MassDOT will initiate around the clock work to install a new transformer and motors on the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge beginning at 6:00 am on Sunday, March 4. The bridge will be closed to traffic during the work.
The electrical system that allows both cars and vessels to pass the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge requires urgent transformer and motor upgrades that could take three weeks. The work, if left undone, could cripple the span for an unknown period of time.
The inadequate transformer capacity issue was brought home last February when a problem caused a closure. The incident initiated MassDOT’s current effort to provide a permanent remedy through the installation of new transformers and motors.
“A March start offers us an appropriate time for addressing this job. The procurement has been completed, the contractor has agreed to a 24/7 mobilization, and NStar is on board,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola. “While we understand the bridge closure is an inconvenience to area drivers, the March timeframe also allows us to avoid impacting the busy tourist season.”
New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said, “MassDOT is taking a proactive approach to the problem. It’s critical to fix the bridge’s electrical system before another breakdown triggers an extended closure. I appreciate MassDOT accommodating the City’s request that contractor adopt the extraordinary measure of deploying work crews around the clock until the job is complete."
During the electrical upgrade, the bridge will be set in the open position to allow marine vessels to transit the area in accordance with Federal Law and the US Coast Guard. Specific detour routes will be posted on MassDOT’s website.
The work includes replacing the existing transformer and the replacement of the bridge’s 14 motors. The goal is that the upgrade will minimize impact to marine and vehicular traffic when future maintenance and repair work becomes necessary.
The aggressive work schedule is dependent on weather conditions. MassDOT will provide progress updates throughout the project.
Thanksgiving: Travel Safely! posted on Nov 24
MassDOT encourages Thanksgiving holiday travelers to check the latest winter weather forecast and plan ahead with the high volume of traffic on our highways and at Boston Logan International Airport expected this year. Highways are typically busiest on the Tuesday and Wednesday before and on …Continue Reading Thanksgiving: Travel Safely!
South Coast Rail: Bridge Replacements Move Forward posted on Nov 24
Governor Deval Patrick today joined Acting MassDOT Secretary and CEO Frank DePaola and local officials to announce a contract award for the replacement of four bridges in New Bedford and Fall River along the future South Coast Rail Line. The improvements will advance South Coast …Continue Reading South Coast Rail: Bridge Replacements Move Forward
I-495 Highway Safety Program Announced posted on Nov 20
MassDOT and the Massachusetts State Police announced the establishment of a new Highway Safety Corridor Program for I-495 through the towns of Chelmsford, Westford, Littleton, Boxborough, Bolton, and Berlin. The program posts public safety signs that read, “Highway Safety Corridor / Laws Strictly Enforced” at …Continue Reading I-495 Highway Safety Program Announced