The Massachusetts Department of Transportation today announced that the Whittier Bridge and a 4-mile section of I-95 will be opened to its full capacity of four lanes of traffic in both the north and southbound directions by 5 p.m., Friday, July 13.
This major milestone for the $318 million ongoing bridge replacement and corridor improvement project will mean that all vehicles traveling on I-95 north and southbound will have access to the full benefits of the new bridge structure and widened roadway.
Crews are continuing to conduct finishing work on the bridge and will be installing final pavement markings in the coming weeks. Additionally, work is continuing on the shared-use path that is being constructed adjacent to I-95 northbound in this area, which is necessitating a closure of the breakdown lane on I-95 northbound through the end of July. This component of the project is currently expected to be completed this fall.
The previous bridge at this location was built in 1951 and named for the poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier. The bridge carries vehicles on I-95 north and southbound between Newburyport and Amesbury over the Merrimack River. The structure is a critical regional transportation link for people and commerce throughout the region.
The new bridge cross section includes four travel lanes and a breakdown lane in each direction. Through this project, four adjacent bridges have been replaced or reconstructed along a 3.5-mile segment to accommodate a widened I-95 from Exit 57 in Newburyport to Exit 60 in Salisbury.
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