Both northbound and southbound lanes of I-495 will close at various times next week to accommodate construction of the new southbound bridge over the Merrimack River in Haverhill.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation warned that double left lane closures take place northbound and southbound, between exits 48 and 49, Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 24 and 25, from 10 p.m.-5 a.m. the following morning, while pile driving equipment is placed for the new southbound bridge abutments.
There will also be a single right lane closure on I-495 northbound, between exits 48 and 49, Wednesday, Feb. 24, from 6 a.m.-2 p.m. to replace a damaged exit 49 sign.
To date, a new northbound bridge has been completed and carrying both northbound and southbound traffic as part of the $102 million twin bridge replacement project. The old southbound bridge is being demolished.
The new bridges are designed to last 75 years and, 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 were 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%.