Officially named the North Washington Street Bridge, it is known by most Bostonians as the Charlestown Bridge. Made popular for its role during a car chase in The Town, the bridge has connected Charlestown with the rest of Boston since it was built in 1900.
In November, the Boston Public Works announced plans to reconstruct the bridge with a completely new modern design. Now over 100 years old, the current bridge is crumbling and is in a state of disrepair. The middle traffic lane has been closed due to structural issues and the rusting iron covering the central span of the bridge has created an eyesore for residents. The narrow pedestrian sidewalks were not designed to withstand the foot-traffic of the Freedom Trail and the unsightly bridge has become an obstacle, deterring many tourists from pursuing the Freedom Trail into Charlestown.
The new bridge seeks to solve these issues and will completely transform the connection between Charlestown and the rest of Boston. The new design is based slightly off the design of the popular Zakim Bridge, which runs parallel to the Charlestown Bridge. Therefore, the look of the two bridges will complement each other and will be aesthetically pleasing to residents and visitors.
Aside from visual appeal, the new bridge will be designed to accommodate the needs of a growing and diverse city. The bridge will be expanded so there will be two lanes of traffic going in both directions. Plant beds will adorn both sides of the main road, separating it from the expanded pedestrian walkways. According to the renderings, the walkways will be complete with benches to sit on and trees going across both sides of the bridge. Also, there will be set bike lanes in both directions to ensure safety.
With a $100 million estimated price tag, the new bridge will set the standard for modern bridge design. Construction is scheduled to start around 2017 and should be completed by 2020.
Nick Lattarulo for Bostonia Properties