​Lord Overpass Conceptual Designs

The City of Lowell, Office of the City Manager is planning multi-modal accessibility and mobility improvements to the Lord Overpass and the surrounding area. In order to undertake this transformative infrastructure project, the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) has initiated a planning and design process which involves public participation.

Public Meetings

At the first of three planned public meetings held on November 12, 2015, we heard from community members and stakeholders about the need for better pedestrian and bicycle accommodations along the Thorndike Street Corridor. DPD conducted a public survey to assess community concerns about the current configuration of the Lord Overpass and to solicit suggestions for ways to improve the Lord Overpass design. View the Results of the Survey (PDF).

The City held the third of three planned public meetings on January 17th, 2017 to update the community on the status of the project design, present the results of the community survey, and present three alternative design concepts for the Lord Overpass. The presentation is available here.

Road Safety Audit

A Road Safety Audit (RSA) was conducted on March 18, 2016 with members of MassDOT, the police and fire departments, NMCOG, the LRTA and city engineers. The RSA included a site walk during many of the safety issues and barriers to mobility were experienced first hand. Twelve design elements were derived from the RSA safety analysis, the public outreach survey and background traffic data.  Click here to view Lord Overpass Safety Audit.

Design Elements


  • Create Access Point to Hamilton Canal District (HCD)
  • Create a transit oriented, mixed-use, urban neighborhood
  • Mitigate Traffic Generation for HCD

Community Context

  • Aesthetics and Lighting
  • Gateway to City
  • Neighborhood Connectivity

Mode Choice

Promote mode shift by providing pedestrian, bike, and transit accommodations

Network Connectivity

  • Connections to river and canal trail systems
  • Full intersection at Jackson Street extension
  • Multi-modal connection to Gallagher Terminal
  • Two way traffic on Middlesex and Appleton/Chelmsford Streets
  • Vehicular operations
These design elements were then combined into three possible conceptual designs.

Feedback / Final Presentation

City staff and their transportation consultants presented the concepts in detail and solicited comments from meeting attendees. The City will continue to accept comments about the three concepts via email as additional engineering work and stakeholder input defines the final concept design.  The proposed final Lord Overpass plan will be presented publicly later this year and reviewed with MassDOT for final design and construction.  

Conceptual Plan

It is anticipated that once a conceptual plan is selected the design phase of the project will last 2 years followed by 2-3 years of construction.  The design phase will also include extensive traffic management plans for the duration of construction.

Thorndike Street Corridor Projects

Thorndike St Corridor Projects
Lowell Connector Ramp-BOARD
Thorndike St Widening-BOARD