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Appleton Pedestrian Bridge, September 2019 Ribbon CuttingLieutenant Governor Karyn Polito today joined Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy, and local leaders in Boston to celebrate the Francis “Fanny” Appleton Pedestrian Bridge which crosses over Storrow Drive between the Charles River Esplanade and the Beacon Hill/Charles Circle area.

“Our Administration is continuing to carry out construction projects throughout local communities to increase accessibility for all modes of travel, and ensure our transportation system allows people to enjoy all that the Commonwealth has to offer,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The Fanny Appleton Pedestrian Bridge helps connect more people with the Esplanade, increasing access to this scenic area.

“We are proud to celebrate the Fanny Appleton Pedestrian Bridge and continue making investments in pedestrian and multimodal infrastructure,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “We look forward to residents and visitors using this bridge so that they can walk, run, or ride along the Charles River for many years to come.”

The Fanny Appleton Pedestrian Bridge was opened in fall 2018 and final punch list items including landscaping were completed this summer. This work was one element of the MassDOT Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project.

The Appleton Pedestrian Bridge is 750 feet long, weighs approximately 700 tons, and cost approximately $12 million to construct. The structure is higher than the previous pedestrian bridge at this location and has a maximum vertical clearance over the roadway of approximately 16 feet.

“This pedestrian bridge is an important link to the recreational opportunities and natural beauty of the Esplanade and the Charles River,” said Secretary Pollack. “Thanks to the leadership of Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito, MassDOT is continuing to make investments that enable people to reach destinations by foot, on bicycle, or using other forms of active transportation.”

“We have appreciated the hard work of the crews, contractors, designers, planners, advocates, and local leaders who helped complete this notable multimodal project,” said Highway Administrator Gulliver. “MassDOT has been pleased to carry out construction work on this pedestrian structure that helps open up the Esplanade to more visitors and encourages healthy, sustainable forms of travel.”

“In an effort to provide residents and visitors with a first-class state parks system, the Baker-Polito Administration continues to invest in essential connections to parklands across the Commonwealth,” said Commissioner Roy. “The Francis Appleton Pedestrian Bridge serves as a fully accessible link between the Beacon Hill area and the Charles River Reservation, encouraging people of all abilities to find themselves in a DCR park.”

The Fanny Appleton Pedestrian Bridge was constructed by MassDOT and is now under the jurisdiction of the Department of Conservation and Recreation. The bridge is named after Francis Appleton who was married to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the namesake of the adjacent bridge.

For seven years, Henry Longfellow would travel over the West Boston Bridge that was a predecessor to the Longfellow Bridge from his Cambridge home to Beacon Hill to court Francis Appleton. This inspired many literary works including his famous poem “The Bridge.”

The Baker-Polito Administration is continuing to increase investments in transportation infrastructure. The Administration recently finalized its five-year $18.3 billion transportation Capital Investment Plan for Fiscal Years 2020-2024. This includes over $7 billion in funding for roadways, bridges, intersections, and multimodal pathways across the Commonwealth, as well as over $8 billion in funding for the MBTA.

Governor Baker also recently filed a transportation bond bill seeking $18 billion in additional capital authorization to invest in building and modernizing a transportation system that meets the needs of residents, businesses and cities and towns statewide. The authorization would be used to fund existing programs as well as several new initiatives designed to lessen impacts from roadway congestion and ensure reliable travel throughout the Commonwealth.

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