ESSEX — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation intends to open a new temporary bridge over the Essex River downtown on Tuesday, July 12, and that the old bridge over the river will close a short time later.
In the event of unforeseen delays, the new bridge will open and the old bridge will be closed on Wednesday, July 13.
The temporary bridge was built by MassDOT to carry traffic over the river as the existing bridge that carries Main Street/Route 133 over the river is removed and replaced. The Town of Essex expects the project to be completed in the spring of 2024, and the temporary bridge to be in service until then.
While there is no weight limit associated with the temporary bridge, traffic going over the bridge is restricted to vehicles with no more than 4 axles due to the curvature of the temporary structure, which would cause the larger vehicles, such as tractor-trailers to encroach into the opposite lane of travel while navigating the bridge.
MassDOT will have signage along Route 133, as well as along Route 22, advising restricted vehicles of alternate routes of travel to reach their destination.
“The contractor responsible for this project expects the temporary bridge to open Tuesday, with the possibility of a delay until Wednesday,” said Chief Francis. “I encourage drivers to be prepared for new traffic patterns if they intend to drive through downtown, and to please drive with patience as this next step for our community is put into place.”