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Glenwood Avenue Footbridge

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Description 

Riveted steel pratt through truss footbridge over MBTA Dorchester Branch (MBTA Fairmount Line) at milepost 8.32, and a steel through plate girder footbridge over the Neponset River. Connects discontinuous segments of Glenwood Avenue in Hyde Park, Boston, Massachusetts. Both are painted Surf Green.

MBTA Historical Property Survey 

Written by Mary E. McCahon

"National Register recommendation: Eligible. The well-preserved footbridge is a truss bridge in mint condition. It is one element in a two-bridge river and railroad track pedestrian crossing. It is one of the best preserved footbridges in Boston, and it possesses integrity of use and design."

"The architectonic and well-preserved pedestrian bridge over the double-track and siding of the New York New Haven and Hartford Railroad was built in 1906 to service the Glenwood Avenue Station. It connects on the west end with a through plate girder pedestrian bridge over the Neponset River, also installed in 1906. The bridge complex is unique in the greater Boston area. In 1888, Glenwood Avenue was interrupted by both the Boston and Providence Railroad right-of-way to the west and the Neponset River and paralleling New York and New England Railroad right-of-way. The nearest river crossing was at Bridge Street to the north. Residential development in the area increased greatly during the late-19th century. The 1906 pedestrian bridge provided safe access between the residential and industrial areas on the west side of the river and the Glennwood station and surrounding residential neighborhood to the east. Passenger service on the Dorchester Line, as this portion of the old Midland Line is known, was discontinued about 1942, and the station is not extant. The Midland Line, an 11-mile local from Boston to Islington (West Dedham) was completed in 1855. It became part of the New Haven system in 1895.

The 7-panel, Pratt through truss over the railroad is of a riveted construction and has a wooden plank floor. It is elevated 20 feet above the tracks, and is reached by a straight flight of closed stringer stairs of riveted construction with one landing set at right angles to the east and west ends of the truss. The bridge is supported by bents composed of steel angle posts stabilized with lateral bracing. A decorative balustrade with pierced quadfoil decoration and twisted vertical strips adds scale and lightness to the structure. Although plans to expand the bridge on the west side were generated in 1918, it does not appear that the work was ever executed. The only apparent modifications to the bridge appear to be the modern chain link retaining fence set inside the truss and a modern steel foundation that replaces the original ashlar abutment that was washed out."

Citations:
- Massachusetts Historical Commission (Mary E. McCahon, MBTA Historic Property Survey, 11/1988)

Facts 

Overview
Pratt through truss bridge over MBTA Dorchester Branch (MBTA Fairmount Line);Neponset River on Glenwood Avenue (sidewalk only)
Location
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts
Status
Open to pedestrians
History
Built 1906
Railroads
- CSX Railroad (CSX)
- Commuter Rail
- Conrail (CR)
- Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)
- New York & New England Railroad (NYNE)
- New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad (NH)
- Penn Central Railroad (PC)
Design
Span over railway: riveted steel pratt through truss
Span over river: steel through plate girder
Stairs: Riveted closed stringer
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 78.0 ft.
Deck width: 9.0 ft.
Recognition
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Glenwood Ave. Footbridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.24797, -71.12499   (decimal degrees)
42°14'53" N, 71°07'30" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
19/324694/4679494 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 66596 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • March 21, 2015: New Street View added by Erich Pfistner

Sources