A truck carrying an oversized load struck an overpass on 93 South on Monday afternoon, causing a traffic jam during rush hour. It arrived from Exit 24 at Roosevelt Circle, where Route 28 crosses the freeway.
Crews worked all night on repairs, but only two lanes of traffic pass this side of the highway on Tuesday. Drivers are also prohibited from crossing the bridge in an easterly direction.
MassDOT said there will be lane closures throughout the day as a damaged beam and part of the bridge deck are demolished. The immediate repair work could extend to Wednesday’s drive.
“It’s going to be tough all day today. Tonight we hope so, but it is possible that tomorrow morning’s commute will also be affected, ”state roads administrator Jonathan Gulliver told WBZ-TV on Tuesday.
MassDOT said drivers should expect delays on Route 1 South, Route 16, Route 28 and through Roosevelt Circle over the next few months as the bridge will not be fully reopened for some time. ” permanent repairs can be made.
“It’s going to be at least months, it’s a pretty, it’s a complex structure. As you know we don’t have a lot of bridges on a curve like this so it will take some time to get the repairs done, ”said Gulliver.
The agency has posted bulletin boards on I-93 to the New Hampshire border to alert drivers in the work area.
North Shore commuters should avoid the 93SB in Medford and look for alternatives like @MBTA_CR
– Jonathan Gulliver (@JLGulliver) July 20, 2021
Those taking 93 South through Medford should expect delays, go slow and exercise caution.
An alternate route is to get off the 93 completely, as the lane closures can be found at exit 24 in Medford.
If drivers see traffic getting heavy, they can get off at Exit 25 at Stoneham and return to Medford Square, skipping Exit 24.
Gulliver said they were working as quickly as possible to stabilize the bridge. He said the main goal was to remove all damaged concrete and steel, so it didn’t fall on the highway, and then develop a long-term repair plan.
As to what happened Monday afternoon with the truck and its cargo, described as possibly being an industrial tank or a grain tower, Gulliver said they were not yet sure.
“I can tell you that he must have passed under a number of other bridges of the same height, so we don’t know if that load relaxed at some point,” he told WBZ .