Bridging Boston’s Past and Future

Built in 1908, today’s Northern Avenue Bridge was in service for over a century, before it was closed in December 2014. The City of Boston will be reconstructing this iconic span, reimagining it to improve mobility, honor history, strengthen resiliency and create a new destination along Boston’s shore. 

We invite you to join in this process. Lend your voice, and help us build a bridge that meets the needs of Boston’s next century.

The City has started the formal design process for the reconstruction of the Northern Avenue Bridge.  

This process builds on the many public processes that proceed it, processes which covered transportation planning, historic preservation, and design.

To aid in this process, the City has engaged AECOM, and its team of subconsultants, to advance several design alternatives. These designs will emerge from the public discourse about this bridge, with a focus on achieving four primary objectives. 

Primary objectives

Stemming from the community interests expressed in the previous planning process, the City has four primary objectives for this project:

1.  Improve Mobility

The South Boston Waterfront is booming and Downtown Boston continues to grow and transform. The future Northern Avenue Bridge, spanning the Fort Point Channel, must help people connect to the opportunities in these vibrant neighborhoods. 

As we reconstruct the bridge, we want to improve mobility both across the bridge and on the channel beneath it. 


2.  Honor History

The current Northern Avenue Bridge is treasured by some for a variety of reasons: it is a reminder of Boston’s industrial past and the mechanical age; it is a 20th Century icon between two neighborhoods that increasingly feature 21st Century designs; it has a distinctive shape on the harbor’s edge; and, it is a massive structure that used to move. 

As we reconstruct this bridge, we want to honor this history, material, profile, and dynamism.

3.  Strengthen Resiliency

In the next 100 years, Boston will experience the impact of sea level rise.  The City has mapped the expected impacts, and the Fort Point Channel is a critical area on Boston’s coastline. 

As we reconstruct this bridge, we want to make sure it remains a reliable link in a more resilient transportation network and does not preclude future efforts to directly address storm surge and sea level rise. 


4.  Create a Destination

This bridge is at a key location: it connects two distinct neighborhoods; it is a gateway to the Fort Point Channel and connects the Channel to the Harbor; it is a key link of the Boston Harborwalk; and it connects the Rose Kennedy Greenway and Boston to the sea.

As we reconstruct the bridge, we want to realize the long-envisioned opportunity to not only create a connection with this span, but a new destination in a keystone location in the city.