Another community public meeting regarding the North Washington Street Bridge Replacement Project was held on Nov. 27 at the Nazzaro Community Center.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) project team presented updated information on construction activities, impacts, traffic management while seeking comments from the general public. The hall was full of residents. Other interested people but no members of the business community that will also be affected by the bridge projects.
This fall, utility operations began and, in the spring of 2019, MassDOT will begin significant construction operations, which are expected to be completed by 2023.
Vehicle and pedestrian traffic between the North End and Charlestown will be impacted in one way or another through the duration of the project. Already the western sidewalk has been closed and signs have been posted.
Plans are in place to build a temporary bridge alongside of the current bridge to help lessen traffic woes.
During construction, the roadway system will be two lanes in one direction and one lane in the other and will eventually switch directions.
Besides general traffic and pedestrian usage, the bridge is a critical link in the MBTA bus network, providing passage for several Haymarket design bus routes from the North including 92, 93, 111 and 426.
The project on the 118-year-old bridge is being carried out to improve the functionality of the bridge and ensure reliable travel through the area, according to MassDOT.
The full scope of work includes replacing the existing structurally deficient bridge, providing multi-modal amenities including widened sidewalks, separated bicycle lanes, bus rapid transit lanes, increasing intersection safety and capability, and improving the navigation channel.