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New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge, March 2014MassDOT will hold a public informational meeting on the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge Corridor Study:

Wednesday, June 11th, 6:00–8:00 p.m.,  3rd Floor Meeting Room, New Bedford Public Library, 613 Pleasant Street

The study will address short-term and long-term transportation issues along Route 6 between County Street in the City of New Bedford and Adams Street in the Town of Fairhaven, including the potential replacement of the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge.

The existing New Bedford/Fairhaven Bridge is a system of three bridges that connects the mainland across two mid-harbor islands (Fish Island and Pope’s Island). The central swing span erected in 1901 is scheduled to open thirteen times a day to allow boats to pass through into the northern harbor area often resulting in 20-minute delays for vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrian traveling along Route 6 between New Bedford and Fairhaven. The swing span suffers from long-term deterioration despite extensive maintenance repairs over the years.

The swing span bridge is a constraint for marine traffic, and according to the 2010 New Bedford-Fairhaven Municipal Harbor Plan, the future development of harbor activities north of Route 6 envisions expanded commercial use but is limited by the clearances and associated openings of the existing swing span bridge. The study will examine the maritime needs of the harbor, economic development opportunities in the port area, and improvements that would support access to the future Whale’s Tooth commuter rail station.

The first of three informational meetings will provide an opportunity to learn about MassDOT’s planning study process and goals and to solicit input. The meeting presentation will also include work completed to-date, and summarize existing conditions and identify problems, constraints, and opportunities along the Study Corridor.

To learn more, contact: Jill Barrett, jbarrett@fhiplan.com or (860) 570-0740. Portuguese and Spanish language interpretation services will be provided at the meeting. For more information: www.mass.gov/massdot/newbedfordstudy/

 

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