State officials report contractors will begin prepping the Longfellow Bridge on Saturday to remove the two remaining towers as part of the overall bridge reconstruction project.
Don't worry, seasoning fans: The state says, as with the other two towers - and unlike that decorative railing a few years back - the towers will be put into storage so they can be replaced once the bulk of the repairs to the bridge and the realignment of the traffic/bicycle/pedestrian lanes is finished.
There are a number of steps to prepare for the dismantling. The first is to shift pedestrians from the sidewalk to make room for a work zone and install scaffolding before dismantling the towers. A shared space will be created by enlarging the bike lane used for travel from Boston to Cambridge near each tower to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians. A concrete barrier will separate the shared space from automobile traffic. Flexible stanchions and lane markings will distinguish bicyclist and pedestrian dedicated areas of the shared space. In areas of the bridge that are distant from the tower work zones, pedestrians will continue to use the sidewalk. Bicyclists and pedestrians should use caution when traveling in the shared space to ensure the safety of all bridge users.
The shift will remain in place for the rest of the year.
Sarah Bourne has been photographing the Longfellow work.