See When the Pedestrian Bridge Over Charles River is Now Expected to be Installed

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Department of Conservation and Recreation

The pedestrian bridge over the Charles River will be replaced. Above is an example of what the new bridge will look like.

For some people, the pedestrian bridge over the Charles River was a nice option to avoid crossing over one of the other bridges that often clog with traffic, but others rely on it. 

Watertown resident David Caine told the Town Council at a recent meeting that his trip to the grocery story takes double the amount of time without the span.

“Up until February when I got my groceries I could cross the footbridge,” Caine said. “Now it is gone. I was told the new bridge was expected to be installed in November. Since then I was told it was delayed. I want to express my disappointment.”

A new bridge was planned by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) because the old bridge was not handicap accessible due to its steep slope, said DCR spokesman Troy Wall. It will cost an estimated $1.5 million.

Installation has been delayed a few times. In January 2017, DCR officials said it would likely be installed by the end of 2017 with final touches completed by the Spring of 2018.

Pedestrian Bridge Over Charles River in Watertown Being Replaced

In August, the DCR said the project was on schedule. Landings were built on either side of the river, just east of the Watertown Dam. As the end of 2017 approached the site looked much the way it did at the end of the summer. The bridge is now expected to be put in when the weather improves.

“The finalization and approval of designs slowed the progress of the bridge project; however, DCR’s contractor is currently completing the fabrication of the new bridge, which is expected to be delivered and installed in Spring 2018,” Wall said

Part of the delay was due to a switch in companies that are making the bridge, members of the Watertown Conservation Commission said in December. The Con Com oversees the area along the banks of the Charles River.

Construction of the new span is due to be completed and delivered by the Spring of 2018, Wall said. The bridge must be lifted into place using large cranes, which also led to some delays.

“Due to the need to place large cranes on both sides of the river to lift and set the pedestrian bridge, much of the bridge approach work could not be accommodated until after the winter season,” Wall said.

Once the bridge goes it, there will also be work on the bridge approach and landscaping in the area, Wall said.

8 thoughts on “See When the Pedestrian Bridge Over Charles River is Now Expected to be Installed

  1. These excuses are unprofessional in my opinion.
    This should have all been know ahead of time.
    Much of the time there has been no apparent work going on.
    The fabrication of the bridge should have been done before the old bridge was removed.
    It has been a much longer inconvenience than it should have considering the $ that have been spent.
    I would really like to commend a good job done but,
    in this case a Very poor oversight of the DCR.
    This all could and should have been avoided.

    • Yeah, basically nothing has been done there since last summer. Whoever did the scheduling completely botched it. To top it off they are continuing to block the sidewalk for no reason.

  2. One of the many frustrations of the footbridge not being done, is that the DCR is not communicating with the public, and those of us impacted by the delays have had to rely on asking the workers standing around the bridge construction site to tell us what’s happening. The DCR’s website doesn’t have any clues. First it was going to be done in November, then by the end of the year, then by the end of January, and now we’re hearing “Spring”, which apparently means May according to the last conversation my husband had with one of the workers. How hard would it be to post a timeline on the DCR website or even a sign on the worksite? And what happened?

  3. You’re never gonna get your new bridge accept it. Look at longfellow and bu areas. 8 years. Wtf is it with the time to get these things done.

  4. This bridge is part of the Accelerated Bridge Program. I would hate so see how slow the slow bridge program is. Lol

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