Shift to a temporary bypass on the southbound side of the highway at Route 123 is pushed back a day by bad weather.
HANOVER – Starting Tuesday, motorists traveling southbound on Route 3 will cross over Route 123 in Hanover using a temporary road built on the median.
Crews from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation expected to shift traffic onto the temporary southbound road between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Tuesday. Jacquelyn Goddard of the state Department of Transportation said the shift was originally scheduled for Monday, but was delayed due to snow and ice removal.
Traffic will use the temporary crossover for the next six months or so while crews construct the existing Route 3 southbound bridge over Route 123.
The temporary road will have two travel lanes besides during limited overnight closures. Driving in the breakdown lane during peak hours will still be allowed on the temporary road. Even still, state officials recommend drivers use other routes when possible.
The detour is part of a $29.4 million state transportation department project to replace the north and southbound bridges. The new structures are scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2020.
A Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization report says more than 22,000 vehicles travel that stretch of Route 3 each way every weekday – more than 44,000 both ways.
The DOT declared the bridges “structurally deficient,” with rusting steel beams and crumbling concrete. The agency approved their replacement and related lane realignments this past spring.
Crews spent several months building a temporary road in the median of Route 3 to allow traffic to continue traveling Route 3 while the bridges are taken down and rebuilt.
In August 2015, a round of Route 3 construction work created backups as long as 10 miles.
The project will also include road realignment, new abutments and guardrails, and slope work. The vertical clearance under the bridges will be raised by about 6 inches.
Goddard said that the project is “slightly ahead of schedule,” and the traffic shift was originally not expected to occur until spring.
After the existing bridges are demolished, the new bridges will be built where the old bridges stood. After the new bridges are complete, both the northbound and southbound roadways will be shifted permanently onto the new bridges and configuration.
Jessica Trufant may be reached at email@example.com.