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Work on Fruit Street bridges resumes this week; railroad bridge opening delayed to fall

by | Jul 10, 2023 | Featured: News, News

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced that a new temporary off-ramp from Interstate 90 (MassPike) eastbound to I-495 northbound and southbound will be opening on Tuesday as part of the ongoing work at the I-495/I-90 interchange to improve traffic flow.

This off-ramp will continue to provide two lanes for exiting traffic and will require motorists using the ramp to reduce their speed to safely navigate the temporary alignment. The mainline of I-90 (and I-495) will continue to provide three lanes per direction, except for limited off-peak lane closures.

All other ramps at the interchange will remain open in their existing configuration and alignment as part of this step of construction. Appropriate signage, law enforcement details and messaging will be in place to guide drivers through the work area. This work is weather permitting and subject to change. Drivers traveling through the affected areas should expect delays, reduce speed and use caution.

The first phase of the reconstruction of Fruit Street’s I-495 bridge began this spring as the initial step to remodel the interchange between I-495 and I-90 and is expected to be completed early next year. So far, the southern half of the bridge has been demolished. Foundation work has begun that allows alternating one-way traffic.

The work is part of a nearly $300 million, five-year project to reconfigure the interchange, which straddles Hopkinton and Westborough, in an effort to improve traffic flow. The highway project is the first complete interstate-to-interstate interchange project the department has undertaken in its history.

Work will include replacing the overpass, installing Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalks with ramps along the southern side of the roadway, and widening the roadway from 28 to 32 feet.

Also of note is that construction will resume July 17 on Fruit Street’s other bridge, which has been closed to vehicular traffic since February 2022, when construction began on the $12.5 million project. This bridge sits about 1 mile northeast of the I-495 bridge, over the CSX railroad tracks on the border with Southborough and Westborough. The bridge work originally was scheduled to be completed this spring but now is not expected to wrap up until sometime this fall.

“The project delays were related to an unforeseen design issue that resulted from the depth of existing bedrock on which the piles are founded,” explained MassDOT spokesperson Judith Reardon-Riley in a July 7 email to the Independent. “This issue has now been resolved and the project is progressing as scheduled.”

She added that this work will be followed by sewer, deck pouring, sidewalks and curbing operations.

For more information on traffic conditions, travelers are also encouraged to:

  • Download the Mass511 mobile app or visit mass511.com to view live cameras, travel times, real-time traffic conditions and project information before setting out on the road. Users can subscribe to receive text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
  • Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions.
  • Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions.

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