Washington Street Bridge

City of Boston | Boston, MA

Originally constructed in 1898, Boston’s North Washington Street Bridge over the Boston Inner Harbor carries 66,000 vehicles daily and was approaching the end of its useful life.

In addition to being a critical transportation link between Boston’s North End and Charlestown, the bridge plays another significant role for the City: it carries Boston’s historic Freedom Trail. Benesch designed a signature replacement bridge, incorporating “Complete Streets” design elements to support vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

Working alongside The Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the City of Boston Public Works Department and architecture firm Rosales + Partners, the team commenced with a highly collaborative design process to solicit stakeholder feedback and identify a new signature structure design that would enhance user experience on the bridge and put Boston’s historic river views on full display from this revitalized section of the Freedom Trail.

The design includes a designated Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane, two separated dedicated bicycle lanes, historic informational plaques, and pedestrian sidewalk facilities with extra wide cantilevered lookouts that offer a place for gathering and learning.

Curved architectural trellises, decorative lighting, ample seating and landscaping further enhance the experience along the bridge, at once accomplishing the structure’s multimodal objective while honoring the area’s history and creating a contemporary sense of place in Boston’s Inner Harbor.

The vehicular and pedestrian traffic, as well as the utilities, have been relocated onto a temporary bridge. This allowed for the demolition of the existing bridge and the ongoing installation of the foundations for the new bridge.

The design team continues to work diligently throughout each of the five stages of construction to ensure an equally successful construction process. Bridge construction is expected to continue through Winter 2024, with the project estimated to be complete by Early 2025.

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