By Bethany Bray
---- — Kernwood Bridge will be partially closed overnight through the coming month, as the state renovates the more than 100 year-old drawbridge.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will close one lane of the bridge and restrict traffic to a one-way alternating flow Sunday through Thursday nights, 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., through Aug. 22. Work began this week.
“MassDOT encourages drivers to seek alternate routes, to avoid delays,” the agency said in a press release this week. “Drivers that must travel through the affected area should expect some delays and should reduce speed and use caution while approaching and traveling through the work zone.”
The construction project will remove and replace the bridge’s timber decking and surface, according to MassDOT.
The bridge was resurfaced a few years ago, but the covering had to be removed when it left the bridge with a sticky coating. Now, motorists traveling over the bridge can see exposed wooden planks.
The state plans to replace deteriorated sections of the upper layer of timber decking and then resurface the bridge with an asphalt-rubber material, according to a letter sent from Transportation Secretary Richard Davey to Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll last month.
Kernwood Bridge connects North Salem with the Ryal Side neighborhood in Beverly. It is a busy roadway, carrying a lot of traffic between the two cities, to Kernwood Country Club and to Kernwood Marina in Salem.
The swing-span bridge opens several times a day during the summer season for boats using the Danvers River.
According to MassDOT, the Kernwood Bridge repairs are part of a $2.2 million state project focusing on five drawbridges in Essex County.
Bethany Bray can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.