"As a result of the simultaneous development of independent rail lines from the southside of Boston, the Boston and Providence and New England railroads paralleled and actually crossed in the Readville section of Hyde Park. Additionally, several major highways intersected the rail lines, which carried as many as 200 trains a day in the late 1890s. The severity of the problem was acknowledged in the early 1890s when the state legislature, acting through specially appointed commissions, recommended a major grade crossing elimination program on all lines running from Boston to Dedham. By 1895 all of the lines had been acquired by the New Haven, with the only New England line being called the Midland Division, and the old Boston and Providence line was known as the Providence Division.
The pre-existing combination of grade crossings, under crossings, and over crossings near the Readville Stations (one servicing each line) made it an expensive and complicated matter to abolish the two rail grade crossings located within 60' of one another on Milton Street, as well as the intersection of Hyde Park Avenue with Milton Street and the Midland division line. 'Hyde Park Avenue was discontinued where it crossed the Midland Division and relocated, beginning at its junction with Milton Street and running northwesterly 60 feet wide, passing under the Midland Division and curving to the right an then running northeasterly, passing over the electric track connection bridge to the old location of Hyde Park Avenue. Milton Street was discontinued from Prescott Street to Regent Street and relocated, beginning at the new location of Hyde Park Avenue about 350 feet north of where it passed under the Midland Division and running westerly 60 feet wide, passing over the Providence Division main line, the Midland Division connecting tracks, and the Dedham Branch tracks, then turning and running southwesterly 50 feet wide to the old junction of Milton and Regent Streets.'
One of the most visible landmarks from the late 19th century crossing improvement program is the handsome, well-preserved, skewed stone arch bridge that carries the Midland Division over the realigned Hyde Park Avenue. The bridge is the largest, most ambitious stone arch bridge in the Boston area, and it represents the application of traditional technology to a difficult engineering problem. 'The foundation was of piles, driven in quicksand and cut off about 11.5 feet below the street grade. The spring of the arch was 8 inches above the street grade and 9 feet back from the street line, thus giving an economical distribution of masonry with a maximum resistance of foundation. The ring stones were 2 feet 6 inches deep, except on the face, where they were made deeper for better architectural effect. (The crown is 15 feet high).
The upper surface of the arch and backing was water-proofed with four thicknesses of tarred paper thoroughly mopped with tar and covered with 3 inches of tar concrete. Passing on a skew through the southerly haunch of the arch, there were constructed two arched stairway openings, 8 feet wide, leading up to the platforms between the Midland Division passenger tracks. Particular care was required in designing the groined arch stones for these stairway openings. The westerly face of the arch was constructed at an angle of 77 degrees, and the easterly face at an angle of 61 degrees with the axis of the arch, with necessary spandrel face walls capped with a dressed coping.'" - Massachusetts Historical Commission (Mary E. McCahon, MBTA Historic Property Survey, 10/1988)
Quotes within essay are sourced from: Tuttle, Arthur, "The Abolition of Grade Crossings on the Providence Division..."Journal of the Association of Engineering Societies. Vol. XXVII, No. 5 (November, 1901), pp 163-169.