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MBTA - Mystic River Bridge


Lowell Line bridge over Mystic River

This concrete arch bridge carries the Lowell Line over the Mystic River in Medford, just south of the West Medford station. A second concrete arch bridge, 100 feet away, carries the line over Route 16 (Mystic Valley Parkway).

Photo by Pi.1415926535

License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)

View this photo at Wikimedia Commons

BH Photo #323732


Street View 


"The Boston and Lowell Railroad, chartered in June of 1830, completed its main line in June of 1835. The Boston and Maine Railroad acquired control of the Boston and Lowell Railroad in 1887 and the MBTA purchased the "New Hampshire Main Line" in 1976.

Record drawings indicate that the original structure at this site was a granite masonry circular arch approximately half as wide as the existing one, and having an inside radius of 26'-0". In 1906, the bridge was widened 13 feet on each side to make the present 52-foot wide span. The intrados of the original arch was lined with approximately 18 inches of concrete at the time of widening. (Today, cracks in the intrados mark the limits of the original granite bridge.) New pile-supported gravity-section concrete walls were added to the extended abutments at this time. The present configuration has the arch rising approximately 18 feet above the top of the footings, with spandrel walls rising another 8'-6" to terminate in a monolithic coping. The height of the top of the rail from the water line is approximately 26'-9"."

-Peter Stott, MBTA Historical Property Survey Phase II, 9/1988


Closed-spandrel arch bridge over Mystic River on MBTA Lowell Line
Medford, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Open to traffic
Built 1835, extensively modified 1906
- Boston & Lowell Railroad (B&L)
- Boston & Maine Railroad (BM)
- Commuter Rail
- Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)
Closed-spandrel arch
Length of largest span: 46.2 ft.
Total length: 50.2 ft.
Deck width: 52.7 ft.
Also called
B&M New Hampshire Mainline Bridge No. 21
B&M New Hampshire Mainline Bridge No. 5.11
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.41787, -71.12855   (decimal degrees)
42°25'04" N, 71°07'43" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
19/324873/4698368 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 67318 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • May 5, 2015: New photos from Ian Martin
  • April 29, 2015: New Street View added by Ian Martin

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