UPDATED: I-495 Highway Repairs Isolate Haverhill From Rest of State

Red lines along on the map show heavy congestion.

Story updated to include a response from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

A MassDOT camera illustrates gridlock near I-495, exit 51.

A MassDOT camera illustrates gridlock near I-495, exit 51.

Haverhill was virtually isolated from the rest of the state for a time Friday as an apparent emergency repair all but closed I-495 and caused gridlock on routes within the city.

David S. Van Dam, chief of staff to Mayor James J. Fiorentini, told WHAV the mayor’s office is using social media to inform residents and visitors of alternate routes. He said the city did not receive any courtesy calls about the matter from the Commonwealth.

“We will reach out to MassDOT (Massachusetts Department of Transportation) to see what’s going on. We’ll advise about alternative roadways to ease the traffic flow on 125,” he said.

For a time, drivers traveling south faced an up to 40-minute delay between exits 51, Main Street, and exit 50, Broadway/route 97). Others reported delays of more than an hour. The trouble spot was near exit 49 (routes 110 and 113).

“This morning a pocket of deteriorated concrete loosened at a bridge expansion joint in the center lane of travel of I-495 south in Haverhill exposing about a six-inch area of steel reinforcement bars. MassDOT crews are making repairs now which will involve removing an area of concrete near this expansion joint and then pouring new concrete. Only one lane of travel will be open for the next several hours southbound until the repairs are completed and two travel lanes are closed,” said Jacquelyn Goddard, MassDOT director of communications.

Most of the bridges along I-495 were first constructed 55 years ago.

“The mayor has been talking about the need for the state to invest in roadways. This is one example of the need for investments in infrastructure,” Van Dam said.

The state placed message boards along I-95 south and I-495 south to alert drivers to the work taking place, Goddard said.


4 thoughts on “UPDATED: I-495 Highway Repairs Isolate Haverhill From Rest of State

  1. “…the need for investments in infrastructure,”
    If you’re not familiar with Massachusetts Liberal Speak, “investments” means new and more taxes.

  2. Wondering winter motorists so we’re that sad it reminded tem of New Jersey and Gov Christie?
    Opinions by the editor and/or writer don’t belong in a news article.

  3. Maybe if Beacon Hill didn’t pillage perennially broke Highway Trust Fund by diverting to other causes/crony capitalist friends, the monies would have been used for their intended purposes, fixing roads & bridges!