For all the commuters who travel back and forth over the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge daily, this sign should have caught your attention by now.

It reads:


Living in the West End of New Bedford, I take the bridge to get to work every morning.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a state Department of Transportation sign down by the octopus intersection of Route 6 and Pleasant Street while waiting for the light to turn green. I thought nothing of it until I saw another sign on the opposite side.

There was also another one that caught my eye on I-195 East, just before the downtown exit. I've been informed that there are four signs total, all of them connected to the bridge closures and openings.

It's nice to have signs alerting us to the opening and closing of this old bridge, which is due to be replaced, as getting stuck waiting for it to allow marine traffic to pass can be, well, frustrating. 

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However, I've been deceived more than once.

The signs will say the bridge is closed when, in fact, the bridge is open. I wondered if the signs were working at all. So, I called the bridge operators to see if they had any answers.

Here's their response:

"There are four signs now that more or less after the bridge is spun back open, it usually takes about two to three minutes to get the signs turned back off."

There's a slight delay.

It makes total sense, but can also be confusing if you're unaware of said delay.

Keep in mind that just because the sign says the bridge is closed, there's a good possibility that traffic is flowing again.

It's all about taking the chance -- for now, at least.

Here's the solution: The Guide to Avoid Getting Stuck at the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge. Follow this and memorize it and you'll never get stuck again unless, of course, there's an emergency opening for fishing vessels.

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