Is the bridge finally being replaced? YES! The project has been funded and approved. Mass DOT is well into the design phase. The skepticism is understandable and justified. The temporary bridge is now 40 years old and has reached the end of its useful life. We've been waiting a very long time and it felt like it might never happen.
When will Construction Start?
Late 2024 - Early 2025
When will it be completed?
How many Lanes?
2 Lanes each way 4 in TOTAL
There will be Pedestrian and bike lanes on both sides, scenic overlooks, and color change lighting for celebrations
Option 3 was chosen from design possibilities
The bridge will align with Old Ferry Road in Pawtucketville and cross the Merrimack diagonally and meet the current intersection at Wood & Middlesex Street on the Highlands side
The current bridge will remain open during the entire construction timeline except for a brief period for the final tie in to the Highlands side (estimated from a few hours to a day)
How much will it cost?
Estimated to cost $170 million
No local tax dollars will be used
Who is funding the project?
The State of Massachusetts
THE CURRENT BRIDGE
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Meetings are held online, via Zoom
Next Meeting is set to be held in July 2023
Project inquiries, written statements, and other exhibits regarding the proposed undertaking may be submitted to the project team on line at this link:
LINKS FROM PRIOR MEETINGS
Recording of February 7th meeting
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ON THE CURRENT BRIDGE
The Rourke Bridge is a critical transportation link over the Merrimack River in Lowell. The bridge carries about 27,000 vehicles per day. The existing bridge was built in 1983 as a temporary bridge.
The bridge’s vehicle capacity is deficient and its bicycle and pedestrian features do not meet current multi-modal and ADA standards. It is nearing the end of its useful service life and its supporting substructure is showing signs of deterioration.
A Corridor Study and Feasibility Analysis of the Rourke Bridge and surrounding streets took place in 2013. The study looked at replacing the Rourke Bridge with a permanent structure, and if the existing location is the most suitable. It developed a series of recommendations to improve mobility for residents, businesses and visitors.
Based on the Feasibility Study, MassDOT is now moving forward with the replacement of the Rourke Bridge. The process will include preliminary design, environmental permitting, and construction.
The State delegation sent a letter to Mass DOT regarding the deteriorating conditions on the current bridge. Mass DOT is going out to bid this spring/summer to repair the travel lane conditions. Remediation is scheduled to start this summer or early fall.
The current temporary bridge is reaching the end of it's useful life. It will not remain operational after the new bridge is complete. Not only is it reaching the end of it's life, the current approach/exit on the Highlands side will be used by the new bridge and the intersection on the Pawtucketville side will shift from in front of the bowling alley to Old Ferry Road changing the traffic pattern entirely.
Committee to Elect Rodney Elliott
15 Cresta Drive, Lowell, Massachusetts 01854, United States