Transit Projects

Repair/Rehabilitation of Merrimack River and Washington Street Bridges, Haverhill, MA


General view of the Merrimack River and Washington Street Bridge.

The Merrimack River, North Approach and Washington Street Bridges have served as vital rail infrastructure for the movement of countless passengers (Amtrak Downeaster) and untold tons of freight (Pan Am) for over 85 years. Recent inspections have identified a variety of age and maintenance related issues that require evaluation and attention.

The structural condition and load carrying capacity are checked periodically and the inspection reports generated repair/rehabilitation alternatives in order to provide a safe transportation infrastructure, extend its useful service life, reduce future maintenance costs, eliminate speed restrictions and restore structural integrity to these Haverhill bridges.

These three distinct structures have twelve spans totaling 1042 ft. The Merrimack River Bridge superstructure was built in 1919 and the substructure in 1839 and modified in 1919. The North Approach and Washington Street bridges were built in 1928. They carry two rail road tracks over the Merrimack River and connect the Town of Bradford at the south end to the city of Haverhill at the north end.

The choice of having the bridges repaired and rehabilitated rather than replaced, has the advantage of preserving the historic, one hundred-year old appearance, as well as maintaining the traffic while the work is being performed.

The project is advertized for construction under Contract No. B64CN01. The bid opening is scheduled for December 2013. The contract will be presented to the MBTA Board of Directors in December for their action. Notice to Proceed is anticipated in April 2014.

The design consultant is also working on the RFQ for the selection of a Design-Build team for Contract No. 2 which involves the rehabilitation of the river piers.