Friday, November 14, 2008

Bridge notes

Hey, the good news is that the Route 1A bridge is scheduled to re-open next month.

The bad news? I guess some barge hit the Hines Bridge yesterday ... oops.

Not to mention the Whittier/I-95 bridge, from which rusted beams are falling (into the river).

View the photo slideshow of the barge and the Hines Bridge here (from the Daily News). I guess now it's slated for early closing - it was going to close next summer anyway for repairs. This was met with a hearty "A-OK." Or not.

Unlike me, the daily has been all over this. Read about it here and here.

This is from the Oct. 3, 2008, editorial (Doesn't John Macone, the editor, live in Amesbury?):

On Wednesday night, state highway officials announced that the Hines Memorial Bridge — the span that connects Deer Island to Amesbury — must be closed for that length of time in order to rebuild it, rebuild the deteriorating stone buttresses it sits on, and build the complicated swing mechanism needed to open the bridge on the rare occasions when large boats go up the river.

Interestingly, it's the swing portion of the bridge that's now damaged, from the barge.

For all you people who don't live here (if any of you are left out there), the bridge is one of 2 that connects Newburyport with Amesbury, across the Merrimack River. And when I say 2, I mean they are there, at the same place, with an island in between.

So we lucky people get to go to Amesbury via the aforementioned Whittier/I-95 bridge, which I avoid like the plague since I wrote a story for the Current about its decrepit state.

The scheduled repairs to the Hines Bridge were supposed to facilitate the repair of the Whittier Bridge (the former to handle increased traffic while the latter was being repaired).

I guess I won't be zipping on up to Cider Hill Farm (in Amesbury) to buy cider for Thanksgiving dinner after all!

But the re-opening of the Route 1A bridge will make my weekly foray to Gloucester a lot more convenient.

All my travels will be southward from now until ... whenever.

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