The interchange was constructed in 1965. It is in need of rehabilitation and replacement to continue to carry traffic safely. The project area gets a high volume of vehicles on a daily basis. Over 75,000 vehicles travel on I-195 from Route 140 to the I-195/Route 18 Interchange daily. I-195 is a state evacuation route. It travels through New Bedford and links Providence, RI and Cape Cod. Route 18 carries traffic beneath I-195, connecting downtown New Bedford and points north. Bicycle and pedestrian traffic interact with the interchange on adjoining local roads. The goal of this project is to address poor conditions on the aged structure and improve safety throughout the I-195/Route 18 interchange.
The scope of this project entails:
- Replacing the I-195 viaduct bridge structure from County Street until just beyond the Route 18‐ Exit 15 /Acushnet Avenue Interchange
- Replacing deficient bridge piers and abutments
- Replacing ramp bridges
- Widening merge lanes and lengthening on- and off-ramps
- Repairing local streets and adjacent sidewalks impacted by construction
- Repairing the parking lot below the structure
- Constructing new stormwater drainage system for DOT infrastructure
The team will engage the City of New Bedford, abutting residents and businesses, roadway users, and other stakeholders in the public design process. MassDOT will develop a construction plan that lessens temporary construction impacts on the community and traveling public.
The Route I-195 to Route 18 Interchange runs through a busy part of New Bedford. Homes, businesses, and the Hayden-McFadden School abut the structure. There are also parking lots and a skate park below the structure.
A public design process took place in 2018-2019. In 2019, the process paused to refine the design. MassDOT is resuming the public design process in 2023 . Input on the design from the public and the City will be incorporated to the greatest extent possible. The team will continue gathering input and planning mitigation by:
- Engaging with the public
- Conducting an environmental justice analysis
- Conducting a structural and survey analysis
- Coordinating with local, city, and state government
The public outreach process will seek to illuminate concerns, ideas, and other impacting variables. We want to hear from you.
Schedule and Process
2019: The project team developed the preliminary design through an initial public design process.
Summer 2023: The project team is refining the 25% design to the Base Technical Concept (BTC).
2024: Project will advance to design-build procurement.
Spring 2025: Anticipated start to construction.
A plan for public outreach during the construction period has been developed in alignment with a MassDOT project of this size and scope.
Construction and Traffic Management
Construction staging and traffic management will be finalized by the winning Design-Build team. Beforeconstruction begins, MassDOT and its Design-Build team will share plans with residents, abutters and the travelling public. It is currently anticipated construction of the viaduct will take place in two major phases. During each phase, two lanes of traffic in each direction will be maintained on I-195. Crews may work nights and weekends as needed to shorten construction. Ramps will be closed to traffic for extended construction periods and traffic will be detoured. Total construction is expected to last for four construction seasons. .
Construction impact mitigation is expected to include:
- Traffic diversions
- Signed detours for ramp closures
- Dust and pollutant containment
- Lead Paint Abatement Plan
- Keeping abutters and users informed through public outreach
- Night and possible weekend work to shorten construction
Continue to visit the project website for more information on the project, impacts, and how to get involved and stay informed.
At the bottom of the page, sign up with your email to receive project updates.
If your neighborhood organization, advocacy group, or other community organization would like to request a briefing, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.