The New Chelsea Street Bridge is Something to Behold

April 20, 2012
By

The new Chelsea Street Bridge, which will shortly be opening with great fanfare, is an extraordinary structure that literally redefines how all of us view bridges that cross smaller rivers and creeks in the local area.

At more than $20 million to build, the new bridge represents an engineering and architectural triumph especially if we consider what it is replacing.

The mass of it is impressive. In every way, it is an eye catcher.

Mainly, though, it is a problem solver for larger ocean going fuel tankers coming down the Chelsea River, which will now pass through a wider opening through bridgeworks that is unbelievable in every way.

The new bridge employs modern technology as no other bridge in Greater Boston. The giant center span that rises up so high will be a work of perfection to watch once it is officially operating again.

Final touches such as traffic lights, and entryway traffic and logistical systems are now being finished.

It is estimated the bridge should be operational by June.

When that day finally arrives, the two-year wait will have been well worth the inconvenience.

  • n_oodler

    The old bridge needed to be replaced as it was no longer structurally sound.  In addition, the channel wasn’t wide enough to safely accommodate the tankers passing through.  However, this doesn’t mean that the new bridge we’ve been given is actually a good thing for Chelsea or East Boston.

    The question that everyone should be asking is, does this new bridge go up and down any faster than the old bridge?  This should be followed by, now that the channel accommodates larger ships will those ships take longer to pass through?  Final question is, since the channel has been widened and deepened will ships be passing through it more often since they may no longer have to wait for high tide?  

    The possibility of an increased number of idling backed up cars waiting longer and more often for a tanker to pass is not an improvement.  I’ve yet to see any discussion or article anywhere that brings any of the factors affecting pedestrians and motorists into question.  The new bridge, while impressive, is just another reminder that we don’t control the creek on which we live.  The scale of the bridge is nothing more than pandering to the needs of the petroleum companies with the empty promise that they might lower the cost of heating oil in New England by a few cents.

  • John Mazzarella

    I’m wondering if they will raise it all the way up for boats that don’t need all that height.

  • when actly will the bridge open, gas prises are real high and I wasting gas just going around the world just to get to my destinastion

  • chamorrobob

    For folks who used to be able to walk to Wood Island to take the T, this seemingly never-ending push back of the opening date is excruciating.  December, 2011, then Feb. then April 30, now the end of June.  I’m sorry the weekly paychecks will end from the bridge job, but this has surely been stretched far enough, now…

  • EmployerInChelsea

    June!? This is completely ridiculous! I really don’t understand how it could possibly go from December for vehicular traffic to 7 months later to June.. that is completely disgraceful. There might have been 2 times this winter that the weather could have been severe enough to stop work on the bridge for a day or two. This is a complete inconvenience for everyone and to me especially coming from Winthrop to my job right over the bridge on Griffin Way, forcing me to go through Revere or a mess of traffic in East Boston near the other bridge. And now I’m hearing the Tobin is going to be down to single lanes for painting that will be severely effecting people that now rely on that to get into the city.. what a poorly planed joke. The highway department should be ashamed at this now obvious poorly planned project and allowing the closure to be extended so much. The contracted company should be fined for this. And give me a break with the last line of this article. That’s not true in the least.. it will not be well worth any wait at all. People want the bridge open when they we’re originally told it would open, not over a half a year later.

  • Sandro Frattura

    A few things:
    1) remember that this project was partially funded (in large part) by Federal Stimulus money.  No surprise it is running long, as they want all the cash they can get
    2) I heard from VERY good sources that the main reason for the extra 6 months delay is that after they tried to get the span across and get it connected to the vertical columns, they were 18 INCHES SHORT.  somewhere, something was not engineered properly. As a result, they had to re-engineer ‘on the fly’ to try and figure out a way that they could ‘make it work’ despite being short 18 inches somewhere.  (the last engineering blunder of this size was the Hubble space telescope, where they measured one part in millimeters instead of inches!!)
    3) The fact that they are not putting out community updates REGULARLY is appalling.  This is our money being spent on this bridge.  We should be getting regular updates from the builders.   I went once to speak face-to-face with one of the project foremen, and it was like pulling teeth to get him to give me an estimated date for reopening that bridge.


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