The $8.5 million Route 28 bridge replacement project has been completed after more than two years of work.
Officials from the state Department of Transportation said the project was a total bridge replacement, which included new sidewalks, a new bridge rail, and new road surface.
The bridge is one of the busiest in town, connecting Shawsheen Plaza on North Main Street and Whole Foods Market on Railroad Street to downtown Andover.
The project involved the complete removal of the bridge decking superstructure, and partial removal of both the north and south abutment substructures, officials said.
The project was divided into two phases to mitigate traffic impacts on commuters and residents. One half of the bridge was reconstructed in phase one, and the other half in phase two.
During each phase, MassDOT said a portion of the bridge remained open during all times of construction. Two, 10-foot-wide lanes were always open for commuters, one for travel in each direction.
The project, paid for with state money, began in February 2016 with tree clearing, followed by utility relocation of overhead wires. Construction work then took two years to complete.
In August 2018, the dedicated left-turn lane from Route 28 north onto Railroad Avenue was temporarily removed. Signs and traffic controls were put in place to guide drivers through the area.
Final paving on the bridge was recently completed, and in the next couple of weeks residents should expect to see the final touches. The last details will include the addition of pavement marking and new signs, miscellaneous paving, and cleanup.
MassDOT said a final inspection of the bridge will be done at the end of August.
A representative from MassDOT previously said the bridge, originally built in 1929, had been deemed “structurally deficient."
The project contractor was MAS Building and Bridge, Inc.