North and Southbound I-495 Traffic to Share New Northbound Bridge at End of Next Week

Cranes lift elements into place at new I-495 bridge in Haverhill. (Courtesy photograph.)

Completion of the new I-495 northbound bridge over the Merrimack River in Haverhill is in sight with southbound traffic sharing the bridge at the of next week.

A major milestone was reached during the last week when the right-hand lanes on the new bridge received a blacktop surface. Contractors begin operations Wednesday night to mark those lanes for a shift of northbound traffic to the new, easterly side of the structure.

Southbound traffic then crosses the existing median and temporarily takes over the former northbound lanes between Friday, Oct. 16, at 8 p.m., through Saturday morning at 5. Following the move, the existing southbound bridge will be removed from service and prepared for demolition.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation said overnight work begins Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 8 p.m., and ends at 5: a.m., Thursday. To accommodate the shift, there will be temporary overnight lane and short duration closures of the northbound exit 48, Ward Hill Connector, on-ramp and exit 49, River Street, off-ramp Wednesday night to allow crews to install pavement markings on the realigned roadway.

There will also be temporary overnight and short duration lane closures of the southbound exit 50/49 on-ramp and exit 48 off-ramp from Friday, Oct. 16, 8 p.m., through 5 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 17 to allow work crews to install pavement markings on the realigned roadway.

As part of the temporary road alignment, the I-495 north speed limit remains at 55 mph through the work zone.

Work then starts on replacing the southbound bridge with in-water work followed by deck placement in 2021. By June 2022, all lanes are scheduled to be open on northbound and southbound bridges with restoration of the median.

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