MassDOT crew successfully lowers the Belden Bly Bridge in Saugus

SAUGUS – Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) crews successfully lowered the Belden Bly Bridge, also called Fox Hill Bridge, Tuesday at 4 p.m., allowing for mechanical repairs to start Tuesday evening.

The drawbridge will be available for vehicle travel from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.

The drawbridge will be closed at 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and will  reopen the following day at 5 a.m. to allow crews to conduct repairs.

The drawbridge crosses the Saugus River between Saugus and Lynn and carries traffic on Route 107.  MassDOT crews and contractors continue to work to repair a mechanical issue with one of the steel ropes used to operate this drawbridge. A malfunction occurred Sunday evening, in which the bridge was stuck open. The channel remained open to marine traffic since Sunday while plans to lower the bridge were developed, according to a MassDOT spokesperson.

With the bridge now lowered into the closed position, the channel is closed to marine traffic that would normally require the bridge to open in order to pass. The channel restriction will remain in place until normal bridge operations are restored.

Several MBTA bus routes use the bridge and buses will have access to the bridge during daytime hours this week while it is open to motor vehicle travel.

MassDOT implemented detour routes with the assistance of local communities to be used during the hours of closure.

Those routes include Summer Street, Lincoln Avenue, Ballard Street, and Boston Street.

MassDOT has conducted maintenance on this bridge on a regular basis and has plans to replace it. The design of that estimated $80 million project is nearing completion and the project is expected to be advertised for construction bids in early 2019.

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