Newburyport/Rockport Trains between Rockport and West Gloucester Replaced with Shuttle Buses through Summer 2021
Posted on June 9, 2020
Free shuttle buses will continue to operate between Rockport and West Gloucester on both weekdays and weekends.
To accommodate construction as part of the Gloucester Drawbridge Replacement Project, the MBTA today announced that the current diversion on the Newburyport/Rockport Line that is replacing all weekday and weekend Commuter Rail trains with free shuttle buses between Rockport, Gloucester, and West Gloucester Stations will last through summer 2021.
The Gloucester Drawbridge Replacement Project will fully replace the existing structurally deficient Gloucester Drawbridge, which carries Rockport Line trains over the Annisquam River in Gloucester. The drawbridge was originally built in 1911 with reconstruction in 1932 and additional retrofits performed during the 1980s.
Unexpected issues have been found during construction, including issues with the Northwest Wall originally constructed in 1911, excavation issues with the East Abutment that precluded partial demolition of the structure, and questions regarding the stability of the bridge span once partial demolition is complete.
While the project originally anticipated being able to operate service over the bridge while further work took place, this full closure through summer 2021 provides work crews with unencumbered access to the work site in order to successfully complete the work. A similar diversion in service was also successfully implemented for 6 weeks in summer 2019. Additionally, current Commuter Rail ridership is substantially reduced as a result of the COVID-19 situation, though plans are in place to promote social distancing and other mitigation measures as ridership returns to the system.
Additional Shuttle Information
Free shuttle buses will operate between Rockport, Gloucester, and West Gloucester Stations at regularly scheduled train times, which will be incorporated into upcoming Commuter Rail schedules. Customers are encouraged to plan 15 minutes of additional commuting time.
All shuttle buses are accessible for persons with disabilities. Bicycles are prohibited on all buses during all service hours. More information on the Rockport-Gloucester-West Gloucester bus shuttle is available at mbta.com/gloucester.