Accelerated Bridge Program Massachusetts Department of transporatation

About This Project

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will be making a traffic shift change required for Phase 3 of the Anderson Memorial Bridge Rehabilitation Project starting on the morning of Friday, May 8, 2015. See our Traffic Information page for more information.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is undertaking a major project to rehabilitate and restore the historic Anderson Memorial Bridge, a key Charles River crossing. When the project is completed, the bridge will meet Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) standards to improve vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle access and meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (MAAB) standards.

The Anderson Memorial Bridge, popularly known as the "Larz Anderson Bridge," is a vital transportation link connecting the cities of Cambridge and Boston and the primary connection between two Harvard University campuses. The bridge is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places as an integral and contributing component of the Charles River Basin Historic District.

MassDOT is carrying out the rehabilitation project as part of the Commonwealth's $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program, which is expediting the rehabilitation or replacement of bridges with serious deficiencies by 2016.

Purpose and Goals

The goals of the Anderson Memorial Bridge Rehabilitation Project are to improve the bridge's structural integrity and enhance accessibility. The project will repair deteriorated elements of the bridge, upgrade structural capacity and improve local street connections and accessibility. The project also includes landscape restoration and storm water upgrades. The proposed rehabilitation will respect the documented historic status of this landmark structure and preserve as many of the original elements as possible.

Bridge Today

The bridge is a three-span structure that measures 232 feet between abutments and has an overall length of 440 feet when retained fill approaches are included. The arches are cast-in-place concrete with brick ring arches. The bridge piers and abutments are made of massive unreinforced "stone concrete" supported by closely spaced timbers. Since the bridge was built in the early 1900s, institutional, commercial and recreational use within and around the Charles River Basin has grown exponentially. The corresponding demands on the bridge, coupled with its age and condition, necessitate rehabilitation.

Environmental Permitting and Preliminary Design

As part of the permitting and preliminary design phase, MassDOT's design team reviewed existing information, including the Charles River Basin Infrastructure Synchronization Project Report, and conducted in-depth site investigations to define the structural condition of the various bridge components and establish rehabilitation requirements for the project. Permits filed for and received include Order of Conditions from the City of Cambridge and Boston, Army Corps Permit, DCR Construction Permit and ENF Certificate.

Sequence of Work

MassDOT has awarded a $19.98 million contract to Barletta Heavy Division, Inc. full the rehabilitation of the Anderson Memorial Bridge. The construction work for this project has been broken into 4 phases, maintaining two directions of traffic at all peak times. Two arch barrels will be open at all times for river navigation during construction.

As part of phase 2 of the project, the easterly sidewalk has been closed and traffic has been reduced to one lane in each direction on the west side of the bridge. Pedestrians are to utilize the westerly sidewalk and bicyclists will need to share the current eastbound and westbound lanes. There is a left hand turn restriction in place at Memorial Drive and JFK Street. During this phase, left turns from the bridge to Soldiers Field Road eastbound will be permitted.

MassDOT's contractor anticipates construction phase 3 to begin in mid-May 2015. During this phase, MassDOT’s contractor will be demolishing and rebuilding the west side of the bridge. To accommodate this work, traffic will be directed onto the newly constructed east half of the bridge.

For current traffic advisories for this project, please see Traffic Information.

The current project completion date is June 17, 2016. The proposed full beneficial use date is February 15, 2016. This will include the new traffic configuration of a total of 3 lanes of traffic (2 northbound and one southbound) as well as one bicycle lane. MassDOT’s contractor will still be installing precast elements once the bridge has been reopened to full traffic. At times, temporary traffic restrictions will be necessary during the precast stone work.

Project Updates

MassDOT is committed to public outreach throughout the duration of construction. An issues tracking system will be employed during construction to ensure that problems and concerns are addressed in a timely manner. For more information, please use the project feedback e-mail at: or see Contact Us.

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