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Tobin Bridge, click to enlarge

The Tobin Memorial Bridge connects the Charlestown section of Boston with Chelsea. The bridge provides three travel lanes northbound on its lower level and three lanes southbound on the upper level. Tolls are collected from southbound cars only. If you were handed a Tobin toll violation for non payment of toll, please read this information.

Tobin Bridge Resuming for Final Year of Three-Year Project

Permanent lane restrictions will take effect Sunday, April 13, 2014

MassDOT is reminding drivers that steel preservation/repair work and painting on the Tobin Bridge is resuming. As a result of the work, the travel lanes on the Tobin Bridge will be reduced to two lanes through the work site.

Traffic channeling devices will be deployed starting Sunday night, weather permitting. The lane restrictions will remain in effect through the fall.

This is the third year of a three-year, $44.8 million bridge preservation project. MassDOT’s contractor is Liberty-Alpha Joint Venture.

MassDOT is also encouraging motorists using the Tobin Bridge to join E-ZPass in anticipation of All-Electronic Tolling on the Tobin Bridge. Beginning in 2014, motorists will no longer stop at a toll booth and pay cash for their Tobin Bridge toll. Tolls will be collected electronically through the E-ZPass transponder or via a program in which a camera captures the license plate and the vehicle's registered owner is billed by mail. To join, please visit E-ZPass online.

The Tobin Memorial Bridge was erected in 1948-49 and opened to traffic in 1950. It connects the Charlestown section of Boston with Chelsea. The bridge provides three travel lanes northbound on its lower level and three lanes southbound on the upper level. The 36-foot-wide roadway is bounded on both sides by safety walks (2'7" wide) with steel-pipe railings on each side.

The main structure over the Mystic River is a three-span, cantilevered truss 1,525' in length. Its center span is 800' and the maximum truss height is 115'. It provides a navigable waterway opening 700' wide by 135' high. A smaller, simply supported warren truss spans the Little Mystic. It reaches a maximum truss height of 65' and is 439' long. Its navigable waterway opening measures 340' wide by 100' high.

The approaches comprise 36 spans on the north and 32 spans on the south. These spans are built-up plate girders of variable lengths (average length is 100'). On the twelve-span toll plaza--set between the Little and Big Mystic trusses--the roadway widens to102 feet to accommodate seven collection lanes.

Recently rehabilitated, the toll plaza sits on the upper level and incorporates such features as a walkway across its top (for electrical maintenance), new heated and air-conditioned booths, an overhead electronic message board and a fire-suppression system.

A maintenance garage, located in Chelsea, houses all maintenance, operating, and mechanical equipment for upkeep of the bridge. Including north and south approaches, the bridge is approximately 2 1/4 miles long.

Tobin by the Numbers


J.E. Greiner Co.


April 12, 1948


February 27, 1950




2 1/4 miles

Road width

36 feet

Roadway vertical clearance

15 feet

Highest point

254' above sea level

Deepest pier

85' below sea level

Mystic river span

Length: 800'
Clearance above high water mean: 135'

Little Mystic span

Length: 439'
Clearance above high water mean: 100'

Upper level

One-way into Boston (southbound)

Lower level

One-way out of Boston (northbound)

Vehicle restrictions

Height: 15'
Width: 10'
Weight: 12 tons per axle
Length (single trailer unit): 45'
Length (with trailer): 85'
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