NEW BEDFORD (WBSM) — Construction is underway in New Bedford for the future pedestrian bridge across Route 18 for the new South Coast Rail.

The bridge will cross JFK Boulevard to allow pedestrians to reach the commuter rail station being constructed at the Whale's Tooth parking lot.

As a result, MassDOT will be closing street highway ramps overnight from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. for the locations listed below. Signage and police officers will be in the area to help direct traffic.

“The bridge will be a wonderful gateway into the city. The South Coast Rail team worked very closely with the city on the design of this tied-arch bridge,” said Jean Fox, Project Manager for South Coast Rail.

“We anticipate substantial completion by the end of this year,” Fox said.

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Tentative Closure Schedule:

Tuesday, February 20 - Acushnet Ave: Traffic will be diverted to Herman Melville Blvd.

Wednesday, February 21 - Route 18 Northbound, at Route 6/Mill Street and Hillman Street: traffic will be diverted to Herman Melville Boulevard and Purchase Street.

Thursday, February 22 - Route 18 Southbound, at Purchase Street exit: traffic will be diverted to Purchase Street.

Sunday, February 25 - Route 18 Southbound or Purchase Street ramps: traffic diversions as described above or below.

Monday, February 26 - Purchase Street ramp: traffic will be diverted to the next
Route 18 exit (Route 6 West exit onto Pleasant Street/Purchase Street)

Courtesy of MBTA
Courtesy of MBTA

Construction Site Work Locations:

Site work will continue at the future South Coast Rail station platform locations in the city: Church Street at Carlisle Street and Wamsutta Street at Acushnet Avenue.

Work will continue on the pedestrian bridge across Route 18, impacting parking along Purchase Street between Willis Street and Pearl Street and at the Division of Career Services on Acushnet Avenue.

Temporary detours may be in place pending the occurrence of construction activities.

“During the demolition phase, we may be looking at overnight closures, but we are still looking at the situation,” Fox said. “By erecting the false work overnight, we hope to minimize impacts to traffic along this important arterial.”

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