Community Government Real Estate Transportation

New Pedestrian Bridge Makes for Easy Walk or Bike to Cambridge

It just got easier to get from the North End to Cambridge, at least by foot or bike, through the new North Bank Pedestrian Bridge. Gov. Deval Patrick cut the ribbon at Friday’s grand opening for the bridge that connects Paul Revere Park in Charlestown to North Point Park in Cambridge.

From the North End / Waterfront, pedestrians and bikers can now walk over the Charlestown Bridge (also known as the North Washington Street Bridge) to Paul Revere Park in Charlestown where the new pedestrian bridge begins. The bridge ends on the Cambridge side in North Point Park. By foot, the new 290-foot bridge reduces walking time to Cambridge from 25 minutes to less than 5 minutes.

North Bank Pedestrian Bridge Connects Paul Revere Park in Charlestown to Cambridge (Photo: MassDOT)

Press release by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation:

Governor Deval Patrick today celebrated the completion of the North Bank pedestrian bridge, connecting Paul Revere Park in Charlestown to North Point Park in Cambridge. Funded through the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the long-awaited $9.5 million project will provide thousands of pedestrians with a safe, accessible and quick route between Cambridge and Charlestown.

“I am proud to celebrate the completion of the North Point Bridge which brings together our communities and encourages residents and visitors to make use of outdoor spaces,” said Governor Patrick. “As one of the first shovel ready projects awarded funding by the Obama Administration through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, this bridge is an investment for generations to come.”

Northbank Ped Bridge, July 13, 2012In 1993, the Turnpike Authority agreed to allocate funds to the construction of the connecting bridges after the Central Artery/Tunnel Project was completed. After several years with no progress, the North Bank Bridge Project received federal stimulus ARRA funding in 2009 and construction began in 2010. Construction was completed in spring 2012.

The pedestrian bridge is open to biking and rollerblading, in addition to walking or running, giving the public greater access to the parks. Prior to the bridge’s construction, traveling on foot from North Point Park to Paul Revere Park would take roughly 25 minutes. The new bridge, reduces the time to less than five minutes.

The 690-foot bridge curves under the Zakim Bridge and over the MBTA railway. The steelwork is metalized rather than painted to minimize maintenance. Energy-efficient LED light strips are installed in the bridge’s railings for aesthetics and public safety.

North Point Park completed two years ago is part of the New Charles River Basin, the “lost half mile” between the old Charles River Dam and the Charlestown Bridge. North Point includes a broad pedestrian path along the water’s edge and a tree-shaded bikeway along the land side of the park, and is the third park to be completed as part of the Big Dig mitigation efforts, which also included the restoration and expansion of Paul Revere Park in Charlestown and the construction of Nashua Street Park in Cambridge and Boston.

Governor Deval Patrick Speaks at Opening of North Bank Pedestrian Bridge (Photo: MassDOT)