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Old Northern Ave. Bridge

AHF Core Competencies


Community Engagement


The Old Northern Avenue Bridge spans Boston's Fort Point Channel, connecting the city's downtown with the redeveloping industrial waterfront of South Boston. The iron swing bridge was innovative technology for its time, and its simple construction complemented the character of its industrial neighborhood. Today, the Old Northern Avenue Bridge is the only moveable bridge of the original nine across the Fort Point Channel that remains operable, although it was closed to vehicular traffic in 1997.

In 1999 the City issued an RFP for the redevelopment of the bridge. AHF's widely endorsed proposal included a mix of museum, office and retail space, with a dedicated pedestrian walkway. Ultimately, another proposal was selected, but the developer did not go forward with the proposed plan. Since then, AHF has continued to stay active in discussions about the bridge's future and has responded to City requests about the project's feasibility. Preservation of the bridge has been the subject of heated debate, but AHF continues to believe that the bridge is an important marker of the Fort Point Channel District's industrial history and that it will only become more significant as the neighborhood continues to evolve.

Historic Stats
Building Date: 1908, 1935
Square Footage: Length 643', width 80'
Style: Pratt through-truss swing bridge
Historic Use:
Bridge: pedestrian, automobile, rail
New Use: Mixed use, pedestrian bridge
Total Development Costs: $23M
Development Team
Keen Development Corporation
TAMS Consultants, Inc.
© 2019 Architectural Heritage Foundation, Inc