Commuter Alert: State to Close Single Left Southbound I-495 Lane Wednesday and Thursday

Construction barge between I-495 north and south. (File photograph.)

As work progresses on the $102 million I-495 bridge replacement project, commuters face daytime lane restrictions this Wednesday and Thursday between exits 48 and 49.

State transportation officials said a single left lane on the southbound side of the highway closes Feb. 19 and 20, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., both days, for joint repairs to the south abutment.

Three lanes of a new northbound bridge have been completed and are carrying traffic. The new bridges are designed to last 75 years as opposed to the existing bridges built less than 60 years ago. Officials say the goals are to eliminate “constant emergency repair work,” improve roadway safety with full-width breakdown lanes and provide a dedicated exit lane on the northbound bridge for exit 49, near Westgate Center.

The old, twin bridges are 712 feet long with four piers per bridge in the Merrimack River. The new bridges use two piers each. The federal government is paying 80% of the project cost with the state pay the remaining 20%.

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