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Office Of Transporation Planning Massachusetts Department of transporation

About This Project


As part of the Patrick Administration's Accelerated Bridge Program, over $400 million in funding has been allocated to improving the conditions of structurally deficient bridges in the Lower Basin area of the Charles River. Created ninety years ago from tidal marshes and mud flats, the Charles River Basin operates as a complex transportation and linkage system. This area serves as a host to many historic and natural resources, including parks, shared use pathways, public boat landings, boat houses, recreational facilities and leading higher educational institutions. Bridge Rehabilitation Projects currently completed or underway include the Craigie Dam Bridge and Craigie Drawbridge, the Longfellow Bridge, the Boston University Bridge, Western Avenue Bridge, River Street Bridge and the Anderson Memorial Bridge, and Magazine Beach Pedestrian Bridge.

The historic Charles River Basin bridges provide critical connections in and out of Boston for a wide range of users, including businesses, universities, hospitals, bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers. The bridges are important evacuation routes and serve countless recreational users along the Charles River. To ensure that impacts are managed and minimized the following steps have been taken by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT):

Community Involvement
MassDOT developed an extensive community involvement process for all basin projects. During the environmental review and design phase, the agency will schedule periodic public meetings with stakeholders in Boston and Cambridge, including residential, commercial and institutional abutters and recreational users of the river and parkland such as boaters and rowers, to provide updates and gather input. Project updates and advisories are planned for the construction phase.
Bike and Pedestrian Connectivity
Bicycle and pedestrian improvements, and enhancements to bridge approaches, including a safe way on and off of each bridge that connects to existing sidewalks and bike lanes are being planned for all projects in the Basin. Studies are also underway to include safe crossings at all Charles River Basin bridges.
Historic Preservation
MassDOT will work within the guidelines of the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, Section 106, and with the Massachusetts Historical Commission, Cambridge Historical Commission and Boston Landmarks Commission to ensure that all historic issues are identified and addressed.
Environmental Review Process
MassDOT recognizes the significant cultural and natural resources associated with our projects in the Charles River Basin and takes appropriate steps to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to these resources. MassDOT will meet the requirements of all necessary environmental permits in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws on all bridge projects being undertaken as part of the Accelerated Bridge Program. As part of this review process, an extensive and comprehensive public involvement process has been implemented.
Active Risk Management and Sequencing
MassDOT will sequence the timelines for projects scheduled for the Charles River Basin using a basin-wide travel demand model in an effort to develop options that minimize traffic impact and preserve safe operations for all modes of transportation. In addition, MassDOT has committed to working in coordination with the surrounding cities, state agencies, and private projects.

Upcoming Meetings


There are no public meetings 
currently scheduled.
Please check back for updates.

Project Information

Contact Us

Donny Dailey
MassDOT Legislative and Community Affairs
857-368-8902

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