hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


November 1, 2012

Opening in 2014 -- weather permitting

State: Severe winter would push timetable back

It’s up to Mother Nature.

Progress is continuing to be made on the Groveland Bridge and construction is still be expected to be completed sometime in 2014 — if we have a relatively mild winter.

Joe D’Amore, a Groveland School Committee member, has been keeping close tabs on the project and has been in touch with Vince DeAngelo, the resident engineer for the project.

“They are on track to be finished all work by June of 2014,” D’Amore said. “It’s subject to change based on if we get a bad winter or not.”

The state’s official website says that the project is 62 percent complete as of the beginning of October, with construction scheduled to end in the spring of 2014.

The bridge crosses the Merrimack River, connecting the Riverside section of Haverhill with Groveland. The state is building a new bridge because the old Groveland Bridge is deteriorating.

Traffic is still open on the old bridge as the new bridge is being built next to it. After the new bridge is opened, it will take workers a few months to remove the existing bridge.

The construction has affected traffic on both sides of the bridge. In Groveland, traffic sometimes backs up on Routes 97 and 113 for more than a half-mile.

“A lot of it is attributable to the construction,” D’Amore said. “Since school has started, the traffic has really picked up.”

On the Haverhill side of the bridge, a stop sign was installed at the end of Groveland Street to help alleviate traffic concerns.

“I think that the stop sign has been a good thing,” said City Councilor Robert Scatamacchia. “It was put in because of all the confusion from the construction and I really thought there should have been one there for a long time.”

The $49.7 million project started in late 2009. The project calls for a new 775-foot bridge to be constructed 60 feet downstream from the existing bridge.

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