archBOSTON.org

Go Back   archBOSTON.org > Boston's Built Environment > Transit and Infrastructure

Transit and Infrastructure All things T or civilly engineered within Boston Metro.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-01-2006, 08:22 PM   #1
PaulC
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,617
Longfellow Bridge update

http://www.beaconhilltimes.com/

Longfellow Bridge to return to glory days by by Colleen Walsh





The planned restoration of the Longfellow bridge will return the historic structure to its former glory days, according to project officials who held a public meeting last week to discuss the work.

?The bridge is an icon in Boston,? said Jonathan Taylor, project manager from Jacobs Civil, Inc. who addressed the engineering issues with the bridge at the Shriners Auditorium on Blossom Street. ?The main goal?is to restore its former glory.?

In an effort to return the bridge to its 1907 style, officials plan to replace walls and existing contemporary railings with granite and refurbished iron railings, replace the decorative filigree type work to the underside of the bridge that was removed in the 1950s, and restore the bridge?s four iconic ?salt and pepper? towers, adding back windows that have been destroyed over time and updating doors that were changed over the years.

To restore the towers, officials are proposing to completely dismantle the towers stone by stone and then reassemble them once they are fixed.

?We are going to put back the towers in as good a condition as they could be,? said Taylor.

In addition, officials plan to add lighting to the bridge that will illuminate both the bridge?s arches and its famous towers.

The Massachusetts Highway Department, which is jointly overseeing the project with the Department of Conservation and Recreation, met with the public last fall to solicit input and suggestions for the initial design phase of the project. The result was a set of design alternatives that incorporated the public concerns including expanded lanes for both pedestrians and bicycles.

The project is slated to begin in 2009 and take five years to complete at an estimated cost of between $125 and $150 million. It will include a complete structural overhaul of the bridge?s surface and supporting steel structure.

To accomplish the work, officials anticipate shutting down one lane of traffic on each side of the bridge for the duration of the project.

Some members of the audience were unhappy about the traffic problems that could result in having two lanes of traffic closed and urged officials to look at other options.

?I just think there?s a larger issue here about how we keep traffic flow in and out of the city,? said Joe Crowley, manager of outside services at Mass General Hospital, who suggested meeting with MBTA officials to look at running one train at a time across the bridge.

The preliminary design phase of the project is scheduled for completion by December.
?Our community is going to suffer another major construction project,? said Malek Al-Khatib of Whittier Place. But he added, ?it seems for this bridge it?s a price we are willing to pay.?
PaulC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2006, 09:13 PM   #2
Ron Newman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Davis Square, Somerville, MA
Posts: 8,399
Send a message via AIM to Ron Newman
They need to do something about the sidewalk approaches on the Boston side. Both the north and south sidewalks just disappear into the roadway. I'm sure it's not even close to ADA-compliant.

Also, the state has to decide which project to do first: this bridge, or Storrow Drive. They have already pledged not to do both at the same time.
Ron Newman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2006, 09:28 PM   #3
PaulC
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,617
Storrow Drive first

With a 2009 start date for the bridge i would say Storrow Drive will be first.


some historic pictures:





PaulC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2006, 10:05 PM   #4
Ron Newman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Davis Square, Somerville, MA
Posts: 8,399
Send a message via AIM to Ron Newman
I see no reason to temporarily reduce the number of train tracks to one. The bridge is rarely crowded with auto traffic and could easily accommodate losing one lane in each direction during construction.
Ron Newman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2006, 08:32 AM   #5
chumbolly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 333
The prospect of this bridge being fully restored makes me very happy. I'm really glad they are going to improve the bridges illumination. I've always felt the Longfellow would rival some of the best bridges across the Thames if only it could be spiffed up and its archways lit up from below. I just hope I no longer commute via the redline once construction starts.
chumbolly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2006, 08:40 AM   #6
TheBostonian
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 345
Weren't there plans to stop all red line service on the bridge at least during certain times, like the orange line signal upgrade bustitution? This is great news and a relief if the red line will not be disrupted.
TheBostonian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2006, 09:40 AM   #7
Roxxma
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: South End, Boston
Posts: 465
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Newman
I see no reason to temporarily reduce the number of train tracks to one.
According to the article in the Boston Courant, this idea was rejected by the MBTA due to the congestion that it would ause on the Red Line.
Roxxma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2006, 07:42 PM   #8
briv
Administrator
 
