On Wednesday, February 27, 2013, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Board of Directors approved a construction contract for the Whittier Bridge/I-95 Improvement Project. For more information, please see the
Whittier Bridge Statistics
58 years old
1,346 feet long
73,000 vehicles/day (current)
81,000 vehicles/day (2012 projected)
About the Project
Meetings & News
Northerly Project Limit of Work
The northerly project limit of work could be located just south of the New Hampshire border.
Toll Road Bridge
The Toll Road Bridge is located at Exit 60, just south of the northerly project limit. The potential treatment of this bridge will vary based on the widening of I-95 and the northerly terminus of the project.
Rte. 286 Bridge
The Route 286 Bridge crosses I-95 south of the Toll Road Bridge. The potential treatment of this bridge will vary based on the widening of I-95 and the northerly terminus of the project.
Northerly Project Terminus Options
It is the goal of this project to complete the four travel lane section within the project limits consistent with the proposed cross section of the bridge and consistent with the existing I-95 roadway section north and south of the project limits. Two options exist for the northern end of the corridor. Option One maintains four northbound lanes through the I-495 merge to the project northerly limit. Option Two drops the fourth northbound lane prior to I-495 and shortens the project limit.
I-495 NB Bridge
The I-495 Bridge crosses I-95 just south of Route 286. The possible widening of I-95 will affect the ramp that connects northbound traffic on I-495 to northbound traffic on I-95.
Former Railroad Bridges
Bridges belonging to former railroad routes cross I-95 just north of Exit 58. These bridges will be used in the future to connect the Powwow Trail and the Ghost Trail, a former rail route that has been converted into pedestrian and bike paths. The potential treatment of these bridges will vary based on the widening of I-95. The extension of the bike trails will not be affected by the widening.
Rte. 110 Bridges
The Route 110 bridges cross I-95 at Exit 58, just south of the former railroad bridge crossing. The potential treatment/widening options of these bridges will vary based on the widening of I-95.
Evans Place Bridges
The Evans Place bridges cross I-95 just north of the Merrimack River. The potential treatment / reconstruction of these bridges will vary based on the design decision for the reconstruction of the Whittier Bridge.
Bridge Type Options
The current structure is a five-span truss bridge with a steel through arch, similar to the Bourne Bridge over the Cape Cod Canal. MassHighway is in the early stages of developing project alternatives including possible bridge types and staging methods. A preferred alternative will be recommended to MassHighway by the design team upon a complete evaluation of possible alternatives and public comment and participation.
Construction Phasing Options
The design team is currently evaluating several staging options for the construction of the new bridge. One option, the Progressive Staging Option, includes building a new section to the east to accommodate the north bound traffic, demolishing half of the existing structure to make room for the new south bound lanes and then demolishing the remaining structure. Another option includes building the entire structure for the north and south bound traffic independent of the existing bridge, shifting traffic to the new structure and demolishing the existing structure in one phase. There are several variations for this phase including a completely new structure to the east (East Side Concept), a new structure to the west (West Side Concept) and a new structure to the east and west (East and West Side Concept). The final phasing option, the No Build, consists of two alternatives - Full Rehabilitation and Continued Maintenance. The preferred construction phasing will be evaluated and selected based on bridge type, ease of construction and minimization of right-of-way and environmental impacts.
I-95 Widening Options
Six options exist for the widening of I-95. They include a no-build option, a no-widening option, a progressive option, an east side option, a west side option and a simultaneous east-west option.
Ferry Road/Pine Hill Road Bridge
The Ferry Road/Pine Hill Road Bridge crosses I-95 just south of the Merrimack River. The potential treatment of this bridge will vary based on the design decision for the reconstruction of the Whittier Bridge.
Southerly Project Limit of Work
The southerly project limit of work is located just north of Exit 57 in Newburyport.