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LOWELL, MA. - Overnight on Wednesday July 20, 2011 all three southbound travel lanes will be opened to traffic. The contraflow lane will be taken out of service and the median crossovers shut down. On the southbound side of I-495 only, all temporary barrier will be removed from the highway and the Woburn Street (Exit 37 interchange) on-ramp will regain its acceleration lane.
The opening of the three southbound lanes and closure of the contraflow lane represents the conclusion of major bridge construction. As of Thursday July 21, 2011 all southbound and northbound traffic will be on the normal side of the highway and will travel on completely replaced bridges over Woburn Street, the MBTA Lowell Line, and the Concord River. With major bridge work complete, work for the project's final month will consist of milling, repaving and restriping the highway through the work zone. The contraflow lane will also be removed and the median returned to pre-construction conditions. MassDOT recommends that drivers plan ahead and allow extra time for trips through the work zone, especially over the night of Wednesday July 20th. Drivers are reminded to reduce speed and use caution while traveling through the site.
Motorists are reminded that there is still no acceleration lane at the end of the northbound entrance ramp from Woburn Street and that the ramp is a yield condition. This means that drivers entering along this ramp must yield to on-coming traffic even if it means coming to a complete stop to wait for a safe gap in mainline traffic. MassDOT is committed to user safety, but a part of safe driving always remains in the hands of the individual motorist.
Replacement of the six bridges in the I-495 Lowell Bridge Bundle is taking place under the Patrick-Murray Administrations historic Accelerated Bridge Program, an eight year, $3 Billion plan to repair or replace structurally deficient bridges throughout the Commonwealth. For more information about the I-495 Lowell Bridge Bundle, visit www.mass.gov/massdot/495bridgebundle.