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Page School third graders and their teachers, Krista Niles, Krystelle Griskiewicz, and Paula Gray, saw the new Whittier Bridge span up close, just one week before I-95 northbound traffic was shifted to it. (Credit: Krista Niles)

Page School third graders and teachers, Krista Niles, Krystelle Griskiewicz, and Paula Gray saw the new Whittier Bridge span up close, just one week before I-95 northbound traffic was shifted to it. (Credit: Krista Niles)

Drivers who frequent Interstate 95 aren’t the only ones interested in construction on the Whittier Bridge. In late October, a younger audience, one without drivers’ licenses or cars of their own, received an insider’s tour of the new Whittier Bridge over the Merrimack River near Newburyport, Amesbury, and Salisbury.

Third graders from the Page School in West Newbury had the unique opportunity to tour the new Whittier Bridge span just before it opened to traffic, a perfect addition to their lesson on bridge engineering.

Alessandra Bell, 9, and Owen Bell, 11, children of UNH Professor Erin Bell, joined the Page students for the tour and pose with Walsh Construction Project Engineer Vin Bartucca at the Whittier Bridge/I-95 Improvement Project work site. (Credit: Erin Bell)

Alessandra Bell, 9, and Owen Bell, 11, children of UNH Professor Erin Bell, joined the Page students for the tour and pose with Walsh Construction Project Engineer Vin Bartucca at the Whittier Bridge/I-95 Improvement Project work site. (Credit: Erin Bell)

The tour was led by Ray Cook and Dr. Erin Bell, professors at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and Chris Daigle, Assistant Project Manager at Walsh Construction and a UNH alum. Students learned about the various structural elements of the bridge, construction equipment and materials, and the roles of different construction workers. Page School teacher, Krista Niles, said walking across the bridge was “an experience [the students] will never forget!”

For more information about the project, and to sign up for project email updates, visit the project website. View progress photos on MassDOT’s Whittier Bridge Flickr Album.

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