NORTHERN AVENUE BRIDGE
This bridge is one of two extremely unusual swing bridges in Boston. With a truss structure that features four truss lines, this bridge is in many ways much like two truss bridges sitting side by side and sharing a single deck. This design is along an uncommon one, and coupled with the fact that it is a swing bridge only adds to the rarity of the structure.
This bridge’s main span has a similar design and appearance to the larger Charlestown Bridge. However, the Northern Avenue Bridge should be considered to have an equal or greater historic value because it retains integrity of design, includes through truss approach spans, and is in a location that is accessible to those wishing to view and photograph the bridge. The Northern Avenue Bridge has been closed to vehicular traffic, but remained an important crossing for pedestrians until recently closed. The Northern Avenue Bridge has been the target of discussion both in favor of demolition as well as restoration.
In 2008, half of the bridge-tender house which was slowly falling into the river was demolished rather than preserved. However, the historic bridge itself remains, and its restoration may be essential. A restored Northern Avenue Bridge would be a beautiful and functional landmark in downtown Boston. For decoration, flowers have been planted on the bridge deck, and LED lighting has been added.