New Bedford/Fairhaven Bridge Schedule


Daily, from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM, the bridge opens at the top of each hour:

6:00 am
7:00 am
8:00 am
9:00 am
10:00 am

Daily from 11:15 AM to 6:15 PM, the bridge opens 15 minutes past each hour:

11:15 am
12:15 pm
1:15 pm
2:15 pm
3:15 pm
4:15 pm
5:15 pm
6:15 pm

After 6:15 PM, the bridge will open on-demand from marine traffic by calling the bridge keeper’s office on marine channel 13. The schedule and duration of openings will vary depending on weather conditions, harbor congestion and vessel size. By law, marine traffic has priority over vehicular traffic.

Official details here.


  1. hi. why do you write about the new bedford bridge as the “new bedford/fairhaven” bridge? the bridge belongs to the city of new bedford and no part of it, from beginning to end, exists in fairhaven. yes, a many folks call it the ‘fairhaven bridge”, but you shouldn’t promote inaccuracies about the town of fairhaven. would you care to expound on the trend of how the new bedford bridge is inaccurately called the “fairhaven bridge”? feel free to include any information about fairhaven and it’s contribution(s), large and small, to the building and/or upkeep of the bridge. thank you

    • Karen, It was really nice of of you to offer your opinion. However misguided, the effort was appreciated. I think people should just smile and then offer the correct info as Mr Silvia did. It would definitely be a better world if we didn’t insult and judge so quickly.

      What we should give credit for is the fact that, in a nation filled with non-readers, people actually still take the time to read. Also, it truly takes some courage to comment, placing ones self in the possible path of ridicule. Even though your facts were inaccurate, you still took time to read and participate.

      • Lol!!!

        I honestly don’t care what people call it, and with that being said, I think most people just say ‘The Bridge’ as in “Sighhhhhh, sorry I’m late, I got caught at the damn bridge, there was a ton of boats coming thru” or, “Hey, I’m stuck at the Bridge, but ill be there as soon as I can get thru”

        So, I’m wicked grateful to Joe for posting this, bc I had heard there was a schedule, but I hadn’t known what it was, and now, I do, so that is AWESOME! Thanks Joe!

    • So when the bridge is “open” or “closed”?

      Is it “closed”, like a switch, so traffic flows?

      Or “open” to traffic?

      Road traffic of marine traffic?

      Now I’m even more confused.

      • If the bridge opened when cars were crossing over it, they would plunge into the water. There would likely be a revolt on the state’s hands.

        The term open and closed does not refer to either marine or auto traffic, but to the function of the bridge. Remove traffic from the equation and focus on….the bridge, and it’ll make more sense.

        Hope that helps.

      • I think the bridge is closed now at 3:21 a boat just went through

    • Because the bridge connects New Bedford with Fairhaven.

    • Idon T. Giveashit

      Seriously? Whow care?? Oh wait…. your name is KAREN… that explains everything…LOL

    • Just another TYPICAL “KAREN” comment ??‍♀️

    • Hello my Fellow New Bedford and Fairhaviens. 🙂

      Two questions;

      A) why not have the bridge ……..on the hour all the time, and so avoid any doubt or confusion of when it will …open….?

      B) how would people feel about signs posted on the bridge’s approaches, from both directions, that read something to the effect of;

      Save money-Save gas-Save the planet- turn your engine off while waiting for the bridge to close

      As I wait for the bridge to close, I’m always struck by how wasteful it is for people to just let their engines run.

    • Spoken like a true Karen

  2. Karen, the bridge is titled “New Bedford/Fairhaven” because it connects the two.

    For example, it is called this on the Wikipedia Page:

    On the Standard-Times’ SouthCoast Today:

    The Federal and State governments refer to it that way as well:

    And finally, the City of New Bedford refers to it that way:

    It has been referred to in this way since the 1800s as this vintage photo demonstrates:

    In fact, neither New Bedford nor Fairhaven have contributed “large or small, to the building and/or upkeep of the bridge” since it is maintained by the state – the DOT to be exact.

    Hope that explains things and helps.

  3. Oh goodness, Karen. Maybe you shouldn’t comment on things unless what you have to say is factual. A real resident of the area would have already known this.

    To sum it all up. Karen got owned.

    Have a GREAT day!

  4. alright. alright. i meant resides ‘owns’, not posess ‘owns’.

    i am really surprised to learn that anyone exiting the bridge eastward thinks the’re in fairhaven. i guess the pope island marina is in fairhaven. who knew?

    and, thank you, fairhaven, for providing the closing times…but your link states new bedford tourism. hmmm….


  6. I felt the need to point out how who ever is currently working the morning shift on weekdays for the bridge is a god damn moron and NEVER turns the bridge signs on for rt.18 so that when your coming around the corner , unknowing the bridge is indeed closed, you just about smash into the long line of cars . Smh

  7. Once the bridge comes back online please do not close the bridge before the scheduled time. Over the past 6 months the bridge has closed 5 minutes early on my phone (so not an error attributable to my car clock) at least 4 times. This is way worse when coming to the city from Fairhaven. But in either direction it is a real frustration.

  8. I remember the bridge opening on hot days,and it would swell from the heat,and couldn’t be closed..

  9. Wow, does it really matter what they refer to it as ? Such petty things shouldn’t be an issue. Here I was thinking great I get to see a schedule and I’m thankful for it being posted because I live a block from it, but then I see a complaint about how they referenced it… Some people really need a Hobbie other than finding small shit to bitch and moan about

  10. I have always called it the Fairhaven Bridge because it is the bridge to Fairhaven. Being that it is in New Bedford, it makes perfect sense to call it that since it is the bridge to somewhere else, the somewhere else being Fairhaven. Similarly Old Fall River Rd is the old road to Fall River but is not in Fall River.

