, Newburyport, MA

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April 17, 2008

Gillis Bridge fixed, for now

There is good and bad news for those who were stuck in traffic on either side of the Andrew Gillis Bridge on Tuesday, a delay that stemmed from the drawbridge being in an upright position for the better part of an hour.

The good news first: The draw bridge was opened on purpose for routine maintenance for the upcoming boating season.

And now the bad news: The time some of you lost in traffic is time you will never get back.

Adam Hurtubise, spokesman for the state Executive Office of Transportation, said the bridge was open to allow for workers to fix some minor electrical problems. But he said the bridge is in working order and should be ready to go for boating season.

"There were no problems," he said.

That is likely music to the ears of those who cross the Route 1 bridge often — or pass underneath it — since in the past few years the bridge had been known to get stuck in the upright position, blocking traffic well into Newburyport to the south and Salisbury to the north.

At the same time, malfunctions in opening the bridge have also trapped sailboats upriver, forcing boat owners to wait for a rare, scheduled opening.

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