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Carlton Street Footbridge Renovation

  • Carlton Street Footbridge Renovation
  • Carlton Street Footbridge Renovation
  • Carlton Street Footbridge Renovation
  • Carlton Street Footbridge Renovation

The Carlton Street Footbridge spans 70 feet over the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) Green Line, D-Branch. Due to deferred maintenance, the bridge was closed in 1976 for safety reasons, and ongoing deterioration presented additional hazards. After a feasibility study and careful consideration, the Town chose to restore the bridge, with Kleinfelder serving as the prime consultant.

Restoration Challenges

The challenge of this restoration project was to provide a universally accessible, ADA/MAAB-compliant bridge, which would accommodate bicycle traffic and furnish new surface lighting, constructed safely above an active MBTA track within a nationally recognized historic landscape. The bridge also needed to be raised to provide additional clearance above the MBTA tracks. The design solution, which was also the most economical option, was to lift and remove the entire bridge structure from over the tracks and transport it by truck to an offsite location for repair, restoration, and painting. The deteriorated trusses were transported to Rhode Island, where all repairs and painting were completed. While the structure was being restored in Rhode Island, construction of new foundations and the new accessible ramps took place on-site in Brookline, without interrupting Green Line operations.

Re-Installation of the Bridge

After the trusses and stairs were restored and painted, they were reassembled, transported back to Brookline, and lifted into place onto the new foundations. The resetting of the main span was completed in one lift that included the fully assembled trusses, floor beams, and timber stringers. As the restored structure was stronger, it was able to be lifted without spreader bars, which greatly reduced the lifting height over the trees. The stair trusses were transported back to Brookline later and set in place by the contractor as their restoration and repainting was completed. After resetting the bridge, a new naturally rot and fire-resistant Ipe timber deck was installed on the main trusses and stairs, replicating the historic timber decking. Slip-resistant ADA-compliant aluminum grating was installed on the new accessible ramps and anti-missile barriers, railings, lighting, and other bridge appurtenances were also installed, preparing this historic structure for modern-day use.

Project Results

There was a concerted effort to maintain and repair as much of the original steel as possible. All replacement steel was sized to match or replicate the original design and was fitted with the original steel to preserve the historic aesthetics of the structure. More than 200 community members followed the restoration process and celebrated the footbridge re-opening on August 11, 2023.

Project Details

Brookline, MA
Town of Brookline