  11. Then learn how to drive!!!! If you are almost “smashing” into cars coming around the corner, than you shouldn’t have your license.. Who blindly comes around corners at accelerated speeds anyway.. It only makes sense to have caution..

  12. I’m not sure why there is a bridge schedule. I have noticed that it isn’t being followed. I live in Fairhaven and work in New Bedford so I depend on the bridge to be open when it should be. I work at 6am and several times i get to the bridge and it is closed. This is so frustrating!

  13. The bridge schedule is a joke, the people who operate are worthless, the construction on the bridge makes me laugh everyday it’s either 4 guys standing around doing nothing while 1 works or nobody at all, Fairhaven is doing absolutely nothing to speed this going on 5 years of construction and new bedford could care less about the bridge, they can’t even trim back the shrubs that over grown onto the off ramp, bush marks along trucks and trailers, every morning is different so don’t bother planning your routes…sick of watching grown ass men do nothing all day, if you want to see the opposite of what you get with 5 years of construction then go to the bridge, they just suck tax dollars out of where ever they can…ooo yeah wasn’t the deadline December 2012? YES IT WAS

    • You’re complaining to the wrong people about the duration of construction and the upkeep. You want to direct those complaints to the DOT (Department of Transportation) because the bridge is State property.

  14. Please read whole thing:::The schedule is pretty accurate and I’m glad it is posted. It does stink that the signals that notify if the bridge is open don’t work and some time it says it’s open and it’s not or doesn’t say anything and it is. And I do feel the need to talk about the pan handlers being a recovering addict I know a few of them and did do it a couple times my self and it is greatly appreciated that people are nice enough to give money and food. It sucks that people call the cops on them most of them are in real need and are doing that so that they do not have to break real laws and go Rob stores to eat . If u don’t want to help them don’t but you don’t have to call the cops on them like I said I realize some of them are out there doing the wrong thing but don’t hurt the ones in real need just mind your business.

  15. It has always annoyed me to no end that the bridge closing schedule is not posted for motorists but is posted for the marine trafffic. What’s up with that??? Why isn’t the schedule posted for motorists?? I think this is outrageous!!!

  16. Closing and opening this every hour leaves about a half hour of each hour for traffic to actually pass through.This is rediculous !!! Sick of that bridge and whomever thought every hour is needed or reasonable is an idiot !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. I always thought that it was called the ‘Gooddammed Bridge’. At least, that’s what people call it when they get stuck trying to cross from New Bedford and Fairhaven.

  18. why does the time change from the top of the hour to quarter past the hour after 10am? It’s still opening once an hour so why the change?

  19. Why can’t we just fly over the bridge in flying cars at this point? It’s 20freaking17.

  20. I lived in N.B. for a couple of years and really enjoyed living so close to town. Crossed the bridge many times n never had a problem with it. Actually enjoyed the experience, the views of the fishing vessels too.

  21. Haha that’s a good one !

  22. Why can’t the schedule be on the hour the whole day when needed? Make it all on the hour whether it is 5am or 5pm. To lessen traffic at intersection of Main St. & Howland Rd. a working sign could be place by Adams St. & by Rt 240 so traffic could take the highway instead. Traffic is dense on Main St. intersection at every closing of the bridge. The sign at the bridge is too close. People turn around in middle of road to take Main St.

  23. If the bridge opens up once at 15 mins past the hour -every hour- in the afternoon, and overall takes 15-20 minutes (on a ‘good day’) to open and close each time, that only leaves roughly 40 to 45 mins for automobile and truck traffic. Seems to disproportionally favor marine traffic (IMHO). In other words, the needs of minority
    users (i.e. fishing vessels, etc.), overweighs the needs of the majority (cars and trucks).

    What’s the justification for this? It can’t be the tides since NB proclaims itself a deep-water port(?).

    A more sensible, appropriate schedule might look something like open/close the bridge once after 2-hours.

    • Federal law gives right of way to boat traffic over road traffic. Here as in most cases road traffic has alternative routes that can be taken. Marine traffic is more restricted. In many cases without alternative routes being available. As in New Bedford where there is only one marine route into the inner harbor. Specific federal code relating to the bride follows.

      § 117.585Acushnet River.
      (a) The New Bedford-Fairhaven RT-6 Bridge, mile 0.0 will be opened promptly, provided proper signal is given, on the following schedule:
      (1) On the hour between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. inclusive.
      (2) At a quarter past the hour between 11:15 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. inclusive.
      (3) At all other times on call.
      (b) The draw will be opened at any time for vessels whose draft exceeds 15 feet, for vessels owned or operated by the U.S. Government, the State of Massachusetts, or by local authorities.
      (c) Each opening of the draw, from the time vehicular traffic flow is stopped until the flow resumes, shall not exceed 15 minutes except for vessels whose draft exceeds 15 feet or in extraordinary circumstances.
      (d) From 6 p.m. on December 24 to midnight on December 25 and from 6 p.m. on December 31 to midnight on January 1, the draw shall open on signal if at least a two-hour notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge.
      [CGD 1-84-10R, 49 FR 36841, Sept. 20, 1984, as amended by CGD01-00-135, 65 FR 38207, June 20, 2000; USCG-2013-0397, 78 FR 39174, July 1, 2013; USCG-2016-0058, 81 FR 8843, Feb. 23, 2016]

      Interested parties will see that the federal government refers to it as the “New Bedford-Fairhaven RT-6 Bridge”

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