New Bedford I-195 Reconstruction Can’t Come Soon Enough
For years, the Interstate195 overpass and ramp system that connects with Route 18 in New Bedford has been badly in need of repair. The span is rusting, and large chunks of concrete are missing. At one time, two-by-fours were wedged between concrete and metal. I'm not even going to try to guess why that was.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation plans to begin the reconstruction of the so-called "superstructure," which includes the bridge and ramps over the Route 18 interchange, in the Fall of 2023.
Money for the project, more than $111 million, will be administered by Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD) as part of the 2023 Transportation Improvement Program for Southeastern Massachusetts. It's part of the Biden Administration's $125 billion transportation package approved by Congress last year.
The "superstructure" is the bridge and ramp system that carries I-195 over Route 18 the Mass Coastal Railroad, and County, Purchase, State, and Weld Streets.
The entire bridge system and ramp structure will be removed, and the highway widened leading up to the bridge in both directions as well as the ramps and turning lanes for the ramps.
WBSM News reported this will be a massive project "that will also involve relocating utilities like gas, electric, sewer, water, and communications utilities as well as the underground Cooper Brook culvert, along with improving stormwater drainage systems."
MassDOT has not indicated how long it will take to complete the project, but we know it will be disruptive. Judging by the appearance of the existing system, the work can't begin soon enough.
Do you feel safe when traveling on the I-195 "superstructure?"