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Northern Avenue Bridge proposals all hinge on buses, not bikes

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Or pedestrians—four ideas on the table for Seaport District-downtown Boston span


All four proposals now on the table for the old Northern Avenue Bridge between the Seaport District and downtown Boston’s waterfront hinge on buses, not bikes. Or pedestrians.

That is according to proposals that city officials revealed on April 25. Recall that the decrepit bridge had been closed to vehicles since 1997, and to everything else since 2014. In 2018, the city launched a redevelopment effort, and began soliciting ideas.

It seemed then that the Northern Avenue Bridge would be used primarily—if not exclusively—for biking and walking across Fort Point Channel. Instead, the proposals put forth all involve buses and high-occupancy vehicles as well as bike lanes and pedestrian pathways.

The cost of the bridge’s redevelopment could run to $160 million, depending on the design and the size, per the Globe’s Tim Logan.

The idea of buses along the Northern Avenue Bridge has its supporters and detractors. Those who support vehicles say such a change will ease congestion in the Seaport. Those opposed say a bike and pedestrian span would’ve proven a better amenity for the area. The four proposals are rendered below, courtesy of the City of Boston.

The city hopes to advance to a final design before the end of the year and start work in 2021. Stay tuned.