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Replacement of South Elm Bridge on Haverhill Commuter Rail Line Begins This Summer

Posted on June 4, 2024

Haverhill Station will temporarily close to MBTA Commuter Rail passengers beginning July 15 until summer 2025 while work takes place.

The MBTA today announced that critical work to completely replace the South Elm Bridge, which carries the Haverhill Commuter Rail Line over South Elm Street between Bradford and Haverhill stations, will begin on Monday, July 15, extending through next year. 

Built in 1906, the South Elm Bridge is beyond its useful life and ready to be replaced. Using accelerated bridge construction techniques to reduce customer and traffic impacts, the MBTA will replace the nearly-120-year-old bridge with a modern single-span structure with a useful life of 75 years. The new structure will include a ballasted steel deck, which means a smoother ride for passengers. The MBTA will also perform roadway, sidewalk, and drainage improvements along South Elm Street. When construction is complete, Haverhill Line passengers will be provided with a safer, more resilient, and more reliable ride with fewer service disruptions related to the old bridge.

In order to accommodate this important work, Haverhill Station will temporarily close beginning July 15 through summer 2025. During this time, passengers are asked to instead board and disembark at Bradford. Bradford is about a half mile from Haverhill (about a two-minute drive or a 10-minute walk), features a parking lot with over 300 spaces, and includes outdoor bike storage racks. A van for all passengers, including those with accessibility needs, will operate on a continuous loop between Bradford and Haverhill. Passengers will see notifications and on-platform signage starting this week.

With an overall budget of approximately $20.3 million, design for the South Elm Bridge Replacement Project was completed in 2022 and finalized in 2023. Construction prep work began in May 2024, major construction will begin at the end of July 2024, bridge work is anticipated to be complete in July 2025, and substantial completion of all construction is expected in fall 2025. The total construction contract value is approximately $14.1 million.

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