I-95 Traffic Shifts this Weekend as New Whittier Bridge Opens Lanes

Motorists using Interstate 95 southbound between Amesbury and Newburyport will have a change to their driving routine this weekend as the new John Greenleaf Whittier Bridge span over the Merrimack River opens to southbound traffic.

Lane shift barricades were to be in place north at the older Whittier Bridge by Friday’s morning commute as I-95 southbound traffic uses the median cross-over roadway beginning just north of the bridges over the abandoned railroad (at exit 58) to reach the new span, according to a traffic advisory from the Department of Transportation (MassDOT). Traffic will then cross over the median again at the Pine Hill/Ferry Road bridge to rejoin the existing southbound roadway. After traffic is shifted to the new bridge, MassDOT will demolish the existing bridge, built in 1951.

“The contractor will remove the bridge deck asphalt first, followed by the structural steel, and finally the bridge abutments. The contractor expects to begin removing the piers in early February and complete demolition in March, 2016. After the old bridge is demolished, a new span will be constructed in its place and southbound traffic will be shifted to it in late summer or early fall 2017,” a MassDOT spokesperson said.

MassDOT encourages drivers to avoid the area and seek alternate routes to minimize delays. Those traveling through the area may encounter delays and should reduce speed and use caution while travelling along the detour route.

The Whittier Bridge project corridor encompasses Newburyport, Amesbury, and Salisbury along I-95 between just north of exit 57 (route 113) and the New Hampshire state border.

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