New Foot Bridge to be Next to Longfellow

A critical component of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s ongoing renovation of the Longfellow Bridge, the Frances “Fanny” Appleton Bridge will allow pedestrians to cross Storrow Drive at Charles Circle – a route that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow walked to court the footbridge’s namesake in the 1840s as he made the trek from his Cambridge home to hers on Beacon Hill.

Miguel Rosales, the Beacon Hill resident who was the
lead architect of the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge, conceived of the $12.5 million structure, which is slated to break ground next year, and will replace the existing obsolete structure next to the Longfellow. He said the new 14-foot wide, steel-arch, bridge will better complement the arches of the historic, adjacent passing.

“We wanted to make a bridge more contemporary and of its time,” Rosales said. “I think its state-of-the-art aesthetic speaks very well in constant to the elegant Longfellow, and its transparent design allows for unobstructed views of the Esplanade, the Charles River and the historic bridge.”

Rosales added that the new steel-arch bridge, scheduled for completion in 2017, would be the first pedestrian passing on the Charles River Esplanade to satisfy current ADA standards.

A longtime admirer of Rosales’ work, City Councilor Josh Zakim is pleased to see him leave another iconic imprint on the city.

“In Beacon Hill and downtown, it’s a tremendous opportunity that we have someone who is not only an active member of the community, but also a renowned bridge architect, and we get to see his work improve our neighborhoods,” Zakim said.

Among his first tasks upon assuming office in July of 2013, State Rep. Jay Livingstone worked to get a pending bill proposed by his predecessor, Marty Walz, passed to name the bridge after Appleton, and with the start of construction looming, he notes that she will again be at Longfellow’s side.

            “We’re reuniting them,” Livingstone said.

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