State to unveil plans to improve footbridge linking Allston, Cambridge

 

By Matt Rocheleau, Boston.com

 

State officials will soon unveil their final design and construction plans to improve accessibility along the John W. Weeks Footbridge, which spans the Charles River to connect Allston and Cambridge.

The plans will be presented at a public meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10 at the Harvard University Innovation Lab inside Batten Hall on the university’s business school campus in Allston, the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation said in a statement.

The latest plans for improvements, which are designed to make the pedestrian bridge more accessible to people with disabilities, are part of a multi-phase project to restore and renovate the 86-year-old footbridge while maintaining its historic character, officials said.

In early 2012, crews completed about $500,000 worth of work to repair the original limestone balustrade handrails and to replace a portion of the navigational lights above each arch of the bridge.

State officials expect the accessibility improvements will cost about $1.4 million.

The project is being funded through the state’s Accelerated Bridge Program. Harvard University has also partnered to help with design and construction, including contributing about $150,000, officials said.

After the meeting, the presentation will be posted online here.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.

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