State Highway Dept. Begins I-495 Lane Closures as Part of Bridge Replacement

And, so it begins.

As part of the $90 million project to replace I-495 bridges crossing the Merrimack River near Ward Hill, the left, northbound lane is closing during morning rush hour and will remain closed daytimes for the rest of the week.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation said the lane, between exits 48 and 49, will be closed each day between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. “to allow crews and contractors to safely and effectively conduct construction operations.”

SPS New England was awarded the design-build contract last spring and construction is expected to run through spring 2022. Construction of the northbound bridge and subsequent demolition is expected to be complete by September 2020, while southbound work runs through September 2021. During the project, southbound lanes will temporarily cross over to the new northbound bridge.

When complete, the bridges 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.