Residents voiced their concerns Wednesday night at a community meeting in the Seaport as plans move forward for a renovated Northern Avenue Bridge.
Built in 1908, today’s Northern Avenue Bridge was in service for over a century, before it was closed in 2014. The city is now hoping to rebuild the 110 year old bridge for a new era. According to developers, the bridge will be climate change resilient. The city is anticipating the completion of the bridge to be in 2022.
There are many different options for the bridge in terms of designs and a final design will be chosen next Fall.
One of the biggest decision developers still need to figure out is whether or not the bridge will allow for motor vehicles to travel on it or not.
Many of the neighbors at the crowded meeting Wednesday night voiced their support for a pedestrian and bicycle only bridge.
“There is a huge demand for people to cross the river in a low stress way,” said Wendy Landman. “The bridge used to be a magical place for walking and biking. It could be again.”
“People used to dance on that bridge. They would get their photograph taken,” said Anita Johnson.
Developers are also considering developing a High Occupancy Vehicle lane for buses and shuttles and ride shares carrying at least three people only. Some said since the Silver Line is the only way to get into the Seaport via public transportation, a transit lane on the bridge could be helpful.
Residents and community members who said they don’t want cars allowed to travel on the bridge did agree that emergency vehicles should be able to use the bridge in emergency situations.
Before the bridge closed in 2014, the bridge only allowed pedestrians and cyclists. Cars were banned from the bridge in 1997 due to weight concerns.
Developers said they were also considering designs that allowed for cars to travel in each direction or only westbound exiting the Seaport.
Officials said they want to get as much input as they from residents before they make a final decision on design plans.
More information and comment input at NorthernAveBridgeBos.com.