Eliot Bridge Rehabilitation

Last night MassDOT held an informational meeting about plans to rehabilitate the Eliot Bridge. The Eliot Bridge is the heavily used river-crossing that connects Route 2 and the Fresh Pond Parkway to Soldiers Field Road.

Image from Google Maps. View in Google Maps here.

Here are the key takeaways from the meeting.

  • This is a straight-forward historical preservation project. The basic design and footprint of the bridge will not change. In particular, the railings will remain low as they are.
  • The only material modification planned is that the sidewalks will get wider — the four traffic lanes of the bridge (two in each direction) will go from 12 feet in width to 11, allowing the sidewalks on either side to go from 8 feet in width to 10. There will be very limited work outside the physical span of the bridge — just paint to blend in the lane-width change and curb work to blend in the sidewalk-width change.
  • The project will go to bid this fall, begin in the 2024 construction season and continue into 2026.
  • There will be no winter work on the project — most phases involve masonry work which can only be done when temperatures are above freezing: Early April to mid-November.
  • The work will be phased so as to minimize disruptions to all bridge users.
    • There will be minimal lane loss during construction. Lanes will be shifted and narrowed at times, but the project will almost always keep all four lanes open (two lanes in each direction). Occasional lane closures will be limited to off-hours.
    • At least one sidewalk will be preserved at all times.
    • Two of three arches of the bridge will remain open at all times to preserve access for rowers.
    • No planned work will restrict pedestrian passage underneath through the passageways on either side of the bridge.
    • Most construction activities will occur in daylight hours.
  • The project is intended to extend the life of the structure for “10 to 20 years.” [My personal guess: This bridge will likely be used for much longer than that without further modification.]
  • More project details appear here.
  • To stay in touch with project progress and possible closures, subscribe here.

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

12 replies on “Eliot Bridge Rehabilitation”

  1. Thank you for sharing the meeting notes. Appreciate it ! I use this bridge very often for both walking & driving and very glad to see these changes.

  2. Thank you for the summary. A government truly fails when it fails to maintain and develop infrastructure.

  3. Hopefully the project will consider roadway lane markings at either end of the bridge. The travel patterns became problematic with a previous restriping project, especially for the North/Westbound traffic. Specifically, the split between traffic exiting right towards Fresh Pond Parkway and that continuing along the river towards Watertown is confusing – especially considering that there are two lanes moving in both directions and apparently crossing each other. As it stands, it is totally unclear to drivers how to navigate this conflict. A previous, older striping pattern was much clearer and better.

  4. The pedestrian tunnel under the bridge and its access requires work to prevent water and eroded earth from entering and to provide better drainage. Thank you

  5. Thank you
    Always appreciate bridge renovation work Sorely needed thruout the Commonwealth
    Serves all

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