Residents packed a room to hear about plans for the Northern Ave Bridge

Boston residents packed the room to learn more about the plans for the Northern Ave bridge. 

It was standing room only for late comers for a meeting about the design aspects of the bridge and how wide the bridge should be. 

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.

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.

There are various options stylistically for the bridge ranging from just restoring it and keeping it looking as it does to completely revamping and making it look more modern. 

One of the design options for the bridge

“We are looking for feedback,” said Chris Osgood, transportation chief. 

Osgood said the city is planning on presenting specific design plans to residents in the fall after they go over public feedback and feedback from Mayor Marty Walsh. 

He said the renderings shown for just polished examples of what could be done but are not concrete plans.

Another design options for the bridge

Osgood also went over potential widths for the bridge ranging from 12 to 56 feet. The width also determines how the bridge will be used. A wider width will allow for emergency vehicles, buses and cars to travel.   

“We grow in flexibility when we grow in width,” Osgood said at the meeting. 

Many residents want a pedestrian and bike lane only bridge. Some residents were holding signs that read “Resist” and “People first” at the meeting to show their dismay over potential plans for the bridge. 

The project could cost around $150 million depending on design plans and how wide the bridge becomes. So far, $58 million has been allocated for the project. 

After the presentation, residents broke off into groups to give their feedback to the city on what they would like see happen to the bridge.

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  1. Historic is good but Boston has a serious traffic congestion problem. At some point this will impact the success or decline of the city. Boston is a very historic city and has plenty of historic things to see and do but to keep workers, tourists, and city residents from getting to work or home or the historical sights is short sighted and detrimental to the success of Boston.


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