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Vacation and truck traffic should have an easier time getting to New Hampshire and Maine beginning in late 2016 thanks to the three-year, $292 million Whittier Bridge/I-95 Improvement Project, now underway. Despite the army of cranes, barges, and earth movers already at work, leaders in Amesbury, Salisbury, and Newburyport are optimistic about getting through the construction unscathed.
“I would say that overall it’s gone pretty well, having a major, major construction project right through the middle of our communities,” said outgoing Amesbury Mayor Thatcher Kezer.
The massive project focuses on the obsolete, deteriorated John Greenleaf Whittier Bridge, built in 1951, which carries an average of more than 70,000 cars a day over the Merrimack River on six lanes of Interstate 95. The new Whittier Bridge will consist of two parallel spans, one for northbound traffic and one for southbound, with an increase to four lanes in each direction.