Ten automobiles were sidelined early this morning with flat tires as a result of a pot hole on Interstate 495 southbound just before the Ward Hill exit.
Massachusetts State Police troopers from the Newbury barracks began receiving calls from motorists around 6:30, this morning. Troopers dispatched tow companies to the scene and alerted MassHighway to the problem.
The pot hole opened in the usual place—the southbound bridge over the Merrimack River between exits 49 and 48, police said. Highway workers had the hole in the center lane filled by 7:30 a.m.
A $50 million bridge replacement project is in the works. Advertising for contractors to build the new bridge is scheduled after Oct. 1, but the spans wouldn’t be completed for at least another two to three years, Anthony Komornick, transportation program manager for Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, told WHAV last summer.
“It’s unclear as to whether the project would begin construction in 2017 or not,” Komornick said. He said a relatively modest $12 million is allocated for the first year of the project, $23 million the second year and $15.8 during the final year.
The existing bridges have lasted 55 years—since the start of the interstate highway system.