John Greenleaf Whittier Bridge

Amesbury, Massachusetts
The John Greenleaf Whittier Memorial Bridge stands as a testament to the union of tradition and progress, linking the historic towns of Northern Massachusetts.
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John Greenleaf Whittier Bridge: A Modern Marvel Spanning History and Progress

The John Greenleaf Whittier Memorial Bridge stands as a picturesque testament to the union of tradition and progress, linking the historic towns of Amesbury and Salisbury to Newburyport, Massachusetts. This magnificent bridge, stretching 1,400 feet across the mighty Merrimack River, showcases an elegant through arch design and provides four lanes of passage in each direction. Its inauguration in 2018 marked a significant milestone, achieved through the $318 million Whittier Bridge/I-95 Improvement Project.

A Bridge Rooted in History:

The story of the John Greenleaf Whittier Memorial Bridge traces back to 1951 when the first bridge was erected to unite these neighboring towns. However, as the 21st century unfolded, it became evident that a replacement was necessary to meet modern transportation demands and safety standards. This realization catalyzed the inception of the Whittier Bridge/I-95 Improvement Project in the summer of 2013, orchestrated by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

Project Objectives and Necessity:

The project’s overarching objectives encompassed enhancing safety measures, redesigning critical I-95 departure ramps, and augmenting traffic capacity. These vital goals aimed to address the pressing need for safer, more efficient vehicular passage and to accommodate the escalating demands of the region’s burgeoning population.

A Bridge for Progress:

The John Greenleaf Whittier Memorial Bridge, named after the renowned Fireside Poet John Greenleaf Whittier, holds immense significance in connecting these two towns with deep historical roots dating back to the 15th century. As their populations surged and new laws were enforced, the original bridge no longer met the requirements of the modern era.

On October 30, 2018, a momentous ribbon-cutting ceremony in Newburyport marked the culmination of this five-year, $318 million endeavor—the Whittier Bridge/I-95 Improvement Project. Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, Massachusetts Legislature members, local authorities, and community leaders all convened to celebrate this remarkable achievement.

Today, more than 100,000 people traverse the John Greenleaf Whittier Memorial Bridge daily, underlining its critical role in facilitating the region’s growth, progress, and safe passage into the future. One of the best views of the bridge can be achieved by hiking in the Moseley Woods adjacent to the bridge.

Location

Address: Interstate 95, Amesbury, Massachusetts
Place GPS Coordinates: 42.834927, -70.911045
Parking GPS Coordinates: 42.834927, -70.911045
Parking Notes: If you are looking to check out the bridge up close and from underneath, it is best to park at Moseley Woods. Moseley Woods has a trail that will lead you to the bridge. There are dozens of parking spaces and parking is free.

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