NBC Boston reports state officials and the contractor still have no idea when work can resume. Work to replace the old bridge came to a halt last fall after the discovery of bad welds in the foundations of what was supposed to be a state-of-the-art swoopy 21st-century span.
As a 111 bus rider who uses that bridge heavily... a big sigh. Its such a cluster at N Washington Street because they have 3 lanes merging into one. It sucks.
And not that temporary bridge is that great.. I love the feeling of it give a little when its jammed up. *eye roll*
Combined with the loss of the busway under the garage and how that's delayed now. The 111 sucked before cuz it was so packed, now it sucks even worse.
The temp bridge is horrible if bicycling Westbound from the North End to C-Town. You either need to cross to the other side and ride on the narrow sidewalk or stay in the lane and hope a driver isn't approaching rapidly from behind since there's no visibility with the road curvature. It's pretty terrifying either way you go.
The alternative is to cross over the Charles Dam which is scenic and fun but a PITA if you just need to get somewhere.
instead of tailgating me, but that's also far from ideal.
The traffic doesn't move very fast at rush hour.
I have an e-bike for commuting now and the drivers actually wave me in because they know that kind of bike will easily keep up - speed limit on the bridge is 15 mph anyway.
I asked my son how often it gets inspected - it bounces and groans so badly now.
The temp walkway sucks. It’s all tourists standing in the middle staring at the sun
Some of them stare at the water.
At inbound commute time, people were taking kids to school and I really didn't want to hit anyone. I just ride in traffic.
The news reporter did not report one who the contractor was (JF White) or why the welds failed. Do some digging c’mon now. This is just a little puff piece on traffic. Sheesh.
I emailed the reporter..... defect = welds are cracking (before arriving in Boston!). Work was stopped in December not October. I have the emails from DPW & DOT.
What the Mass Department of Transportation doesn't want to admit to is that it's a huge cost to remove and re-fabricate and re-install the giant steel girders that hold up the bridge because the girders were badly welded.
I imagine there's a lot of money going to lawyers to make the contractor fix what they made so badly.
Charlie will just use it as an excuse to gut another transit project, just like the greenline was sacrificed for 20 years on the altar of highway cost overruns.
They should tear down the bridge all together. Or at least make it car free. Leave Half for pedestrians and the other half for bikes. Nobody in this day and age needs to be using a car to go like 500 feet from north end to charlestown. Take the MBTA its quicker than driving.
just send all the buses, trucks, and evil cars over the bridge and through the tunnels, so the trip from the Garden to the 99 will take about 45 minutes in the best of times.
Because no one in Charlestown ever needs an ambulance and no one ever takes one of the several bus lines that run over the bridge.
So, no fixed span connection between Charlestown and the rest of Boston? Really?
Ahem *Zakim* Ahem.
More conveniently, the crossing at the Museum of Science is a very short distance away. I really don't know why they didn't shut the bridge down and divert motor vehicle traffic over there while they fixed this mess.
The bridge is far more about through traffic than local traffic.
You cannot drive across the Zakim and exit anywhere before Somerville or Chelsea. Also, the 111 bus to Chelsea uses the Charlestown Bridge, as do the 92 and 93 buses to Charlestown. (And of course, you can't walk or bike on the Zakim.)
The exit ramp that dumps you west of Sullivan Square is technically in Charlestown, not Somerville. I usually don't think of north and west of Sullivan Square as Charlestown either, but that's what the maps say.
but if you are trying to get from downtown Boston to City Square, or Thompson Square, or the Navy Yard, or Bunker Hill, you don't want to have to backtrack from Sullivan Square.
Depending upon time of day, that's faster for me to get to one of my construction sites. The City Sq Bridge can be rough coming from Haymarket area sometimes.
Something to keep in mind is that MGH operates a research campus and nursing school in the Charlestown Navy Yard and the bridge is a key connection for those that have to go back and forth. Walking/biking is an option for some, but in inclement weather, and when things need to be transported that can't be carried on foot or on a bike losing the North Washington bridge would require a major detour. Also, Charlestown is already limited in ways to get out of it - there was once a police action due to a fatal traffic accident that sealed the east side of Charlestown and even with the loss of one major avenue it became really tricky to get in and out of the neighborhood. Losing one of the few outbound connections could lead to some really dangerous situations in an emergency. Also, the Museum of Science crossing is already saturated, especially since the bus only lane was added. I doubt it could carry any extra traffic.
That was only in place while the Green Line was shut down. No regular bus line goes over this bridge.
I bet we're upset that they torn down the Warren Bridge in the 1960s...
(ok truth time, I read about this bridge for the first time.. it used to be where the Charles River Dam locks are. Prob would have been destroyed because of the big dig..)
Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge (1837)
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