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October 2018

Newburyport Celebrates Completion of Whittier Bridge/I-95 Improvement Project

NEWBURYPORT, MA – Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, members of the Massachusetts Legislature, municipal officials, and local leaders at a ribbon cutting event in Newburyport to celebrate the completion of the $318 million Whittier Bridge/I-95 Improvement Project. This major construction project consisted of replacing the existing Whittier Bridge as well as widening and improving a 4-mile section of I-95 in Newburyport, Amesbury, and Salisbury, and replacing four adjacent bridges.

“We are proud to celebrate the completion of the Whittier Bridge Project, which has increased the capacity and reliability of this important regional travel corridor,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This project is the result of close coordination with local stakeholders and a great example of the investments we are marking in transportation infrastructure across the Commonwealth to improve travel options for everyone.”

The project also constructed the William Lloyd Garrison Trail, the first shared-use (pedestrian and bicycle) pathway within an interstate highway layout in the Commonwealth. The Garrison Trail, which was opened to the public this month, is located adjacent to I-95 northbound in this area and travels over the new Whittier Bridge. The trail was named after William Lloyd Garrison as a result of input from local students, teachers, and elected officials who requested that the prominent abolitionist who was born in Newburyport be commemorated through this project.

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 4-mile segment to accommodate a widened I-95 from Exit 57 in Newburyport to Exit 60 in Salisbury.

“This five-year project was very complex and required tremendous patience of the abutters, but it is now complete and it is a magnificent bridge connecting MA and NH on I-95," said Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday. "Congratulations to MassDOT and Walsh/McCourt for their tremendous work in building the new bridge.”

SOURCE: Massachusetts Department of Transportation



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