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For Immediate Release: 06/05/2014
CONTACT: MassDOT Press Office: 857-368-8500

Public Informational Meeting on New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge Corridor Study

MassDOT to hold meeting Wednesday June 11th at 6pm


BOSTON-The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will hold a public informational meeting on the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge Corridor Study on Wednesday, June 11th from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the 3rd Floor Meeting Room of the New Bedford Public Library, 613 Pleasant Street, New Bedford.

The focus of the study is to evaluate and address multimodal transportation issues along Route 6 between County Street in the City of New Bedford and Adams Street in the Town of Fairhaven, including the potential replacement of the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge. The product of the study will be a package of recommendations that identify short-term, medium-term, and long-term transportation improvements.

The existing New Bedford/Fairhaven Bridge is a system of three bridges that connect the mainland across two mid-harbor islands (Fish Island and Pope’s Island). Erected in 1901, the central swing span is scheduled to open thirteen times a day to allow boats to pass through into the northern harbor area often resulting in 20-minutes delays for vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrian traveling along Route 6 between New Bedford and Fairhaven. The swing span suffers from long-term deterioration despite extensive maintenance repairs over the years.

The swing span bridge is a constraint for marine traffic, and according to the 2010 New Bedford-Fairhaven Municipal Harbor Plan, the future development of harbor activities north of Route 6 envisions expanded commercial use but is limited by the clearances and associated openings of the existing swing span bridge. The study will examine the current and future maritime needs of the harbor, economic development opportunities in the port area, and improvements that would support access to the future Whale’s Tooth (New Bedford) commuter rail station.

This is the first of three informational meetings, and will provide the general public with an opportunity to learn about MassDOT’s conceptual planning study process, and for MassDOT to introduce the goals and objectives of the study and to solicit input.  The meeting presentation will also include work completed to-date, and summarize existing conditions and identify problems, constraints, and opportunities along the Study Corridor. 

The meeting location is accessible to people with disabilities.  To request language interpretation assistance, American Sign Language interpreters, assistive listening devices, handouts in alternative formats, or information on the meeting, please contact: Jill Barrett by email jbarrett@fhiplan.com or by phone (860) 570-0740 by June 9, 2014. Portuguese and Spanish language interpretation services will be provided at the meeting. 

For more information:  www.mass.gov/massdot/newbedfordstudy/

In 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) was created to unify the state’s various transportation agencies. MassDOT now includes the Highway Division, the MBTA and Rail Transit Division, the Aeronautics Division, and the Registry of Motor Vehicles.  MassDOT is committed to providing a safe and reliable transportation system to all those who travel in the Commonwealth and works to deliver excellent customer service. MassDOT has been nationally recognized for its innovative approach to transportation, including the Accelerated Bridge Program, the “Where’s My Bus and Train?” apps and “Fast 14” work.  For more information, visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot   blog: http://blog.mass.gov/transportation/ , or follow MassDOT on twitter at https://twitter.com/MassDOT    and Facebook at www.facebook.com/massdotinfo .