briv's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 2,083
Send a message via AIM to briv
Costing $150 million and taking five years? Am I to believe that the Zakim was built much faster and cost far less to build than the Longfellow will to be recuperated? I find this very odd. I know the structure is in bad shape thanks to decades of absolute neglect, but still...
briv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2006, 10:57 PM   #9
Ron Newman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Davis Square, Somerville, MA
Posts: 8,399
Send a message via AIM to Ron Newman
It always costs more, and takes longer, if you have to keep something in service while fixing it.
Ron Newman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2006, 10:59 PM   #10
briv
Administrator
 
briv's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 2,083
Send a message via AIM to briv
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Newman
It always costs more, and takes longer, if you have to keep something in service while fixing it.
You mean like I-93?

Though, on second thought, perhaps there were hidden costs associated with the LPZ that werent factored in to the final cost. Still, $150 million and five years to recoup the Longfellow still sounds super extreme.
briv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2006, 11:13 PM   #11
Ron Newman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Davis Square, Somerville, MA
Posts: 8,399
Send a message via AIM to Ron Newman
The Zakim Bridge wasn't in use until it was finished. And yeah, one reason the Big Dig took so long, and cost so much, is that they had to keep the old road operating while building the new one under and alongside it.
Ron Newman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2006, 12:09 AM   #12
DowntownDave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 237
I'd be interested to know if the original iron lanterns mounted on the towers still exist in storage someplace or if new ones will need to be made.

I wish that there wee some way to free the ends of the bridge from their current positions stranded in the midst of modern roadways. Even if the turn off from Storrow to Charles street could be relocated it would make the bridge so much more accessible.

What's up with Tom Thumb and Thumbelina getting out of the tiny miniature automobile in the third historic photo?
DowntownDave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2006, 04:27 AM   #13
statler
Administrator
 
statler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Approaching a City
Posts: 7,385
Quote:
Originally Posted by briv
Costing $150 million and taking five years? Am I to believe that the Zakim was built much faster and cost far less to build than the Longfellow will to be recuperated? I find this very odd. I know the structure is in bad shape thanks to decades of absolute neglect, but still...
Craftsmanship is quite expensive these days. It costs a lot more to hand carve stone and expertly forge metal than it does to slop some concrete into some forms.
statler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2006, 05:06 PM   #14
Night Owl City
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 3
Some more information from Mass highway:
Restoration of the Longfellow Bridge

"A primary objective of the proposed rehabilitation is to address the bridge's current structural deficiencies, upgrade its structural capacity (where appropriate), and bring the bridge up to modern code. In particular, the structural steel elements supporting the bridge deck have deteriorated and require upgrading, and the abutments will have to be modified slightly to allow the sidewalk approaches to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility guidelines. At the same time, the bridge's ornate pedestrian railings will be restored or replicated, its masonry elements will be cleaned and conserved, and an appropriate new bridge lighting system will be designed. Areas on the riverbanks disturbed by the project will be carefully landscaped to tie the bridge into its historic setting."
Night Owl City is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2006, 10:57 PM   #15
Ron Newman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Davis Square, Somerville, MA
Posts: 8,399
Send a message via AIM to Ron Newman
Anything done to make those sidewalk approaches ADA-compliant will be appreciated by able-bodied pedestrians as well.
Ron Newman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2007, 11:22 AM   #16
statler
Administrator
 
statler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Approaching a City
Posts: 7,385
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bankers & Tradesman
Study Says Longfellow Bridge Repairs Will Cost $180 Million
By Thomas Grillo
Reporter

Gov. Deval Patrick has unveiled a five-year plan to invest in the Bay State's capital needs.

