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.
Update on three-year steel preservation and painting project
All three lanes of the Tobin Bridge in the northbound and southbound directions are open. Periodic lane closures may still occur through December 2013 to complete lane markings and continue steel repair.
Work requiring permanent lane closures will resume in spring 2014 on the three-year steel preservation and painting project begun in spring 2012. Lane restrictions in place since March had reduced the roadway from three lanes to two on both decks of the bridge. The third and final year of work will begin in the spring of 2014.
All lanes of the Tobin Bridge will remain open during the Callahan Tunnel Rehabilitation Project full tunnel closure starting on Dec. 27, 2013 through March 12, 2014.
The complete closure of the Callahan tunnel will reduce the overall duration of the project, provide enhanced public safety by minimizing changes to traffic flow, and better coordinate with other local projects including the Tobin Bridge work. Visit the Callahan Tunnel Project web page to learn more about the tunnel project.
MassDOT is also encouraging motorists using the Tobin Bridge to join E-ZPass in anticipation of All-Electronic Tolling on the Tobin Bridge. Beginning early 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
Roadway vertical clearance
254' above sea level
85' below sea level
Mystic river span
Clearance above high water mean: 135'
Little Mystic span
Clearance above high water mean: 100'
One-way into Boston (southbound)
One-way out of Boston (northbound)
Weight: 12 tons per axle
Length (single trailer unit): 45'
Length (with trailer): 85'