NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — The potential for a significant storm this coming weekend has delayed plans to take the New Bedford hurricane barrier offline.
On Monday, the barrier was supposed to be shut down for routine inspections and maintenance work, which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) said could take up to three months.
But USACE had a contingency plan in place should a coastal storm threaten the area, and that’s exactly what’s happened.
According to Bryan Purtell, a spokesperson for USACE’s New England district, the barrier will remain online and fully functional through the weekend in anticipation of the storm.
The latest forecast shows Southern New England could see heavy accumulating snow and/or rain and sleet on Saturday, along with strong wind gusts and coastal flooding. However, the storm is still a few days away and the forecast could change based on the way it moves up the coast.
Once the storm passes and the USACE project manager deems it safe, the hurricane barrier will be taken offline until the work is complete or another storm forces them to bring it back online.