All the Longfellow Bridge salt and pepper shakers back in place

Last Longfellow Bridge tower back in place

Photo via MassDOT.

MassDOT reports construction workers finished topping off the last of the Longfellow Bridge's iconic shakers today when they re-attached the top, or capstone, of the tower closest to the Museum of Science on the Boston side.

With the final tower capstone in place, the remaining work includes installing new and restored exterior windows, doors, and light fixtures, as well as interior railings, stairs, and lighting. This final work on the towers will be completed in late 2017.

Overall repairs to the bridge are now scheduled for completion in 2018.

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Comments

What's in the towers?

What's the inside of the towers used for? Clearly there's some empty space. The old doors where always boarded up.

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You see

I'm not angry at you for making the reference. I'm angry at me for getting the reference.

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Air

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From what i saw when they were removed they are 100% decorative.

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Concrete

Comments from MassDOT at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQsyPClwVj8

Although the towers were originally built with steel spiral staircases inside, they were never open to the public according to historic records. 

Opening the towers to the public after their reconstruction was discussed early in the design process. Unfortunately, the need to meet current seismic standards has required the incorporation of a concrete seismic reinforcing system into the towers and pier structures. These systems will render the interiors of the towers and piers inaccessible to anyone other than maintenance workers. Restoration efforts will be focused on those areas of the bridge where there is maximum public visibility.

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Stairs

Said stars went down for access to the underbridge - not up into the towers. As others have said, the towers are for decoration....

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Again?!?

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Dammit, what the hell kind of state are we that we can't even get a frickin' official seasoning named? This has been going on for years now!

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Inside the towers

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Evidently it has power equipment for controlling the lighting on the bridge amongst other things.

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2018?!

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To repeat: 2018?! How many years can this project take?

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Remember that slick animation they showed us in 2013?

So cool. They really seemed to have the whole timeline for each piece down to the day. No surprises possible. Now it's like Zeno's Bridge or something. We've reached the first projected finish line to find that there's still half left. At the end of 2018, they'll be saying "only 12 more months", etc. etc.

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Restoration is not replacement

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Neither are the same as new construction.

There are always things that were not known - repairs that weren't documented, things that can't be assessed until parts are removed, etc.

If you think that you can do it better, feel free to submit a bid for the next one.

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Boy am I glad that we moved

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Boy am I glad that we moved and I don't have to ride my bike across this bridge twice a day anymore.

Bike routing throughout the construction process has been horrible. The last option I saw, a "bike path" on the community boating side of the bridge was a joke that nobody used correctly. It was constantly full of joggers, tourists with luggage, and other oblivious morons who couldn't be bothered to read the signage about walking on the other side of the bridge. And don't even get me started on the cyclists who, even with the "bike path," kept riding on the opposite side of the bridge (both on the sidewalk and in the traffic lane), or better yet they used the "bike path" but then rode against traffic on the Cambridge side of the bridge, instead of taking the 10 seconds to go under and around.

How much longer is this mess going on for?

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Bikes on Cambridge side

- they used the "bike path" but then rode against traffic on the Cambridge side of the bridge

This actually works fine, as there is a closed-off traffic lane between the bridge and Third Street which works perfectly well as an improvised westbound bike lane.

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Riding against traffic does

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Riding against traffic does not "Work Fine" - EVER

It's extremely dangerous to the cyclist

It's extremely dangerous to drivers

It's extremely dangerous to pedestrians

Don't be silly

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Bike routing

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It's going to get worse.

Starting Monday, Aug 29 pedestrian access to the downstream side will be completely closed down and routed to the upstream side where the sidewalk will be shared with bicycles headed into Cambridge - with pedestrians heading in BOTH directions. Bicycles headed into Boston will be taking the street - new striping for bicycle lane is said to be installed "soon".

This will be the final routing change until the project is completed.

The change was made in order to compress the final completion schedule by 3 months from September 2018 to June 2018. We'll see how that works out. As for me, I'll be the guy merrily ringing his bell while riding down pedestrians in the bike lane.

The elected officials that allowed this mess to arise should ALL be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail.

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Striped inbound bike lane is already there

The striping was laid down a few weeks ago when the car traffic moved to the upstream side. I was wondering why a bike lane was put in right next to the supposedly bikes-only sidewalk, and I guess now we know.

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2018? Unlikely.

They say December of 2018 is the new target for completion. They had to pick December because if they would have picked any later you're into 2019 and then you're three years over the projected three year project timeline. At least this wasn't part of the Olympic venues.

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Time for Baker to halt all

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Time for Baker to halt all current contracts on this bridge, pause construction and set up a fiscal control board to see if they can proceed with the original cost estimate, or else cancel the project. Boston and Cambridge need to pay for any over costs, and perhaps adding advertising on the bridge will help pay for its maintenance. Maybe digital advertising, the Globe just ran a story about how much the T is raising using screens at T stops, and soon in subway cars. Imagine a big digital billboard on the bridge, it could bring in millions, especially during high profile events like July 4th.

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Even if you weren't joking

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Even if you weren't joking the bridge is a landmark and can't legally have advertising on it.

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Yay!

I'm glad - I enjoyed taking it. :-)

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