Lowell Canal Bridges Project

Bridges 1 - 5 are currently under replacement/rehabilitation as part of the Lowell Canal Bridges project. Bridge 6 to be rehabilitated pending additional funding. Bridges 7 & 8 have been completed by others.

1. Pawtucket Street over the Pawtucket Canal (L-15-050)
2. Pawtucket Street over the Northern Canal (L-15-049)
3. Merrimack Street over the Western Canal (L-15-047)
4. Central Street over the Lower Pawtucket Canal (L-15-035)
5. Merrimack Street over the Merrimack Canal (L-15-046)
6. Suffolk Street over the Northern Canal (L-15-052)
7. Broadway over the Pawtucket Canal (L-15-030)
8. Kearney Square over the Eastern Canal (L-15-038)

In 2015 the City of Lowell was awarded a $13,389,750 grant from the United States Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER VII) Discretionary Grant Program for the replacement and/or rehabilitation of six local canal bridges currently in various states of disrepair or deterioration. The original project scope includes complete replacement of two bridges: Pawtucket Street over the Pawtucket Canal and Pawtucket Street over the Northern Canal, and superstructure replacement at the Suffolk Street over the Northern Canal bridge. The remaining three bridges to be rehabilitated and preserved include:  Central Street over the Lower Pawtucket Canal, Merrimack Street over the Western Canal and Merrimack Street over the Merrimack Canal.

By taking an innovative and partnership focused approach, this project will rehabilitate and replace a network of critically important bridges over several canals in Lowell, to eliminate weight restrictions that currently interfere with transportation circulation and compromise public safety, economic opportunity, and access to education in the downtown area.

The design and engineering of the six bridges was completed in 18 months on an accelerated schedule due to regulations associated with federal TIGER funding with final design submission on August 12, 2017. Due to funding constraints, the superstructure replacement at Suffolk over Northern was removed from the original project scope; however, as the design and engineering of the superstructure replacement is complete and the project is “shovel-ready”, the City continues to seek funding for reconstruction of the bridge as soon as is feasible.

An initial Public Information Meeting took place on September 19, 2016, at the Lowell Public Library Meeting Room. The 25% Design Public Hearing took place on March 13, 2017 at the Pollard Memorial Library in Lowell. Materials from these meetings are available on the Design Phase page.

Project Highlights

Total Project Cost - Design & Construction

$22,900,000

Project Timeline

Design Phase: July 1, 2016 - August 12, 2017

MassDOT/FHWA review of bid documents: August 12, 2017 - January 12, 2018

Bid Opening: February 21, 2018

Contract Award: March 2018

Notice to Proceed: April 27, 2018

Construction start: July 1, 2018

Construction complete: April 1, 2022

 Public Meetings

25% Design Public Hearing: March 13, 2017

Public Information Meeting: September 19, 2016

Construction of the Lowell Canal Bridges project will span five years between 2017 and 2022. Each of the five bridges included in the project will bear the year 2022, memorializing completion of the entire project.  

For additional information about the project, please review the project fact sheet:

To view historical information and materials related to the TIGER grant application process, please visit our TIGER Application page.

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