The Whittier Bridge/I-95 Improvement Project continues through the 2014 boating season. Much of the work this season to construct the new northbound span of the Whittier Bridge is taking place from the Merrimack River to the immediate east of the existing bridge. Several large barges, tugs, cranes and work boats will be operating in both the federal channel and Steamboat Channel areas of the bridge during the spring, summer and fall.
Beginning in mid-May, the contractor will be working two, approximately 10-hour shifts. Day shift work hours will be 7 AM to 5:30 PM, Monday through Thursday and 7 AM to 3:30 PM, Friday and Saturday. Night shift hours will be from 7 PM to 5 AM, Sunday through Thursday. A Saturday night shift from 7 PM to 5 AM may be utilized, on an as needed basis.
Safe passage for boaters will be maintained through the work zone during construction using one or both of the channels. Should it be necessary to close one of the channels, local harbormasters will patrol and direct traffic. Available navigation channels also may be reduced in width at times. We recommend that concerned vessels hail the tug Katahdin via marine radio VHF FM channel 16/13 before traveling through the area. For your safety, note the following:
- Mariners are urged to transit at the slowest safe speed to minimize wake and to use extreme caution when traveling through the construction site.
- Barges are marked with white flashing lights and temporary structures, such as temporary piers, are marked with red flashing lights.
- Existing aids to navigation (buoys and lights) are fixed and operate day and night.
- On those weekends when work is not ongoing at the bridge, tying up to or climbing on the new bridge, barges, cranes or other construction equipment is strictly prohibited. “No Trespassing” signs will be posted for police enforcement and 24-hour video surveillance will be in effect.
For more information and updates on the bridge construction, please visit the project website at www.mass.gov/massdot/whittierbridge.
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