Fixing the Longfellow Bridge will cost $180 million due to a persistent lack of maintenance, according to a study by the Pioneer Institute.

?The Longfellow connects two economic and cultural powerhouses, Boston and Cambridge, yet suffers from such neglect and disrepair that reconstruction may cost several times more than the price of building a new bridge,? the new report noted.

?Our Legacy of Neglect: The Longfellow Bridge and the Cost of Deferred Maintenance,? details the Bay State?s failure to provide the necessary repairs to aging infrastructure statewide. Pioneer is a Boston-based, nonpartisan think tank.

The Longfellow, connecting Boston and Cambridge, is not the only piece of infrastructure in trouble, the study noted. Overall, the commonwealth?s assets suffer from a maintenance backlog in the tens of billions of dollars. However, the calculation of an overall state figure is impossible to define because there is no centralized system for comprehensively managing the state?s assets, the study revealed.

?No matter which entity is responsible, every state asset suffers from the same treatment,? researchers wrote. ?We fail to adequately budget for maintenance; even worse, we create perverse incentives that discourage state managers from maintaining state assets.?

The responsibility for asset maintenance in Massachusetts is scattered across state government and riddled with redundancies and ambiguities, particularly regarding the practical responsibilities of the Division of Capital Asset Management and the various executive branch agencies, the survey noted.

Researchers found that maintenance spending from an agency?s operating budget will reduce program funds. While the postponement of routine maintenance maximizes operating funds, it also hastens the failure of capital assets. The eventual failure of the properties will result in an emergency disbursement of capital funds, which are under DCAM?s control and will not impact the agency?s operating budget, the study said.

As a result, managers who spend money on maintenance are penalized for trying to maintain their assets, researchers wrote. There is no comprehensive plan in place to stop the problem from growing worse. Budgeting for maintenance simply lacks the inherent political appeal of new spending on new assets. Every new structure that is built, every road that is paved, every new asset the commonwealth builds is doomed to decay prematurely through a lack of maintenance, the study said.

Researchers said the problem will not be solved in a single step. Rather, they say, it will require a sustained, multigenerational effort. Pioneer recommends that the state should stop building new assets without first examining and budgeting for their life-cycle costs, including regular maintenance and measure the condition of the commonwealth?s assets and present easy-to-understand metrics of expenditures. Proper measurement of maintenance needs also will require changes to the state?s accounting system to allow easier tracking of maintenance, as well as the adoption of financial reporting standards that emphasize asset management, the study noted.

Other recommendations include creating a maintenance budget by requiring agencies to spend operating funds equal to 2 percent of asset replacement value on maintenance, establishing a Facilities Maintenance Reserve Fund and utilizing budgetary surpluses to perform pay-as-you-go maintenance.

?A Tremendous Opportunity?

The same day the Pioneer report was released, Gov. Deval Patrick presented a five-year plan to invest in the Bay State?s capital needs. The governor said he will raise the state?s borrowing limit for infrastructure improvements to $1.5 billion this year and cap subsequent growth at an additional $125 million a year.

Stable annual increases in the bond cap will allow the administration to make progress in addressing the backlog of infrastructure needs, including transportation, schools and public safety projects, Patrick said.

While the administration?s annual borrowing limit is expected to increase over the next five years, the debt service as a percentage of total budgeted revenues by 2012 is projected to be less than this year. Under this formula, the commonwealth could increase its level of public-asset investment, while still preserving additional capacity in the operating budget to fund needed programs, Patrick said.

The administration?s approach to setting the annual bond cap could ensure that annual debt service payments on the commonwealth?s bonds and other payment obligations will decrease over time as a percentage of total budgeted revenues.

