbound side. The new bridge will actually consist of two spans, one for southbound traffic and one for northbound traffic and a bike/pedestrian walkway, replacing the current one-span that handles traffic in both directions.
According to MassDOT, the project is proceeding on schedule, with most of the work due to be completed by August 2016. The project is slated to be officially completed by October 2016.
Highway officials are urging motorists to avoid the area during construction but those traveling should expect delays.
Detours are as followed:
Eastbound traffic will be detoured using I-95 southbound to Exit 57 (Route 113) to reach I-95 northbound and Exit 58A for Route 110 eastbound.
Westbound traffic will be detoured using I-95 northbound to Exit 60 (Route 286) to reach I-95 southbound and Exit 58 for Route 110 westbound.