The Merrimack River bridge, Merrimack River North Approach bridge and the Washington Street bridge comprise 12 spans over approximately 1,042 feet across the Merrimack River from Bradford to Haverhill. The bridges were originally constructed between the late 1800s and 1920s and are in need of repair due to advancing age.
In his presentation to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board, MBTA Assistant General Manager for Design & Construction Ed Hunter said, "This contract will address the first of a two-contract construction plan to rehabilitate the superstructure of the bridges and strengthen their land piers."
"The maintenance and upkeep of our infrastructure is of paramount importance to our work at the MBTA," said MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott. "Safety is our number one priority and these necessary repairs to these bridges will ensure we are able to continue safe and reliable commuter rail service over the Merrimack River."
Under the MBTA Bridge Management Program, these bridges are closely monitored with periodic inspection and live load rating analysis to assure they are safe for service. After careful monitoring and thoughtful review, a decision was made to repair the entire bridge superstructure at once, taking into account cost, service impacts and other factors.
Construction is expected to take 36 months from the signing of the Notice to Proceed and is expected to begin this spring.