Background on the River Street and Western Avenue bridges; public hearings

I thank Jessica Mink for posting a notice on the Massbike Boston announcements list about the public hearings on the River Street and Western Avenue bridges. I repeat the notice below.

Concerning conditions where the PDW path crosses the Boston end of the River Street bridge, and potential improvements, please see this video:

PDW Path at Cambridge Street and Soldier’s Field Road from John Allen on Vimeo

Lynn Weissman shot most of the footage in 2003 for the Charles River Conservancy. I shot some additional footage last October; little has changed. I thank Renate von Tscharner of the Charles River Conservancy for lending me tapes of the 2003 footage so I could assemble the video.

Also see Comments and photos on my Web site about the Boston side, and about the Cambridge side.

I favor the Charles River Conservancy’s proposal to place underpasses under the bridges, as at the BU Bridge. Nothing short of that solves the problem of connectivity for the paths, or reduces congestion for bridge traffic — particularly not at the Boston end of the River Street bridge.

At 05:52 PM 3/2/2012, Jessica Mink wrote:

Project File No. 605527

A Design Public Hearing will be held by MassDOT to discuss the proposed Rehabilitation of River St and Western Ave Bridges over the Charles River and Soldiers Field Rd in Boston-Cambridge, MA.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 7PM
Morse Elementary School
40 Granite Street
Cambridge, MA 02139

Thursday, March 15, 2012 @ 7PM
Honan-Allston Branch Library
300 North Harvard Street
Allston, MA 02134

PURPOSE: The purpose of this hearing is to provide the public with the opportunity to become fully acquainted with the proposed Rehabilitation of River St and Western Ave Bridges over the Charles River and Soldiers Field Rd. All views and comments made at the hearing will be reviewed and considered to the maximum extent possible.

PROPOSAL: The purpose of the project is to repair the River Street and Western Avenue Bridges over the Charles River and Soldiers Field Road so that they can continue to efficiently and safely meet the needs of the traveling public. The project will rehabilitate the bridges to maintain their structural integrity, preserve their historicity, and to better meet the needs of all users including motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and recreational boaters. The Soldiers Field Rd bridge superstructures will likewise be replaced to ensure their continued structural viability.

A secure right-of-way is necessary for this project. Acquisitions in fee and permanent or temporary easements may be required. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is responsible for acquiring all needed rights in private or public lands. MassDOT’s policy concerning land acquisitions will be discussed at this hearing.

Written views received by MassDOT subsequent to the date of this notice and up to five (5) days prior to the date of the hearing shall be displayed for public inspection and copying at the time and date listed above. Plans will be on display one-half hour before the hearing begins, with an engineer in attendance to answer questions regarding this project. A project handout will be made available on the MassDOT website listed below.

Written statements and other exhibits in place of, or in addition to, oral statements made at the Public Hearing regarding the proposed undertaking are to be submitted to Thomas F. Broderick, P.E., Acting Chief Engineer, MassDOT, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116, ATTN: Accelerated Bridge Program, Project File No. 605527. Such submissions will also be accepted at the hearing. Mailed statements and exhibits intended for inclusion in the public hearing transcript must be postmarked within ten (10) business days of this Public Hearing. Project inquiries may be emailed to
This location is accessible to people with disabilities. MassDOT provides reasonable accommodations and/or language assistance free of charge upon request (including but not limited to interpreters in American Sign Language and languages other than English, open or closed captioning for videos, assistive listening devices and alternate material formats, such as audio tapes, Braille and large print), as available. For accommodation or language assistance, please contact MassDOT’s Director of Civil Rights by phone at (617) 973-7171, TTD/TTY at (617) 973-7715, fax (617) 973-7311 or by email to Requests should be made as soon as possible prior to the meeting, and for more difficult to arrange services including sign-language, CART or language translation or interpretation, requests should be made at least ten business days before the meeting.

In case of inclement weather, hearing cancellation announcements will be posted on the internet at
Boston, Massachusetts

This announcement is from the Metro Boston chapter of MassBike
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One Response to Background on the River Street and Western Avenue bridges; public hearings

  1. Pingback: Street Smarts » Blog Archive » My comments on the River Street-Western Avenue bridge project

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