MassDOT to Offer Status Update on I-495 Bridge Construction Wednesday

(File photograph.)

Officials plan to update Haverhill residents Wednesday on November's planned replacement work to overhaul the I-495 bridge. (File photograph)

Ahead of the November start of work to replace the I-495 bridge over the Merrimack River in Ward Hill, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is holding a public meeting to discuss construction, held this Wednesday night at Haverhill City Hall.

Representatives from the MassDOT project team plan to present construction timelines and discuss traffic management. A question and answer session is also scheduled.

The project’s construction schedule was first outlined by WHAV nearly two years ago, with a formal, $90 million design-build contract awarded to SPS New England by the state last May. Once construction begins, it is expected to run through spring 2022.

The new north and southbound bridges, between exits 48 and 49, will accommodate up to five lanes of travel. The new northbound bridge allows for up to three through lanes, one future use lane and an auxiliary lane, officials said. The southbound bridge calls for four travel lanes—three through lanes and one future use lane.

Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said the construction is necessary to accommodate the high-traffic zone, which currently uses infrastructure that is nearly 60 years old.

“This highly traveled bridge provides an important regional connection between destinations for the public and we are looking forward to replacing this bridge so it can be used by future generations.” Gulliver also said “innovative construction techniques will help to mitigate traffic and wetland impacts.”

Wednesday’s 6:30 p.m. meeting is in Room 301 of City Hall at 4 Summer St.