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Avoid 128 In Needham During Weekend Bridge Demolition, Officials Urge

NEEDHAM (CBS) – Highway officials are urging drivers to stay away from part of Route 128 this weekend as an aging bridge is demolished.

Crews will start tearing down the old Highland Avenue Bridge in Needham Friday night. By Monday morning, it will be gone.

Beginning at 8 p.m. on Friday until 3 p.m. on Saturday, the northbound lanes will close for the bridge demolition. Then, the southbound lanes will be shut down from 6 p.m. on Saturday until 3 p.m. on Sunday.

officials are worried that local roads won't be able to handle the detoured traffic.

highland avenue bridge
The Highland Avenue bridge on Route 128 will come down in November. (WBZ-TV graphic)

"During the weekend we're expecting 5,000 vehicles per hour. Our bypass roads that will take you around the construction site will be able to handle about 4,000 vehicles," District 6 Highway Director Walter Heller said at a Thursday press conference. "Therefore we are encouraging the public to avoid the area during the peak times."

Northbound traffic will be detoured at exit 19A, and southbound traffic will be diverted off the highway at exit 19B.

Northbound traffic detours during Highland Ave. bridge demolition (Image credit MassDOT)
Southbound traffic detours during Highland Ave. bridge demolition (Image credit MassDOT)

MassDOT has maps of all the detour routes here.

If drivers do decide to travel through the area, authorities are urging them to reduce their speed and pay attention to signs.

The bridge demolition is a milestone for the add-a-lane project that's set to wrap up in April of 2019.

Officials were also asked if all the construction to remove toll booths from the Mass. Pike might make this a bad time to take down the bridge over Route 128. MassDOT said they're not concerned about it because that project is ahead of schedule and has no major issues.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports: 

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