, Newburyport, MA

July 2, 2010

Plum Island Bridge fixed, open to traffic

— PLUM ISLAND -- The Wilkinson Bridge that connects Plum Island to Plum Island Turnpike has reopened after being stuck in theopen position for more than an hour.

The problem with the bridge was a broken thruster, according to a spokesman for MassHighway. The thruster is part of the hydraulic mechanism that raises and lowers the bridge.

Traffic backed up for miles until a contractor could be called to the scene. Witnesses said the contractor ordered the bridge operator to slam the bridge shut. When it closed successfully, stranded drivers let out a cheer.