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Upstream “Salt and Pepper” tower dismantling,  July 2014

Upstream “Salt and Pepper” tower dismantling, July 2014

The rebuilding of the upstream “Salt and Pepper” towers on the Longfellow Bridge is underway as part of the Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project. In March 2014, MassDOT’s contractor dismantled two of the iconic towers to launch the restoration process. Beginning this week, the towers are once again taking shape above the Charles River.

Restored granite door posts of Pier 6 tower, August 2015.

Restored granite door posts of Pier 6 tower, August 2015.

Over the past century, the 58-foot towers have settled. The granite blocks, each weighing as much as three tons, need to be reset and reinforced to withstand earthquakes. The contractor cleaned the 515 pieces of granite in each tower and restored them where necessary. Before the towers could be reinstalled, the piers that support them also needed work. The concrete liner and steel supports within the piers were demolished and reconstructed. Now, the towers are ready to be put back in place.

The work will continue through 2015, but may extend into 2016 depending on weather conditions. While the towers take shape above, progress continues at street level as the rehabilitated Longfellow Bridge gets a facelift.

Read the Tower Reinstallation Process Explained fact sheet for a more in-depth description of the work.

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