Watching over the construction, which has forced the closure of the right-hand lane of the northbound side from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. since Tuesday, was a Newburyport police officer.
As he walked near the construction site, officer Michael Wilichoski said he felt relatively warm yesterday thanks to long johns, a sweater and something he called a “zoot suit” comprised of matching jacket and snowpants.
“Meat and potatoes is why I am warm now,” Wilichoski said.
Wilichoski said police details are fewer to be had during the winter, so when he heard of the Gillis Bridge project, he quickly offered to take the gig, despite knowing full well that conditions on the bridge would be colder than cold.
Contractors seemed to be in good spirits yesterday as they moved from space heater to space heater after completing a task. Perhaps the most fortunate contractor on the bridge yesterday was the man operating a blow torch — at least he appeared to be the person keeping still the longest.
A supervisor at the job site called yesterday the coldest working day he could remember in two years.
“You don’t have a choice. The repairs were needed so they had to be done,” the supervisor, who asked not to be named, said.