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Boston's Longfellow Bridge Rehab Complete

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

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Boston’s century-old Longfellow Bridge, a steel rib arch bridge across the Charlies River, reopened late last week after five years of rehabilitation and preservation work that came in at a price tag of about $300 million.

The Longfellow, which the Massachusetts Department of Transportation says opened in 1908, stretches more than a quarter-mile between the Beacon Hill neighborhood and Kendall Square, home to a growing crop of tech startups due to its proximity to Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The steel-and-granite span carries 28,000 vehicles each day, plus 90,000 transit riders on the “T” line between the traffic lanes, and pedestrians and cyclists.

Longfellow Bridge reopening

State and federal officials gathered June 1 to celebrate the full reopening of the Longfellow Bridge.

The rehab, which began in 2013, included shoring up deteriorating steel members, modifying the bridge to conform to ADA standards and conserving architectural details like the bridge’s “ornate pedestrian railings,” according to MassDOT.

Failing Steel

As WBUR noted in 2016, the job was lengthy due in part to the badly rusted steel structural members, many of which were in such bad shape they had to be replaced. It was a painstaking process, too, because the historic structure had to be rebuilt to match its original glory, from the Viking-ship sculptures at the base of the piers to the rivets in the steel members, long outmoded on newer bridges.

Maine-based Cianbro Fabrication and Coating was responsible for the fabrication of the steel pieces, including the hot-riveting of the members.

Phase One of the yearslong project was honored in 2016 with an Excellence in Hot-Dip Galvanizing Award from the American Galvanizers Association, citing Duncan Galvanizing for its removal and galvanizing of existing steel arch ribs on the bridge.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Historic Preservation; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Restoration; Steel

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