Saturday, July 12, 2014
NORTHAMPTON — Repairs to an I-91 bridge that forced the Exit 18 on-ramp to close continue, three weeks after the project was originally slated to be finished.
The state Department of Transportation was not able to provide a new estimated completion date for the project Friday night.
In May, the DOT estimated it needed about a month to complete repairs. The DOT closed the northbound passing lane of I-91 May 22 after a bridge inspection revealed deterioration in a steel beam that needed emergency repairs. The work forced the closing of the northbound on-ramp from Mount Tom Road, funneling drivers wanting to head north on I-91 through downtown Northampton via Pleasant and King streets.
In late June, the DOT said repairs would go on past the July 4 weekend because the design took longer than expected to develop and approve and it also took longer to make and test materials needed to fix the bridge.
The original four-week estimate was based on those materials being ready in two weeks, but they were still being tested by the fabricator June 27, according to the DOT.