MassDOT said today it will be a temporary bridge next to the North Washington Street bridge next year so that people can continue to get between the North End and Charlestown until the old bridge is permanently replaced by 2023.
The temporary bridge will be located next to the current bridge structure and will help promote reliable travel and minimize impacts to MBTA bus service. This will ensure that motorists have a minimum of three total travel lanes throughout the duration of the project, while providing access for bicyclists and pedestrians and reducing the need to rely on the existing bridge structure to carry traffic.
The temporary span means the playground in Paul Revere Park on the Charlestown side will have to be moved further into the park, but MassDOT says the replacement will get unspecified new amenities.
Construction on the temporary bridge is expected to begin this spring. State officials say they will hold public meetings in Charlestown, the North End and the West End before works begins.
State officials say the temporary bridge can be built as part of the existing $177-million budget for replacing the old bridge. The new span, which will look nothing like the current 118-year-old iron-lattice bridge, will include dedicated bus and bike lanes, plantings and benches from which to take in the view.