In its 2006 report, the Joint Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets recommended an increase in the bond cap.

?We have a tremendous opportunity to expand our economy and create thousands of jobs through properly maintaining and expanding our capital assets,? said Sen. Mark Montigny, a New Bedford Democrat who is co-chair of the committee.

In developing its five-year capital investment plan, the administration faced serious challenges. Although it will not address all of the identified capital project needs, Patrick?s approach to raising the bond cap could result in meaningful progress toward improving the network of public infrastructure that the citizens of the commonwealth rely on in their daily lives.

The administration is expected to release a capital investment plan that describes how it will allocate those capital investment resources to make the improvements to the state?s infrastructure.

Steven Poftak, one of the study?s authors, said he is not sure whether the governor?s proposal will meet the demands of the state projects.

?I don?t know if his plan will work,? he said. ?The proof will be what projects get put into the state?s capital plan. How will they use existing money and how will they spend future money? From the administration?s public statements, it sounds as though that maintenance is a priority. But given the focus on several new projects including the New Bedford/Fall River rail extension, will there be enough money to go around??
statler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2007, 12:21 PM   #17
vanshnookenraggen
Moderator
 
vanshnookenraggen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York City
Posts: 6,134
That brings up a good point about how we as a society value consumption of new things over the saving of old things. As my father pointed out about the bridge collapse in MN, the bridge that fell was built to replace the bridge that didn't.

The fruits of our consumer society are coming to bear.
__________________
http://www.vanshnookenraggen.com | http://futurembta.com | http://hyperrealcartography.tumblr.com
brivx: well, my philosophy is: as designers, we make a good theater, we dont direct the play
vanshnookenraggen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2007, 12:32 PM   #18
czsz
Senior Member
 
czsz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: brooklyn
Posts: 6,052
Quote:
?We have a tremendous opportunity to expand our economy and create thousands of jobs through properly maintaining and expanding our capital assets,? said Sen. Mark Montigny, a New Bedford Democrat who is co-chair of the committee.
Does anyone else find it absurd that someone is actually making this argument? I mean, to have to argue for the economic benefit of maintaining infrastructure? Isn't preventing bridges from collapsing a good enough reason to put money toward this?
czsz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2007, 12:53 PM   #19
statler
Administrator
 
statler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Approaching a City
Posts: 7,385
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bankers & Tradesman
Researchers found that maintenance spending from an agency?s operating budget will reduce program funds. While the postponement of routine maintenance maximizes operating funds, it also hastens the failure of capital assets. The eventual failure of the properties will result in an emergency disbursement of capital funds, which are under DCAM?s control and will not impact the agency?s operating budget, the study said.
Wow. This is about eight different layers of retarded. :shock:
statler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2007, 01:14 PM   #20
vanshnookenraggen
Moderator
 
vanshnookenraggen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York City
Posts: 6,134
Quote:
Originally Posted by statler
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bankers & Tradesman
Researchers found that maintenance spending from an agency?s operating budget will reduce program funds. While the postponement of routine maintenance maximizes operating funds, it also hastens the failure of capital assets. The eventual failure of the properties will result in an emergency disbursement of capital funds, which are under DCAM?s control and will not impact the agency?s operating budget, the study said.
Wow. This is about eight different layers of retarded. :shock:
When I read this I immediatly thought of the T because this is exactly how they opperate.
__________________
http://www.vanshnookenraggen.com | http://futurembta.com | http://hyperrealcartography.tumblr.com
brivx: well, my philosophy is: as designers, we make a good theater, we dont direct the play
vanshnookenraggen is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Burlington Update.... SHAZBAT73 Greater New England 14 09-09-2016 05:05 PM
The Zakim Bridge KentXie Transit and Infrastructure 14 04-14-2009 10:44 PM
Waterworks at chestnut hill update. palindrome Development Projects 4 07-26-2006 01:36 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.