The MBTA Board of Directors has approved a $3 million contract as part of a project to repair and rehabilitate the Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill. Commuter Rail trains on the MBTA’s Haverhill Line travel over the bridge seven days a week.
The Merrimack River Bridge is the only bridge in the MBTA system with a similar design as the bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis last summer. The proposal includes design and construction, and the entire project would be expected to last approximately four years.
“I am pleased to hear that the MBTA is moving forward with plans to insure the continued safety of commuters who use the Merrimack River Bridge every day,” said Senator Steven A. Baddour, Chairman of the Transportation Committee. “We must continue to be vigilant in maintenance and repair of our bridges and roadways to avoid senseless tragedies similar to the one the occurred in Minnesota. I look forward to working with the MBTA throughout the course of this project, and thank General Manager Grabauskas for his continued help and support.”
“As the only bridge in the MBTA system with a similar deck truss design as the bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis, it is a top priority of the T’s Bridge Management Program,” said MBTA General Manager Daniel A. Grabauskas. “This project is required to ensure the continued safe operation of Commuter Rail service, and to extend the structure’s useful life, reduce future maintenance costs, eliminate speed restrictions, and enhance the structural integrity of the bridge.”
“This funding will help maintain the safety of the commuters who rely on it everyday and provide continued rail service to the city of Haverhill,” said Representative Brian Dempsey of Haverhill. “I am pleased that the MBTA has recognized this project as a priority.”