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Longfellow Bridge To Get Major Makeover

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The Longfellow Bridge

The Longfellow Bridge

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BOSTON (CBS) – There’s a new plan to clean up and re-design the iconic Longfellow Bridge.

The so-called “salt and pepper” bridge, which spans the Charles River between Boston and Cambridge, will get a $270 million makeover.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Mark Katic reports


WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports

The big change – outbound traffic to Cambridge will be narrowed down to one lane. The two inbound lanes to Boston will remain.

“There’s clear evidence that one lane coming out of Charles Street Circle going into Cambridge will easily accommodate existing traffic and future traffic growth.  Coming inbound from Cambridge to Boston, it was clear that two lanes was needed,” Richard Dimino, a member of a special task force overseeing the project, told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Wednesday.

Sidewalks and bike lanes will also be wider.

“The bridge is going to be providing some new accommodations for bicyclists, pedestrians (and) new accessibility for folks that are physically challenged down at the Boston end of the bridge,” Dimino said.

“The bridge will also have a new pedestrian bridge that will cross over Storrow Drive and connect to the Charles River.”

The salt and pepper shaker towers will come down temporarily but they’ll be restored as repairs are done.

A hearing on the plan will be held March 1 at the state transportation building.

Officials hope to send the project to bid within 6 months.

So how will this affect commuters during construction, which is expected to start in the spring of 2013?

“There will be one lane inbound coming into Boston, but the traffic going into Cambridge will have to be diverted for a good portion of the time,” Dimino said.

“Mass Highway group has found a way working with the MBTA to keep Red Line service operating during the weekdays, which is very important because the Red Line service carries so many people. So folks that are counting on the Red Line day in and day out to get to their jobs will be able to continue to use it.”

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