Railroad Bridge Repairs Forces Downtown Traffic Delays Today

Drivers to downtown Haverhill will find detours and disruption today as the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) begins work at the Washington Street railroad bridge.

Except for election day tomorrow, commuters should expect disruptions for at least the next two weeks, the MBTA said.

“MBTA’s contractors will be removing a surplus railroad spur over Washington Street as part of a major project to rehabilitate three railroad bridges in downtown Haverhill,” the statement said.

The $24 million construction project takes place weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 3 through Nov. 17, except for election and Veterans Days. Traffic patterns will be either one-lane alternating traffic or require a detour. Here is the proposed schedule:

  • Nov. 3, 5, 6 and 7—one-lane of alternating traffic
  • Nov. 10, 12 and 13—detours will be in effect
  • Nov. 14 and 17—one-lane of alternating traffic

Police officers will be on hand to assist motorists to navigate one-lane of alternating traffic on Washington Street. Vehicles will use as a detour route via the Comeau and Basiliere Bridges; with an alternate detour route for vehicles traveling west on Merrimack Street via Essex Street, High Street and Washington Avenue.

Three bridges are used by MBTA commuter rail, Amtrak’s Downeaster and Pam Am Freight. Daily rail service includes 26 commuter rail passenger trains, 10 Downeaster passenger trains and approximately eight freight trains. The repairs, conducted by LM Heavy Civil Construction Company of Quincy, are to be completed by the end of 2016.