Overnight Work on Haverhill’s I-495 Ward Hill Bridges Begins This Week

(File photograph)

A $90 million revamp of the I-495 bridges that carry traffic over the Merrimack River begins this week, with overnight construction from 7 p.m.-5 a.m. (File photograph)

Drivers traveling the stretch of I-495 bridges that carry traffic over the Merrimack River in Haverhill’s Ward Hill should be advised that overnight construction kicking off a $90 million renovation formally begins this week.

Initial clearing of trees and shrubs along the route began Monday night, with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation following the clearing with the installation of erosion controls.

Work is expected to take place weekdays between 7 p.m.-5 a.m., with temporary lane closures anticipated. Police details, signs and pavement markers will guide drivers through the work area, MassDOT said.

Upon completion of early construction tasks, work on the northbound bridge begins in earnest later this fall and runs through 2020. A revamp of the southbound bridge follows, with the entire project wrapped up by 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.

During construction, three lanes of travel in each direction on the highway will be maintained for commuting hours.