Rocks Village Bridge Under-Construction…Again

Photo Source: The Eagle Tribune

Photo Source: The Eagle Tribune

Kate Conover, Writer

The Rocks Village Bridge, which students at Pentucket Regional High School travel across every day, has been hit, yet again. What was a ten-minute commute for some, is now a thirty-minute commute. This is the third time the Rocks Village Bridge has been damaged in less than four years. 


What Happened?

On March 18, 2022, the Rocks Village Bridge was hit by an over-height truck. After inspection, it was announced that the truck had caused several structural damages to the bridge and that it needed to be closed to all vehicular traffic. This is not the first time the bridge has been damaged.


Who Does This Effect? 

One-third of students at Pentucket Regional High School depending on the Rocks Village Bridge to get to and from school every day. Students traveling from Merrimac have an extra twenty-five minutes added to their typical school drive. Although it may not seem as bad for students that can drive, students that cannot drive have to take the bus, which takes even longer. 

Senior Kate Gerrish says, “The closing of the bridge caused extra unneeded stress in the morning and took up time driving instead of spending time studying or doing homework.”

Not only does this affect students but it also affects local businesses within the community. Farms, local stores, and other businesses are suffering due to a decrease in people because of the bridge being under construction. For many, the drive to West Newbury or Groveland is far more inconvenient than simply ordering on Amazon. This puts our local businesses at stake and limits the local economy. 

Photo Source: Photo Source:


Historic Commission

The Rocks Village Bridge is a piece of history in the towns of Merrimac and Haverhill. Due to this, there are certain regulations that the towns’ Historic Commission has to follow in order to maintain the bridge’s historical accuracy. This includes keeping the same structural outline of the bridge. Although the structural outline has caused many issues with the bridge, the historical commission regulations prohibit a change in its structure, even to accommodate the public. 

Repairs on the bridge stopped for 30 days so the historic commission could review the plans and make sure it fits in with the rules. MassDOT was not aware of the historic importance of the bridge which caused plans to change and resulted in yet another delay. 



State Representative, Lenny Mirra sent out an email to many families in the Merrimac Valley area to update them about the bridge situation. His email enclosed dates of which the bridge would be painted and eventually reopened. 

The Rocks Village Bridge was shut down in March of 2022, and the email stated that the bridge would be expected to reopen the week of October 10, with some minor maintenance appointments the week before. 



Eighty-three percent of students surveyed said that the closing of the Rocks Village Bridge has affected their everyday lives. Not to mention, eighty percent of students surveyed said they did not live in Merrimac. This shows that the bridge affects more people than just residents of Merrimac. Students find the longer drive frustrating when trying to get to friends’ houses, sports games or practices, pasta parties, and more. Many students have also brought up the issue of gas prices now that the commute to school has doubled. 

Photo source: Newburyport News

End of the Nightmare 

As of Tuesday, October 11, 2022, at 12 PM, the Rocks Village Bridge was opened to the public for the first time since March 2022. Parents, students, teachers, business owners, and homeowners are happy that this bridge nightmare is finally over.