The new $180-million North Washington Street/Charlestown Bridge is expected to open in 2023, which fortuitously happens to mark the 20th anniversary of completion on the adjacent Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge.
“As the bridge designer of the new landmark bridge, I am very pleased that its construction is proceeding well,” wrote Miguel Rosales, a longtime Beacon Hill resident and lead architect on both bridges, as well as president and founder of Boston-based Rosales Partners. “One of my goals was to design a new bridge that will visually complement the adjacent iconic Zakim Bridge.”
According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the new North Washington Street/Charlestown Bridge will replace the century-old truss bridge that connects Charlestown to the North End over Boston Harbor and include two 12-foot-wide sidewalks, with an additional two 7-foot lanes serving as dedicated cycle-tracks. Nearly 40 percent of its width will accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists, making it the city’s first truly multi-modal bridge and one of the most innovative bridges in that regard nationwide. Offering spans up to 200 feet, the new bridge will also feature curved overlooks and open space at its center navigation span with seating, a shade structure and landscaping, which will allow visitors to enjoy views of both the harbor and city.
“The new bridge will also become the first multi-modal crossing with integrated landscaping, greenery and trees in the Boston area, and will extend the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway linear park across the harbor,” Rosales wrote. “It will become a great addition to the waterfront and connect two important historic neighborhoods, providing access to Boston from the north.”
The design of the new bridge’s elegant piers and overall architecture is inspired by the iconic, cable-stayed Zakim Bridge, but intends to complement rather than mimic or detract from it, according to Rosales.
The City of Boston will open the new bridge, which is being funded by grants from Mass DOT and the Federal Highway Administration.
A temporary bridge will remain in place to accommodate vehicular traffic, pedestrians and utility lines until the new bridge opens.