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north-washington-street-bridge-graphic-jpgThe MassDOT Board of Directors today approved the awarding of a contract for approximately $177 million to replace the North Washington Street Bridge that carries traffic over the Boston Inner Harbor between the North End and Charlestown.

“This bridge is an important link into the heart of Boston and we have been grateful to City of Boston officials, local leaders and key stakeholders as we have worked on the design for the new bridge,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “With this project, we will fully replace this City of Boston-owned bridge, improving the motor vehicle lanes but just as importantly, improving the bridge to accommodate pedestrians, cyclists and mass transit users.”

Work-related activities including utility work are currently expected to begin this spring. Construction operations are then expected to start in fall 2018, at which time traffic logistics including lane reductions will be implemented in order to allow crews to safely and effectively work on the bridge structure.

In general, throughout this construction project, motorists will have access to two travel lanes in the inbound direction towards Boston, and one outbound lane towards Charlestown, and pedestrian and cyclist access will be maintained.  This excludes a one month period in 2019 during which crews will demolish the main truss span meaning there can be just one lane in each direction.

As with all MassDOT projects, consideration has been given to the impact on those who use the bridge and construction activities will be undertaken in such a manner in order to minimize the impact on the traveling public and local community. MassDOT will also undertake a comprehensive public outreach process to inform the public of future travel impacts and will hold two public meetings as follows:

Thursday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m., Bunker Hill Knights of Columbus, 545 Medford Street, Charlestown

Thursday, April 19, at 6:30 pm., Nazzaro Community Center, 30 North Bennett Street, Boston

The bridge is a critical link in the MBTA bus network providing passage for several Haymarket destined bus routes from the north including the 92, 93,111, and 426 bus routes. MassDOT and the MBTA have been in close coordination and every effort is being made to minimize the travel time delays for these routes.

Construction is expected to be completed by fall 2023, and the full scope of work includes replacing the existing structurally deficient bridge, providing multi-modal amenities including widened sidewalks, separated bicycle lanes, and bus rapid transit lanes, increasing intersection safety and capability, and improving the navigation channel.

This project is being carried out to improve the functionality of the bridge and ensure reliable travel throughout this area. This bridge is 118 years old and carries intercity vehicles as well as local MBTA bus, shuttle, and tour bus routes. The bridge is safe for travel currently and due to its status requires between $1 million and $2 million in annual repairs.

For more information on the North Washington Street Bridge Replacement Project, please visit the project website.

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